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Left to right: Dr. Amnon Dekel, Dr. Jasmin Ravid, Prof. Asher Cohen, Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D.
Credit: Igor Farberov

 
Kinoko Tech was named the Hebrew University’s rising startup of 2022 and received the ASPER PRIZE

June 14, 2022

 

The world has changed in recent years, and so has the startup and technology ecosystem. Increased frequency and magnitude of social and environmental issues have compelled organizations to become more responsible in their actions. Today, companies are no longer focused just on business outcomes: they also strive to make the world a better place. This is the insight that drove us to create The Asper Prize.

 

The Asper Prize competition, led by ASPER-HUJI Innovate - the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center and The Asper Foundation, is a $35,000 prize meant to highlight startups that use innovative technologies to create positive impact on a global scale.

 

The annual competition is open to companies whose founders are associated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (faculty, students and alumni) or those that rely on the Hebrew University’s intellectual property.

 

We’re thrilled to announce the 2022 Asper Prize winner is Kinoko-Tech. The Company was founded by Dr. Jasmin Ravid, Dr. Daria Feldman and Hadar Shohat - all three Hebrew University alumni. Kinoko-Tech has developed a new plant-based protein based on a combination of mushrooms and legumes. This allergen-free protein can easily be cooked or mixed into different food products. Kinoko is focused on generating tasty, healthy and nutritious food that provide an ecologically-friendly protein source.

 

Prof. Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University, greeted the participants: "The Hebrew University has become, in recent years, a significant catalyst for companies across a wide range of verticals. There is no doubt that the knowledge and tools that students acquire here, at the university, enable them to build technological endeavors that benefit humankind, especially when it comes to sustainability and the climate crisis”.

We’re incredibly proud of all the finalists in the competition. Every single one of these companies is contributing to a better future for humanity, though each has a radically different approach to doing so: Daika wood creates a new wood material while recycling wood waste and maintaining its original properties. As mentioned above, The winner, Kinoko-Tech has found a way to create a pure allergen-free protein from mushrooms that is both tasty, healthy and sustainable. Antidote is a virtual HMO that leverages AI technologies to provide health coverage at a fraction of the cost of the existing alternatives. Diptera.ai created a long term solution for diseases spread by mosquitoes using sterile male mosquitoes. Finally, Immunyx Pharma has developed a revolutionary platform technology to treat neutrophils, the largest immune cell population.

Gail Asper, President of The Asper Foundation, referred to the competing companies and highlighted the Prizes' purpose: “ We encourage more companies and start-ups to work towards creating a positive impact on our society and environment through innovative technologies. With the Asper Prize, we’re delighted to recognize the innovators who are striving to create a better future for humanity. We would also like to thank the team at ASPER-HUJI Innovate for their efforts to expand entrepreneurial thinking to every area of study”.

Dr. Amnon Dekel, Executive Director of ASPER-HUJI Innovate - The Innovation Center of the Hebrew University, congratulated the winners and signed off: ”Every startup we’ve seen today embodies the cutting edge of the intersection between business and social impact. Businesses that can generate revenues while improving the world they inhabit are an important model for a sustainable future. We’re proud of the startups that participated in the competition and are looking forward to seeing next year’s contestants”.

 

 
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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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