Israel’s MediSafe Gets Top Award in Qualcomm’s Global Contest

Qualcomm Ventures, the corporate investment arm of San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) selected an Israeli digital health startup, MediSafe, as the winner of its fourth global QPrize competition yesterday.

It was the third time an Israeli startup claimed the top prize since the inaugural contest in 2009.

MediSafe, based in Haifa, is a cloud-based mobile app that families and care-givers can use to prevent emergencies that result from patients who fail to adhere to their prescribed medications, either by over-dosing or under-dosing. The technology reminds the patient when it’s time to take a pill and sends alerts to selected family members, friends, and others if he or she misses a dose.

Qualcomm said the fourth annual Qualcomm Ventures QPrize competition provides over $1 million in prizes and services for entrepreneurs as they advance new ideas for mobile and wireless seed stage startups.

Qualcomm said that after winning $100,000 in venture financing in a regional competition in Israel, MediSafe won an another $150,000 after it was selected as the overall QPrize winner at Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing Summit in Sausalito, CA. The prizes are provided in the form of a loan that converts to preferred shares of the startup in its next round of financing.

In March 2013, Qualcomm Ventures named iOnRoad, based in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan, as last year’s top QPrize winner. Harman Industries acquired iOnRoad a month later. The startup developed technology that enables a smartphone to serve as a dashboard-mounted “personal driving assistant” by monitoring speed and traffic conditions and warning motorists when they are driving unsafely.

In 2012, New York-based Enterproid won the overall QPrize for technology that helps business customers manage employee-owned smartphones and tablets. (Google acquired Enterproid last month.)

And in 2009, Qualcomm Ventures selected Panoramic Power, a startup based in Kidron, Israel, that provides wireless energy management technologies, as the inaugural winner of its top QPrize.

Qualcomm conducts the first stage of its competition in seven regions: North America; Europe; Israel; Latin America; India; China; and South Korea. The competition winnows the field in each region to a group of finalists, typically eight or nine companies.

In a statement, Qualcomm Ventures’ Nagraj Kashyap, says, “This year we had more than 1,200 submissions from entrepreneurs throughout the world and what really impressed us was the diversity of quality ideas using the mobile platform to impact a number of industry verticals.”

This year’s class of regional QPrize winners had developed technologies focused on education, automotive, healthcare, sign language translation, analytics, and navigation and messaging.

Other QPrize finalists were:

—China: Cambridge Wowo has developed voice evaluation and speech recognition technology to provide digital and interactive content for pre-school textbook producers on tablets, smartphones, and Android-based digital TVs.

—Korea: Carffeine is a mobile software platform that connects car owners and mechanics. The technology can provide custom car diagnosis reports and other services.

—Latin America: Hand Talk is translation software that helps sign-language users to understand content in the oral language of their country and oral language users to learn sign language.

—India: Konotor is a business user platform for mobile apps intended to engage users and drive conversations between businesses and their customers.

—North America: Swift Navigation uses extremely accurate global positioning system technology for self-driving cars, precision agriculture, unmanned aircraft, and other applications.

—Europe: Viewsy uses location analytics software to address the data needs of retailers with physical stores. The platform is dedicated to understanding customer behavior in the physical environment. It digitizes the real world and tracks visitor behavior inside retail stores by capturing anonymous mobile phone data.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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