By Sharon Rapoport
The first Cal-Israel Innovation Expo was the place to be in for anyone interested in cutting edge technology, startups and inventions, and certainly, for anyone who cares about the exciting economic and technological synergies between California and Israel. Everyone in San Diego seemed to be there, from Mayor Kevin Faulconer to Mr. Gary Jacobs, founder of Jacobs Investment Company LLC., and the environment was abuzz with the exciting air of innovation and learning.
“We share so many opportunities,” said Mayor Faulconer, at the inaugural address, “we share so many technologies, as we are moving forward on a lot of things in cyber-security, wireless technologies, desalinization, a lot cross-synergies in terms of technologies that are helping in Israel and helping here as well”.
The event took place on March 8 and 9 at USD and was hosted by the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. The Expo featured the latest and greatest products and services from more than three-dozen technology companies based in Israel and California. Here is a sampling of some of the most exciting technologies seen on the show:
The drone of the future: Top Gan
Drones are a popular favorite in every tech expo, but Top Gan´s drones are something else.
The advanced drone technology includes thermal imaging, LIDAR sensors, precise 3D mapping, and the capacity to navigate large expansions of any terrain. Their ability to collect data for commercial construction sites, natural resources, environmental studies, and infrastructure and disaster recovery is unparalleled.
TopGan Drones are made and manufactured in the U.S.A.
Memory lane: SafeBeyond and Keepy
Two exhibitors in the show had technologies geared toward preserving memories, once again disproving the notion that technology makes us less human. If anything, these startups aim at keeping our humanity alive, even after we are grown – or gone.
SafeBeyond has been described by The New York Times as “Dropbox for the hereafter.” SafeBeyond allows you to leave farewell messages on social media, “location messages,” which your heirs can access once they reach a specified geographical location, say Jerusalem or New York City, and much more.
Keepy is an app that allows you to organize, save, privately share, enrich, and treasure your kids’ memories as they grow. This is a dream come true for anyone who has ever agonized about throwing away a toddlers piece of art. You can keep artwork, schoolwork, an award, or a photo digitally, and look back on them without sacrificing precious storage space.
Your new fashion statement: HealthWatch
A mannequin wearing a vest with sensors drew a lot of attention. It was presented by HealthWatch, a pioneer in harnessing textile technology to produce fashionable, smart-digital garments with interwoven sensors unobtrusively measuring vital signs of hospital-grade quality. A monitor and control device attached to the garment allows users to get personals alerts and 24/7 remote monitoring from medical experts without affecting their lifestyle. This technology is a potential lifesaver.
Also seen at the expo were energy and water conservation, agribusiness, computer, mobile and cyber technologies. The seminars boasted a stellar lineup of speakers, including Mr. Gary Jacobs, who talked about the business incubator NGT, or Next Generation Technology, which reaches out to Arab scientists with the goal of bringing new medical and life science products to market for both social and financial gains.
Also featured were seminars by Jeff Wolf, of RCC Wolf Management Consultants, who gave a seminar on leadership; Tina Beranbaum of Centauric, who talked about the foundations of success; and Ilana Golan of Stya´s, who discussed start-up do´s and don´ts.
All in all, Cal-Israel Innovation Expo was a big success, and certainly reached its goal of bringing together companies, governmental entities, USD students and faculty, with the purpose of creating enduring relationships between California and Israeli leaders. Dates for a second Expo in San Diego will be announced soon, stay tuned for more information.