The U.S. Department of Defense and the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced the finalists for a joint anti-terrorism startup contest. Called the Combating Terrorism Technology Startup Challenge, or CTTSC3, the contest is held for the third time this year. 210 companies from 19 countries entered the contest, and were reviewed by 55 evaluators from both U.S. and Israeli government agencies. Competitors ranged across a variety of technological domains, including drones and robotics, cyber, emergency medicine, social media, and analytics.
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The competition held in partnership with the Israeli branch of the MIT Enterprise Forum offers a $100,000 prize to each of two startups to be named winners. Two runner-ups will be offered a $10,000 prize each. The winners will be announced in June.
Drones represented the largest category of entries this year. Colugo Systems Ltd., one of the finalists, develops a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft suited for extreme weather conditions that can fly for two and a half hours, transmit live video and real-time information, and scan for hazards such as sabotages and leaks using thermal imaging, UV, and multi-spectral cameras. Third Eye Systems Ltd., another finalist, uses connected drones to provide an autonomous security system with automatic threat detection and on-board analytics.
Other notable finalists include medical startup CardioScale Ltd., robot technology firm RoboSleeve, and compliance software company FinCom.Co Ltd. CardioScale develops a non-invasive deterioration predictor device that can detect shock, sepsis, and trauma. RoboSleeve develops a robotic self-propelled sleeve that can inspect confined spaces. FinCom.Co develops a compliance software that uses phonetics algorithms to identify individuals across databases to prevent transactions with known terrorists and money laundering.
"The contest is a unique opportunity for early stage startups," said Gideon Miller, chairman of CTTSC3, in a statement. "Besides the prize money, it provides extraordinary exposure to the resources and requirements of potential funding bodies across the U.S. Government, as well as other customers, investors, and partners worldwide.”
"The U.S. Defense Department is holding this contest in Israel for the third time because of the reputation of the Israeli startup ecosystem, as well as the unique combating-terror and security expertise that Israeli entrepreneurs bring to the table," said in a statement Adam Tarsi, international program manager at the U.S. Department of Defense.