It is not surprising that Jerusalem is attracting some of the most prestigious medical and scientific organizations for their international conferences and symposia.
Jerusalem is the place where history meets the future.
It’s a city of visionaries, pioneers and prophets. An extraordinary technology ecosystem, world class academic institutions, research and development centers, all within short distances of one another, have created an unparalleled urban hub of innovation and groundbreaking discoveries towards a better world.
According to Start Up Nation Central, an NGO that tracks the high-tech industry in Israel, Jerusalem is home to some 400 startups with its strongest companies in sectors like biotech and life sciences, medical and healthtech, machine learning, AI, and software. Jerusalem also has 22 active multinationals in the city, 24 venture capitalist (VC) firms, 11 academic institutions, 27 innovation hubs (accelerators, incubators), and just over 20 tech communities.
The fact that brands like Teva and Mobileye got their “start ups” in Jerusalem is perhaps old news. New startups with Jerusalem DNA are diverse; from seeking chemical solutions to treating plastic waste and reducing environmentally damaging landfill, to vegan dairy-free chocolate solutions addressing the universal ‘sweet tooth’.
Israel21C reports that a unique chemical process developed at the Hebrew University’s Casali Institute for Applied Chemistry has been licensed to Rehovot-based Plastic Back which aims to convert plastic waste, not treated by recycling facilities, down to its original components.
Once implemented, the technology could provide a non-landfill solution for tons of plastic waste. Company officials told Israel 21C that a recent $1.7 million dollar seed funding will help them reach their goal of treating 100,000 tons of plastic waste by 2028.
Tel Aviv is considered the ‘vegan capital of the world’ but it looks like vegan chocolate found it’s sweet spot in Jerusalem. Panda, an award-winning vegan dairy-free milk chocolate, was founded by a young Israeli couple who turned an experiment into a million-dollar company marketing its candy bars both in Israel and across the United States.
Daniel Bareket told Israel21c that he knew Elya was a vegan and a chocoholic so they decided to try and create a dairy-free. They went into the kitchen where they spent a year educating themselves, experimenting and financing their startup through a crowdfunding campaign raising 13,000 shekels (about $3,500).
They opened the Panda factory in Jerusalem and seven years, Panda is now churning out their ethically sourced, dairy-free chocolates for the US and Israeli markets in 14 flavors.
Their online store which opened last year was renamed 7th Heaven due to trademark issues. An American entrepreneur discovered them and offered to invest three million dollars.
The funding has enabled Panda to open an R&D facility in the Lower Galilee where new vegan chocolate products are being developed for the growing demand. and it seems that indeed, for the Barekets’ life is indeed a plant based, dairy-free, delicious box of chocolates.