Startup nations | Israeli security show-and-tell coming to Bay Area

Security technology has advanced by leaps and bounds lately, becoming ever more present in our daily lives, from apps we’ve installed on our phones to omnipresent surveillance cameras. Of course, such advances put into sharp focus the fine line between ensuring our safety and invading our privacy. Fortunately, as technology progresses, developers have been able to refine security systems to maximize safety while minimizing intrusiveness.

Consider the body scanner at the airport. We’ve all been there. No one wants a weapon to board a plane, but the inconvenience of the security-check line is a nuisance. A new Israeli-American company called TraceGuard has developed a way to uncover weapons while shortening passenger lines by using a chemical process that detects harmful or suspicious substances on clothing or luggage, without the use of cameras or radiation.

To bring more awareness to the United States about Israel’s cutting-edge security technology in fields from airport security to crime prevention and beyond, the Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast next month will facilitate a roadshow in the Bay Area featuring innovative security advances by Israeli companies.

 BriefCam is one company that will attend. This video synopsis company has technology that makes it easy to review, index and analyze large amounts of video footage to locate “events of interest” rapidly and accurately. BriefCam’s technology makes it easier for law enforcement and security to process footage during investigations.

Also attending will be Mprest, whose technology enables large amounts of input from a variety of sources, such as sensors or video, to be integrated into one real-time picture so it is easy to process. This technology was integral in developing the command and control software of the amazing Iron Dome anti-ballistic system, which has saved countless lives by shooting down enemy rockets aimed at Israeli citizens.

Another company participating is FTS Biometrics. It has created a system that identifies a person through a multitude of inputs, including face, voice and body behavioral analytics, allowing access to the workplace or other secured areas without keys or cards, codes or fingerprints, thus eliminating the need to slow down, swipe a card or present ID.


Startup of the month

Israeli company Windward is combining big data analytics and deep shipping expertise (both founders were in the Israel Navy) to create a platform capable of making sense of the world’s maritime data. The data available on ship activity is not only vast, it’s also fragmented and often intentionally manipulated by those trying to hide criminal or terrorist activity. Windward processes hundreds of millions of data points a day and corrects any data manipulation to provide an accurate picture of what goes on at sea, helping governments to secure their waters and financial institutions to make more lucrative trading decisions based on the movement of global commodities.

The company was widely quoted in the media recently for its accurate numbers on the amount of floating oil storages in the Gulf likely to be traded now that sanctions will be lifted on Iran. It also recently announced two big-name private investors, former CIA director David Petraeus and “Start-up Nation” co-author Dan Senor. Windward previously raised more than $15 million from Aleph and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures.


Exit of the month

The owners of Dead Sea cosmetics maker Ahava have reached an agreement to sell control of the Israeli company to Chinese investment giant Fosun in a deal that values it at 300 million shekels ($76.3 million). Gaon Holdings, which owns 15.72 percent of Ahava, said in a statement that the sale would be for at least 51 percent of the company, which manufactures skin care products made of mud and mineral-based compounds from the Dead Sea.