Startup nations | Israeli companies are designing new ways to educate

Education in the digital era is undergoing nothing short of a revolution. The way we learn is constantly evolving, and the rapid pace of technological innovation is forcing us to rethink how to apply vast amounts of data, knowledge and technology to improve our educational systems and make sure our children are better prepared for life, specifically life in the digital era.

Education technology startups around the globe are focusing on how to put students at the forefront of learning, and the industry is burgeoning. Schools in the United States and around the world are beginning to focus heavily on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to prepare students for careers in the 21st century. According to the investment database CBinsights, global EdTech investment rose to $3.1 billion in 2015, up from $1.9 billion in 2014.

As a leader in digital innovation, Israel also is looking to become a leader in digital education.

To that end, the Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast is preparing for a big happening next month. It will be bringing a delegation of six Israeli EdTech companies to meet with schools, publishing companies, investors and other strategic partners in four U.S. regions, including the Bay Area.

We hope to create many productive and fruitful business interactions and partnerships between Israeli and American companies to help facilitate the disruption of a market in need of transformative change.

Here are a few some of the innovative Israeli EdTech startups that will be part of the delegation.

Sense. The founders of Sense ( don’t want large classes to have to use only multiple-choice questions, even though they are easier for grading. They’ve developed a solution that helps teachers grade open-ended assignments more efficiently. It also helps instructors provide essential “personalized” feedback to the massive amounts of students who have turned in any given assignment. How? The computer detects patterns in the submissions and breaks them down into five to 10 types, which allows teacher to provide feedback to each kind of answer.

Makeree. Educators want to organize hands-on workshops for children, with science projects and other interesting DIY undertakings, but sometimes it’s a hassle. That’s where Makeree ( comes in. The company can provide project ideas, links for buying science and craft kits, and apps that allow students/teachers to create things, take pictures of their hands-on projects, and share them in cyberspace — which could lead to feedback from scientists or other students.

CodeMonkey. The belief that students who learn computer programming early in life gain a deeper and more complete understanding of logic and advanced thinking is what CodeMonkey ( is all about. It provides a fun and educational game environment where students learn to code in a real programming language, no experience needed. A teacher’s kit helps instructors impart the basics, enough for students to develop their own apps and games.


Startup of the month

VRPhysio is an Israel-based startup that is launching a set of patent-pending devices that could, for example, help someone rehabbing from a neck injury do it at home using virtual reality games and exercises. The company calls this VRP (virtual reality physiotherapy) and claims it can help in both recovery and injury prevention using the smartphone, body sensors and biofeedback sensors. VRPhysio ( had one of the biggest crowdfunding efforts ever in Israel last year. Its platform is currently undergoing testing in hospitals and medical clinics for a planned launch in early 2017.


Exit of the month

Israel-based BlazeMeter will be acquired by year’s end by CA Technologies, the latter company announced Sept. 20, also reporting that a definitive agreement had been signed. The deal is worth $100 million, according to various reports. BlazeMeter ( is a leader in open-source testing of web application performance. Founded in 2011, BlazeMeter has more than 60 employees split between Palo Alto and Tel Aviv.

Gili Ovadia is the S.F.-based Israeli consul for economic affairs to the West Coast.