MARRAKECH, Morocco — Five trailblazing entrepreneurs from across North Africa and the Middle East have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Aviram Awards competition hosted by the Aviram Foundation and Forbes in Marrakech on May 16th, 2023. President Bill Clinton will also join the event as a headline speaker.
Each year the Aviram Awards aims to identify, mentor and support ventures in the region which have the potential to drive significant social and environmental change through innovation and technology. This year’s finalists were selected by impressing the international judging panel with their proposals for ground-breaking technology that will change the world for the better. The finalists are:
- Youssef Bouyakhf, CEO and cofounder of Deepecho (Morocco) which uses AI to assist minimally trained ultrasound technicians in advanced video diagnosis. The product detects birth defects and allows a response to premature birth that includes low birth weight.
- Hilla Ben-Pazi, CEO and cofounder of StrokeAlert (Israel) which makes a wearable, neck monitoring system that can generate automatic alerts for stroke enabling early detection and treatment.
- Gil Davidman, CEO of QD-SOL (Israel) which uses photocatalysts combined with sun light to split hydrogen from water, providing affordable, profitable green hydrogen production that is not dependent on electricity grids.
- Rodrigo Jimenez Sandoval, CEO and cofounder of Polymeron (Saudi Arabia) which produces biodegradable and compostable plastic pellet formulations using the organic waste from the poultry and date farming industries as raw materials. This addresses the problem of plastic pollution as well as providing alternatives to the organic waste disposal and food security concerns in the Middle East.
- Dan Deviri, CEO and cofounder of Carbon Blue (Israel) which provides a solution for removing carbon dioxide from the sea and in turn captures CO2 from the atmosphere. The technology is cheap, compact, energetically efficient, requires no logistics or feedstock, and requires very little maintenance.
The competition provides a springboard for the entrepreneurs of the future to make their breakthrough ideas a reality. The winning start up, one based on an innovative breakthrough and a contribution to humanity, will win a cash prize $500,000, professional mentoring from globally renowned business leader and Founder of the Aviram Foundation, Ziv Aviram, as well media support from Forbes. The second-place winner will be awarded a prize of $100,000, and a prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the third-place winner.
The finalists will now be invited to pitch live on-stage to a judging panel of world-acclaimed business leaders in Marrakech, Morocco on May 16, 2023. Judges at the prestigious event will include Ziv Aviram; Randall Lane, Editor in Chief of Forbes magazine; Melda Akin, Cofounder & CEO of D14.AI; Yassine Laghzioui, CEO of UM6P Ventures and Lamiae Benmakhlouf, Managing Director of MITC.
To qualify for the 2023 Aviram Awards, entrants were required to be the business owner or team leader of a tech start-up—in at least the pre-seed or seed phase—with an established concept that positively impacts humanity, and live in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.