The 21st Maccabiah, Israel’s biggest sporting event, kicked off Thursday and will run until July 28. Held once every four years with participation from Israeli and Jewish athletes from around the world, the Maccabiah is expected to include around 10,000 athletes. from around 60 countries who will be participating in dozens of sports, as well as thousands of support staff, fans and tourists.
The games will also showcase a number of Israeli sports tech startups, which will exhibit at a special Maccabiah event at the Silvan Adams National Velodrome in Tel Aviv on July 19. The free event (with a pre-booked ticket) will allow the public an informal encounter with the Israeli sports tech scene and will feature Israeli tech companies that are leaders in the global industry and represent groundbreaking developments in various fields, including sports medicine, performance enhancement, broadcast and media, statistics, fan technologies, etc.
Here is a profile of some of the innovative sports startups that will be participating in the event:
Product: Pixellot develops automatic AI-based video and analysis solutions for the semi-professional sports market.
Funding: $248M (according to Crunchbase)
Founders: Gal Oz (CEO), Miky Tamir
The scope of the Maccabiah Games is immense. The 14-day tournament will cover 42 sports at some 30 different venues across Israel. On July 5, Pixellot announced that it is partnering with the Maccabi World Union to release Maccabiah games, which will be available to watch on YouTube, for the first time.
Pixellot has developed systems that can assist in high quality coverage of team sports without the need for camera operators or producers. Its system automatically captures, produces and broadcasts games and highlights to any device, live or on-demand. Currently, there are approximately 18,000 Pixellot systems deployed by broadcasters, production companies, clubs, federations, universities, high schools, sports portals and coaching solution providers worldwide.
Product: The company combines small, portable light pods with an app to aid in a variety of sports and exercise activities to help with physical and cognitive fitness.
Funding: $9.8M (according to Crunchbase)
Founder: Yaniv Shneiderman (CEO)
The company has developed an innovative physical and cognitive training platform, which allows athletes and trainees to improve their performance, react faster and more effectively. The platform consists of signaling modules, controlled by an interactive app that can be fully customized for any sports, fitness or therapy applications. The initial goal of the solution was to develop an interactive game for children to get them off screens. It quickly became apparent that the enormous potential inherent in the solution could make it a much-loved platform in the world of professional sports.
Product: RSPCT uses high-precision basketball shot tracking to improve player shooting, team decisions, fan engagement and more, at every level
Founder: Oren Moravchik (CEO)
RSPCT Basketball Technologies Ltd. is developing a small sensor that turns basketball hoops into smart hoops that track on-court shot percentages, as well as the accuracy and full trajectory of each shot in real time. RSPCT then transforms this data into actionable information for players and coaches. RSPCT’s technology is already being used by several NBA teams, according to company statements. Since the company’s technology computerizes the basket, players can practice on their own while sharing accurate results with their coaches. RSPCT is backed by NBA star Chris Paul and former NBA players JJ Redick and Larry Hughes.
Product: Mindfly is an AI-powered cloud platform and AI body camera that provides the fan with gaming experience from gamers’ point of view.
Funding: $1.3M (according to Crunchbase)
Founders: Eran Tal (CEO), Yehuda Elmaliach (CTO)
MindFly is an end-to-end automated solution that allows sports fans to watch video content from a first-person player’s perspective. The company produced a tiny body camera that is part of a compression shirt worn by the player at various sporting events, documenting the player’s point of view. The content rises in the cloud and through the use of AI, the content is edited into high quality videos (clips), suitable for any social platform such as Instagram, Tiktok, YouTube.
In May, MindFly announced that the EuroLeague, Europe’s premier professional basketball league, had reached an agreement with the company for players in the upcoming season to be fitted with an AI-powered MindFly body camera. during matches, allowing fans to watch, hear, and experience everything their favorite players are doing on the pitch.
Product: PlayerMaker is the developer of a smart wearable football tracker designed for players who want to improve their performance by analyzing their stats. PlayerMaker sensors are placed directly on the shoes, allowing data capture of the player’s foot-ball interactions whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors.
Funding: $50M (according to Crunchbase)
Founders: Guy Aharon (CEO), Sivan Postelnik, Moran Gad
PlayerMaker, incorporated as Motionize Israel Ltd., develops a data-driven football training tool designed to analyze physical, technical and biomechanical performance metrics. To collect data, PlayerMaker uses motion sensors fitted to players’ shoes to track metrics such as gait and ball contact. PlayerMaker’s technology is used by teams such as the Argentina National Olympic Team, Manchester City and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv FC.
Product: AI-powered brain training technology that improves athlete performance
Funding: $1.2M (according to Crunchbase)
Founder: Konstantin Sonkin (CEO)
i-BrainTech develops a brain training system for athletes – a computer game controlled solely by brain activity. For example, it helps soccer players improve their game by boosting brain activity off the pitch during training sessions. Using a unique headset and screen, players can log on, “reflect” on their tactics, and watch an online avatar run the game on the screen. The innovative technology not only helps professional athletes improve their performance, but also helps injured players maintain their skills and return to high-level activity faster. I-BrainTech’s systems are now integrated into the training program of teams at the highest level, including some of the world’s top leagues, such as the Premier League and MLS.