Israel hosts 'pitch in the dark' startup competition

Israel hosts 'pitch in the dark' startup competition

Startups from across Israel made their way to Jaffa this week for a Citi and Visa sponsored competition with a twist: the event took place in pitch black.

In total, 21 teams took to the 'Pitch in the Dark' stage, carrying out blind, five minute presentations to judges who then grilled them. Finalists then had to redo their pitches from behind a curtain for the chance to be crowned champions.

The event was designed to ensure that pitchers were judged purely on their technology, without the usual biases and prejudices that seep into human interactions and without any of the usual aids such as screens for slides and videos.

Tsafrir Attar, head of Citi’s accelerator in Israel and a competition judge, told the Times of Israel: "The idea of the competition is to promote diversity. What you hear is the idea, the technology, the product."

The winner was Tel Aviv-based Avenews-GT, which has created a blockchain-based digital trading platform that lets commercial sellers and buyers of agricultural produce to transact directly with each other.

Its prize is a trip to the US or London to meet with Citi execs and potential investors.

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