Startup nation: accelerating innovation

April 15, 2019

560 words 4 mins

Israel has earned the “Startup Nation” moniker. A simple stroll through the streets of Tel Aviv unmasks a buzz of activity issuing from countless coffee shops and coworking spaces packed with startup prodigies.

There are an estimated 6,000 startups in Israel helping shape the industries of tomorrow. And each year around 200 of the top startups meet with our AT&T Foundry team in Ra’anana. That’s part of our mission –creating and cultivating relationships with the external ecosystem is what we do.

Our team acts as AT&T’s eyes and ears into the startup and venture capital communities, allowing us to bring the most revolutionary global innovation to our customers. We work closely with startup collaborators to rapidly de-risk and scale up market-shifting solutions to serve customers worldwide.

A recent example of our work is with Tel Aviv-based Vorpal. This intriguing startup developed a platform called VigilAir, a drone situational awareness solution that detects, locates and tracks drones. As drone usage becomes increasingly more prevalent, monitoring them and providing an accurate real-time (or near-time) picture of drone activity in any given area will be essential to secure airports, protect critical assets, and maintain public safety while also enabling the many commercial use cases that require drone flights beyond visual line of sight.

“As drone usage becomes more prevalent in the future, monitoring them and providing an accurate real-time or near-time picture of drone activity in any given area will be essential to public safety.”

Recognizing the vast potential for VigilAir, we spent time with the Vorpal team to learn more about this cutting-edge solution. From the suburban Tel Aviv home of a Vorpal executive, we, along with the executive’s wife, children and newborn baby, were able to watch VigilAir in action, and we immediately recognized an opportunity to help scale this transformative technology.

Vorpal’s 12-member team has leveraged its knowledge and expertise to develop a solution that has already been successfully deployed in complex environments across the globe, including in Singapore, Israel and New York City.  For applications in which every millisecond counts, however, AT&T’s edge computing and 5G technologies can unlock even greater value for Vorpal and its customers, providing a highly scalable, minimal latency backbone to optimize VigilAir’s performance.

With this in mind, the AT&T Foundry team has worked with Vorpal over the past four months to determine how best to use edge computing to help take VigilAir to the next level. This can potentially be the infrastructure that enables the materialization of the “drone dream” and make technologies such as drone deliveries and air taxis possible.

The hard work is already beginning to pay off. At Mobile World Congress 2019, Vorpal announced their solution using the AT&T network. “The Foundry identified use cases and the connection between edge compute and what we’re doing,” said Vorpal founder and CEO Nir Raz. “They made this collaboration visible and doable. This experience has been amazing.”

Our journey with Vorpal is truly representative of the kind of work we do at AT&T Foundry. We aim to catalyze innovation with impact for our customers, our company and for our startup collaborators.

We’re continuing our ongoing collaboration with Vorpal as they enter the next phase of their evolution.  By testing their VigilAir solution in our Plano, Texas-based edge computing environment, advising them on working within large enterprises, and introducing them to venture capitalists, AT&T is partnering with Vorpal as they – quite literally – take to the skies.

View more stories