For most people two days is a very short period of time to turn an idea into a reality. During this year’s Wacom Inkathon organized by StarTAU fifteen teams were able to just this. These 15 teams were drawn from a pool of 200 contestants. The event took place in the heart of Tel Aviv within the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. This space transformed into a forum of innovative thought. Wacom challenged each team to conceive new ways to use the Wacom technology to inspire an ‘inkless revolution.’

StarTAU hosted a delegation from Wacom consisting of 19 people. This was the first time Wacom has had ‘hands-on’ exposure to the Israeli startup ecosystem. The purpose behind hosting this delegation was to help Wacom gain insight into Israelis domestic entrepreneurial industry and build opportunities for future collaboration. StarTAU works to help host similar delegations in attempts to expose the Israeli ecosystem to international markets and vice-versa.

The participating teams consisted of different startups along with independent innovators. After being grouped together many different ideas began to emerge. Of these ideas two extremely inventive ones emerged at the forefront. They stood out from the rest and won the first place prize, a paid trip to CES Las Vegas 2017 as well as $5000 in prize money. CES is a monumental technology conference geared toward innovators. CES hosts more than 3800 companies and 160,000 attendees from 150 countries. The third place team received $1000 in prize money.

SoundDoodle and CanvasEarth were able to ingeniously integrate Wacom’s technology into avant-garde ideas and both shared first place. Imagine being able to create your own music in an alternative format, or being enabled to leave your mark on a famous site. These ideas created by both teams’ explored ways in which to do these and subsequently placed above the other participating teams. The ideas were pitched in front of a panel of judges.

SoundDoodle utilized Wacom’s technology to allow one create sounds through drawing. With SoundDoodle one goes about drawing lines and curves to create different sounds. This innovation is geared towards a younger crowd, allowing young people almost endless possibilities of creating alternative music with their hands. The sound and pitch of each doodle can be altered furthermore by a combination of length and color.

The third placed team Presense used Wacom’s technology for a medical application. They were able to determine neurological diseases based on ones writing, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. Applying Wacom’s technology in this context is extremely intuitive.

CanvasEarth took Wacom’s technology and immersed it in virtual reality. With CanvasEarth one can use their imagination and leave their mark on almost anything they want, how cool is that. Imagine being able to draw onto whatever you want through the lens of your smartphone? With CanvasEarth you can and you can even share your creation with your friends. CanvasEarth allows you to leave your personal touch, however you like wherever you like.

The Inkathon was a huge success. StarTAU was able to build Wacom’s presence in Israel by welcoming their first delegation from Japan and seeing innovative ideas develop. StarTAU strives to host events similar to this Inkathon – you can find out more here in addition to pictures from this year’s Inkathon.

On behalf of StarTAU and Wacom, thank you to everyone who took part in this Inkathon, whether as a participant or as a mentor. We were inspired with the innovative ideas and applicable concepts that evolved throughout the competition. If you are still interested to take part in our Inkathon, we encourage you to join our online competition beginning in August 2016.

.Evan Is a fourth year Commerce Student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He is a Summer Intern within StarTAU's International Relations Department

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