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Wellness and the Metaverse: Global Wellness Summit Announces Groundbreaking “Call for Innovation” Competition

This is the first-ever global competition for innovators pioneering a new era for health and wellness in the metaverse and Web3; Will be judged by a high-profile panel of experts and is co-sponsored by WellTech Ventures and Meta

Miami, FL – August 11, 2022 – The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the most prestigious conference on the $4.4 trillion business of wellness, today announced the focus of its 3rd annual Call for Innovation competition: Wellness and the Metaverse. This is the first global competition for startups and established companies now creating health and wellness solutions and experiences for the emerging metaverse and Web3.

Submissions will be judged by a heavy-hitter group of ten international CEOs, business leaders and venture capitalists in the wellness and tech spaces. These include two top executives in charge of tech startups and wellbeing at Meta, the head of the Technological Infrastructure Division at the Israeli Innovation Institute, and the Head of Strategy at Nike Data Science Innovation. The “Global Wellness Summit Prize” will be awarded at the conference being held at the Hilton Tel Aviv from October 31 to November 3.

The Call for Innovation was founded in 2020 by the GWS and WellTech Ventures, Israel’s leading fund focused exclusively on investing in the wellness space. WellTech Ventures has sponsored the competition since 2020, and this year they’re spearheading the competition in addition to being host sponsor of the Tel Aviv Summit. The GWS, and Meta (formerly Facebook), the global multinational whose technologies help more than three billion people connect, find communities, and grow businesses, are also sponsors.

“It’s our pleasure to lead another GWS Call for Innovation this year together with Meta,” said Amir Alroy, co-founder of WellTech Ventures. “The focus on health and wellness in the metaverse is timely: It’s already a key aspect of the emerging metaverse and it’s going to make even more of an impact in the next few years because it enables a whole new patient experience and a much more immersive approach to health and wellness.”

“We’re excited to partner with WellTech Ventures and the Global Wellness Summit for this Call for Innovation,” said Omer Rosenblum, Head of Wellbeing Vertical at Meta. “The last few years have sharpened our focus on our health and our wellbeing. We are seeing digital health and wellness at the forefront of innovation and becoming one of the leading sectors of the metaverse–with fitness, mental health and mindfulness startups utilizing XR capabilities to deliver impact to users. This is just the beginning and we’re excited to see what lies ahead for the wellness industry.” 

The ‘Why’ of the Competition & How It Works:

The metaverse, a profound digital platform shift, is becoming the multi-trillion-dollar frontier for a more engaged virtual world. A recent report from McKinsey & Co. forecast that annual consumer and business global spending within the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030. Health and wellness will be one of the metaverse’s bright spots, with emerging technologies such as virtual, augmented and merged reality, haptics, blockchain, gamification, and crypto (together with many still unrealized technologies and behaviors) that will better engage more and more people in health and wellness experiences.

Every sector in the global wellness economy–whether it’s fitness, travel, beauty, mental wellness, medical-wellness, nutrition, or employee wellness–has a huge opportunity in the coming metaverse. The competition encourages companies that are innovating new metaverse and Web3 solutions in any wellness sector to apply–from early-stage startups to large, established companies. The winner will have

the opportunity to present their concept to the hundreds of global industry leaders gathered at the Summit.

The contest is now open and closes Sept. 20, 2022. APPLY HERE.

Call for Innovation Winners Are Already Achieving Great Things:

The GWS launched the Call for Innovation competition in 2020, and the first winner, Ilan Samish and his company Amai Proteins, are now disrupting the food industry with their protein-based sugar substitute, a brilliant new weapon in fighting the metabolic health crisis. Amai Proteins recently won the 2022 Extreme Tech Challenge, the largest global competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges, where tech legend Bill Gates delivered the keynote at the global finals. Samish will keynote at the 2022 GWS on their next moves in inventing a healthier future for food.

A Powerful Lineup of Judges:

Amir Alroy, co-founder of Welltech Ventures, the Israeli fund building impactful startups in the wellness space, and co-chair of this year’s Global Wellness Summit in Israel.

Galit Horovitz, co-founder of Welltech Ventures, who has extensive experience in business development and international M&A, working with technology, finance and consulting companies.

Nir Orren, Group Director of tech and startups at Meta in Israel, leading a team that supports startups at all stages, and helps them scale.

Omer Rosenblum, Client Partner and head of the Wellbeing Vertical at Meta in Israel, who leads business growth, marketing and strategy for a wide variety of companies in fitness and sports tech, nutrition, mental health, lifestyle, mindfulness, and more.

Aviv Zeevi, VP and head of the Technological Infrastructure Division at the Israel Innovation Institute, where he is responsible for generating collaborations between industry and academia to create advanced technologies and innovative products.

Anthony Diaz, founder & CEO of Passion for Health, who has over a decade of leadership experience in healthcare, global product and platform development, and digital consumer engagement.

Judith Halioua, head of strategy at Nike Data Science Innovation and the liaison between the Israeli startup ecosystem and Nike in Israel.

Mia Kyricos, president and chief love officer (CEO) of Kyricos & Associates, LLC, with twenty years of experience advising wellness, travel/hospitality and healthy lifestyle brands across 100+ countries. She is also founding chair of the Global Wellness Institute’s new Web 3.0 Initiative.

Frank Pitsikalis, VP of strategy for Agilysys, a leading provider of enterprise software for the hospitality industry and founder and former CEO of the recently-acquired ResortSuite, the world’s first software built specifically for wellness-driven hotel, resort, spa, golf and club operations.

Dean Rubin, CTO of the metaverse wellness center Yoga Bulldogz, a backend engineer who manages multiple development teams worldwide. He is a Web3 expert who has contributed to projects like HawsHouse, Okashi, Green Farm Factory and Toyota Dream Car.

“This competition has become a signature element of every Summit and I’m deeply grateful to Welltech Ventures for their continued support, and delighted to welcome Meta as a sponsor this year,” said Nancy Davis, GWS chief creative officer and executive director. “The pandemic has spurred the wellness industry to be less tech-averse and our organization wants to drive early innovation in what promises to be a fascinating intersection between wellness and the metaverse.”

Registration for the 2022 Summit is open.


About the Global Wellness Summit —The Global Wellness Summit is the premier organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $4.4 trillion global wellness economy. Its future-focused conference is held at a different global location each year and has traveled to the United States, Switzerland, Turkey, Bali, India, Morocco, Mexico, Austria, Italy and Singapore. GWS also hosts other virtual and in-person gatherings, including Wellness Master Classes, Wellness Sector Spotlights, Investor “Reverse Pitch” events and Global Wellness Symposiums. The organization’s annual Global Wellness Trends Report offers expert-based predictions on the future of wellness. The 2022 Summit will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel from October 31 to November 3.