For years, Cap. (res.) Tal Tinichigiu-Abergil trained combat soldiers at a school for fighting terrorism on how to hit the target with their weapons.
Only after she finished a long term of duty in the IDF shooting unit and becoming a civilian did she realize that shooting, an integral part of her life since she first became a soldier, had not changed for decades. Firearms made important strides during this time with the addition of accessories such as advanced optical sights, lightweight butts and handles for rifles, more convenience, and especially significant improvement in performance.
This realization led to a phone call from Tinichigiu-Abergil to her former commander, Brig. Gen. (res.) Oren Avman.
Married with a baby, Tinichigiu-Abergil's final three years of service were as Avman's military assistant. Since they finished their military service, Tinichigiu-Abergil and Avman have kept in touch, but this call was devoted to their joint venture: a startup named Double Shoot.
Double Shoot aims to simplify and streamline zeroing processes for rifles and pistols using a unique guaranteed app that can be installed on the weapon bearer's smartphone.
15 months ago Avman, 50, finished a long period of IDF service in which he filled a number of senior posts, including division commander, commander of the IDF company and battalion commanders’ course and head of the IDF TRADOC (training & doctrine) division. "This transition from general to entrepreneur is a big event that takes getting used to," he told "Globes." "Double Shoot is my first business venture, and it's slowly starting to develop and take more and more time. In military terms, it's already taking 200% of my time."
Several months since that call between Tinichigiu-Abergil and Avman, the idea began to gather momentum. Previously comfortable around dusty firing ranges, they started learning how to operate from the 50th floor of a prestigious Ramat Gan office building. "I'm mature enough to know what I don't know and Tal is young enough to realize that there are things that she doesn't know, so we studied the subject," Avman explains. "I'm an autodidact, I like to learn by myself, and Tal went to entrepreneurs' school to study how to create a startup."
"It's an excuse for both of us to get back to firing ranges and shooting," interjects Tal.
The app that they developed is adapted to zeroing several types of weapons, including the M-16, the short M-4, and the Negev, on which a variety of sights are installed, including the Mepro Mor, Lior, and MARS sights.
They have registered a patent for the app that they developed. They say using it greatly shortens the zeroing process for weapons, which is liable to take three hours in the case of zeroing weapons of an entire platoon of soldiers. "The app requires a photocopy of the target page. A burst of four shots is fired at the desired impact point, after which the app seeks to photocopy the target page a second time using advance image processing technology that identifies the impact points, marks the average impact point in relation to the desired impact point, and accurately instructs the shooter how to adjust his or her sight. The next time the shooter fires, the rifle will already be zeroed. This saves many firing range hours and a lot of money spent on ammunition - a 5.56-mm bullet costs NIS 1.90," Avman says.
Avman and Tinichigiu-Abergil say that the app is also good for use in shooting practice according to the regular training program. The data about each shooter's performance is stored in a regular file with segmenting, statistics, and the ability to alert soldiers who have not fired for an extended period. If they ignore the alert, their commander receives it several days later.
"You can't compete with the algorithms and advanced technology on which this app is based; they do it better, faster, and for less money than the way we've done it up until now," Tinichigiu-Abergil says about the application that she and Avman are offering the IDF and other security forces, including the police.
Double Shoot's main target market, however, is the US civilian market: "US civilians currently possess five million M-4 rifles. In the past, they were so afraid of reforms led by former President Barack Obama to restrict rifles that they bought huge quantities of rifles," Avman says.
In less than one month, Tinichigiu-Abergil and Avman will unveil their app and its capabilities at the AUSA security exhibition in Washington.
They raised their initial capital last April. "We had no offices, and the company was only a good idea and a presentation," Avman remembers. "We got our family and friends together and raised NIS 500,000 after we also brought our own money."
Double Shoot later raised NIS 1.2 million from angels and is now conducting its third financing round for marketing the company's system in Israel and abroad.
What with raising the necessary capital and developing the app so that it would operate consistently and reliably, Tinichigiu-Abergil and Avman found themselves spending hours and days at the Mitkan Adam firing range, challenging the app with various scenarios in order to test its durability.
Tinichigiu-Abergil was in an advanced state of pregnancy at the time, trying to separate between the births she was expecting - her first daughter and the company to carrying the product based on the idea she had steered. "When I shot on the firing range, the baby in my womb was upset at the noise and kicked in response," she said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 25, 2018
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