The fund, backed by investors and entrepreneurs from the wider Israeli tech ecosystem, is raising funds to ensure the continuity of promising Israeli startups.
(Courtesy of Iron Nation) Iron Nation, a volunteer emergency impact fund aimed at ensuring the continuity of early-stage Israeli startups, recently announced its launch, signaling an unprecedented war-effort initiative as the Jewish nation reels. The fund, backed by pro-bono volunteers from across Israel’s tech ecosystem and supporters abroad, is raising $20M to support viable startups and entrepreneurs impacted by the recent attack by Hamas and the ensuing war.
The Israel-Hamas war and the subsequent callup of 15-20% of the tech workforce to army reserves raised unprecedented challenges for early-stage startups in Israel. Many promising young companies may now unfairly lose their shot at critical funding at the hands of terror and hatred, forces well outside their control. Iron Nation’s mission is to ensure that highly promising Israeli tech startups, a critical part of the tech ecosystem, can continue to grow during and after this crisis.
“The support for Israel from Jewish and Christian communities abroad following the October 7th attack has been overwhelming. Now that we have entered the second phase of the war, we chose to focus our efforts to support a newly at-risk segment of the startup ecosystem, a symbol of Israel’s economy and resilience,” said Gil Friedlander, co-founder of Iron Nation. “Not only is the tech economy critical to the future of the startup nation, but Israel’s 21st century tech boom has been a shining example of the very best that Israel has to offer to its people and to the world. We encourage more people to join us through investment, donation, or contribution, as we fight for that dream to persist.”
Renowned New York-based venture capitalist Charlie Federman of Silvertech Ventures was among the first to join the Iron Nation investment committee. Supported by the Silverstein family, who rebuilt the World Trade Center that now is home to dozens of Israeli related tech companies through their accelerator and fund, Federman felt a particular calling to support Israeli startups in their time of need.
“In the wake of the 9/11 terror attack, we saw New York at its finest. Thousands stopped what they were doing and simply showed up to volunteer. Israel has just suffered its 9/11 and I am proud to join the ranks of those working to ensure that the Israeli tech industry bounces back to the booming center it was before October 7th,” Federman said.
This initiative is backed by a team of exceptional volunteers from the venture community including Chemi Peres of Pitango Ventures, Federman of SilverTech Ventures, Danny Cohen of Viola Ventures, Moshe Lichtman of IGP Capital, Aaron Applbaum of MizMaa and Calanit Valfer of the Elah Fund. All of them have selflessly joined the Iron Nation investment committee pro-bono.
“Young startups that were primed for an exciting journey are facing unprecedented challenges. Young men and women have been forced to set aside their dreams as an act of duty to their country,” said Chemi Peres, managing partner of Pitango Ventures and chairman of the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation. “The investor community refuses to allow them to be another casualty of this war. The widespread support speaks not only to the resilience of the tech ecosystem but to the belief that we can save a critical segment of the Israeli tech economy while creating a sustainable double-bottom line for investors.”