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‘Critical Moment for Startup Nation’: Global Coalition Unveils New Platform to Support Israeli Tech Amid Gaza War

Israeli national flags flutter near office towers at a business park also housing high tech companies, at Ofer Park in Petah Tikva, Israel, Aug. 27, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

A global coalition of tech companies, entrepreneurs, experts, and investors has launched a new initiative to support Israel’s tech community as the industry faces the impacts of the ongoing war between Israel and the Hamas terror group.

Circles of Dialogue, an online platform and community network, seeks to provide access to more than $100 million in immediate investment capital and free services. So far, major companies and investors from across four continents have joined the effort.

The project offers free access to various resources, capital formation networks, and expert advisers for Israeli tech companies to help them endure the current crisis and succeed after the fighting ends.

Since the outbreak of war with Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, regular business has slowed down significantly. Israel’s business sector has been hit hard, with many finding it next to impossible to work on anything unrelated to the war.

Reserve duty in particular has become a major challenge for business across Israel as more than 350,000 people were called from their homes to join the war, taking them away from work.

“This is a critical moment for the Startup Nation, but Israeli innovation and technology continues to be ripe for lucrative investments,” said investor Ron Suber, a former president of Prosper Marketplace. “I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of Circles of Dialogue to ensure the progress made in the last decade does not falter because of the strife. We want to double down, reinforce our existing investments, and instill confidence in the market for the next generation of Israeli tech companies.”

Tech has become a backbone of Israel’s economy, and a reason why even in global economic crises the Israel economy can remain resilient. Indeed, tech has accounted for 14 percent of jobs in Israel and about a fifth of economic output. Last year, Israeli tech companies raised nearly $16 billion, the highest per capita in the world, after raising $27 billion the previous year. The tech sector also accounted for about half of Israel’s exports and 30 percent of tax revenue.

The Jewish state has consistently been among the world’s ten largest tech ecosystems in terms of funding despite being much smaller than its competitors at the top of the list.

Startup hubs in the country include Tel Aviv, the biggest tech center, followed by Jerusalem and Haifa.

The main goals of Circles of Dialogue are to assist companies in raising money from venture capitalists as well as angel and institutional investors, to drive customer acquisition and retention, and to improve essential services.

Alongside its online platform, Circles for Dialogue will create exclusive networking events to connect members of the global tech community to ensure Israel can remain a formidable teach leader, according to a press release put out by the initiative.

The cohort includes companies and organizations such as Blumberg Capital, Cross River Bank, Propel Ventures, and Tal Ventures, among hundreds of other investors, companies, and founders.

The effort is another example of supporters of Israel both inside and outside the country lending a hand amid the current war.

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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta

Illustrative. Anti-Israel protesters demonstrate outside AIPAC President Michael Tuchin’s vacation home in Los Angeles, Nov. 23, 2023. Photo: Screenshot

i24 NewsA protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.

A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.

JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.

The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.

The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a…

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023

“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.

Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”

“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”

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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed

Relatives and supporters of hostages kidnapped on the deadly October 7 attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, rally for their release, after a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ended when the terrorist group broke it, in Tel Aviv, Israel, December 2, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.

Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.

“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”

Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.

A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.

Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.

More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.

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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist

Illustrative. Palestinian attacker near Nablus hurls stones towards Israeli troops during clashes at a riot in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, May 5, 2017. Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

i24 NewsThe Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.

According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.

During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.

ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.

הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו.

— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023

The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.

It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.

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