Iron Nation, a volunteer emergency impact fund, has announced its launch with the aim of raising $20 million USD to support early-stage Israeli start-ups impacted by the recent attack by Hamas and the ensuing war. Unlike traditional funds, Iron Nation collects no management fee or carried interest. It has garnered support from notable figures in the venture community, including Chemi Peres of Pitango Ventures, Charlie 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 whom have joined the investment committee on a pro-bono basis.
The recent Israel-Hamas war and the mobilization of 15-20% of the tech workforce into reserves posed significant challenges to early-stage start-ups in Israel. Iron Nation’s mission is to ensure that highly promising Israeli tech start-ups with established venture backing, a vital part of the tech ecosystem, can continue to grow during and after this crisis.
Renowned New York-based venture capitalist Charlie Federman, supported by the Silverstein family, who played a significant role in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center housing many Israeli tech companies, has joined the Iron Nation investment committee. Federman expressed his commitment to supporting Israeli start-ups during this challenging time, drawing parallels to the unity observed in New York after the 9/11 terror attack.
Eligible start-ups can apply for support through Iron Nation’s website, with applications processed and vetted within two weeks by the investment committee. Iron Nation will also actively enhance its investment through a dedicated investment-matching program with the Israel Innovation Authority and the start-ups’ existing investors.
Chemi Peres, Managing Partner of Pitango Ventures and Chairman of the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation, emphasized the importance of not allowing these start-ups to become casualties of the war, highlighting the investor community’s resilience in supporting them.
Iron Nation, led by Gil Friedlander, collects no management fees and no carried interest. Its volunteer-based approach allows it to maximize support to early-stage Israeli tech start-ups. Friedlander encouraged others to join their efforts through investment, donation, or contribution to drive the Israeli tech ecosystem forward, both in Israel and abroad, underscoring the critical role of the tech economy in the nation’s prosperity.