In a gesture of solidarity and support for the Israeli tech sector in the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas massacres, 65 senior executives from US technology, venture capital and private equity firms, joined an Israel Tech Mission, December 17-20.
Organized by David Siegel, CEO of Meetup.com, and Ron Miasnik, investor at Bain Capital, the visit included strategic planning sessions and engagements with business and governmental leaders.
They also spoke with Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin, parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, a hostage still held in Gaza; visited the Brothers and Sisters for Israel Civilian Volunteer Center; met refugees from destroyed southern kibbutzim; and met with soldiers.
“After October 7th, we feel it is critical for venture capital and technology business leaders to stand with Israel. That means more than donating, but also being present to say that we have always been and will always be there to support Israel’s flourishing tech ecosystem. We will invest and continue to stand with Start-Up Nation,” said Siegel.
He noted that the trip was oversubscribed.
“The technology community recognizes the heightened need for support, as many Israeli entrepreneurs and their workforces are on the frontlines as reservists,” Siegel said.
“In every war there are multiple fronts,” added Miasnik. “The attendees of this mission are here to help counter the war’s economic disruption. We are focused on supporting and helping rebuild Israel’s world-class tech industry.”
The Israel Tech Mission itinerary kicked off with dinner with Michael Eisenberg, founder and managing partner of VC fund Aleph.
“Smart investors understand Israel’s resilience and that today is actually the perfect time to invest in Israel,” said Eisenberg. “The arrival and support of this incredible group of investors and executives are very meaningful for Israel’s business ecosystem and for all of us personally. These personal and economic relationships will be crucial for building a better future.”
Among other leaders, mission participants met with Mellanox Cofounder/CEO Eyal Waldman, whose daughter Danielle was one of the massacre victims; Start-Up Nation Central CEO Avi Hasson; Pitango Managing Partner/Cofounder Chemi Peres; Former IDF Chief of General Staff Aviv Kohavi; former Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz, now chairman of MAOZ; Israeli NBA Player and venture capitalist Omri Casspi; and several government ministers.
The delegation spent part of the time in Tel Aviv, where they visited “Hostage Square” outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and part of the time in Jerusalem.
Some opted to remain for a fifth day, during which they did volunteering, had lunch with Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Chairman Eugene Kandel, and went to the President’s Residence in Jerusalem to meet with President Isaac Herzog.