‘Modern-day Zionism to reboot the financial downturn’ - opinion

Thirtieth GoforIsrael conference to take place on May 3rd in Tel Aviv.

 Edouard Cukierman, Chairman of Cukierman & Co. Investment House and Managing Partner of Catalyst Investments.  (photo credit: GOFORISRAEL)
Edouard Cukierman, Chairman of Cukierman & Co. Investment House and Managing Partner of Catalyst Investments.
(photo credit: GOFORISRAEL)

Excitement is building for the 30th GoforIsrael event which will take place next week at the Hilton in Tel Aviv. This prestigious gathering will feature one thousand participants. Five hundred entrepreneurs from various sectors, spanning from newly launched start-ups to established unicorn companies. With hundreds of leading international investors and corporations in attendance. The stage is set for an incredible opportunity to showcase innovative ideas and connect with potential investors. The event is hosted by Cukierman & Co. Investment House and Catalyst Investments.

We didn’t imagine that we would be celebrating this exciting milestone in such challenging times of uncertainty and economic difficulties. Israel’s ultimate economic strength is in its tech companies and innovation ecosystem. Current events have an impact, but we are quite optimistic that things will be resolved, and we will find an acceptable solution.

The 30th GoforIsrael event will embody the spirit of modern Zionism, as represented by Israel's dynamic and thriving high-tech ecosystem - the beating heart of our country. International business and our love for Israel will bring us together as a nation, enabling us to overcome the present challenges we face.

GoforIsrael 2019 Conference - Team picture (Credit: PR GOFORSRAEL)GoforIsrael 2019 Conference - Team picture (Credit: PR GOFORSRAEL)

The event is scheduled on May 3rd with opening remarks being given by President Isaac Herzog. This year's GoforIsrael Achievement Prize will be presented to Mobileye and its founder Amnon Shashua, recognizing their significant impact on Israeli high-tech. Catalyst Investments is honored to have been the only venture capital firm to invest in Mobileye, with Yair Shamir, a founding and managing partner of Catalyst Investments, serving as a board member. Mobileye is currently the company with the largest market cap of all Israeli companies.

65 tech companies have been invited to pitch their start-ups at the conference. Investors can sign up for one-on-one meetings. Representatives from leading global corporations across various sectors will participate in panels discussing topics such as "Israel M&A," "The Impact of Economic and Regional Changes on the Israeli High-Tech Industry," and "Fundraising in Challenging Times," among others.

Over the past three decades, we have learned that the best funds are the ones that start immediately after a crisis. That is why we are quite confident about the venture fund we are launching. We have recently made three initial investments from the fund, and we plan to be very bullish in the upcoming months to make additional investments.

We are proud to declare ourselves Zionists. Zionism is a fundamental principle of GoforIsrael, as well as in the philosophies of Catalyst Investments and Cukierman & Co. Investment House. Yair Shamir, who attained the rank of Colonel after serving as a pilot and commander in the Israeli Air Force, was elected as a member of the 19th Knesset and served as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for the State of Israel. Edouard Cukierman served for many years as a reserve officer in the Crisis and Hostage Negotiation team and in the Spokesperson's Unit of the IDF. He serves as the Chairman of Sar-El, a non-profit service organization that provides an opportunity for Israeli citizens and non-citizens to participate in a service program similar to national service, without enlisting in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Established in 1993, Cukierman & Co. is the largest Israeli investment house with thirty professionals. It offers a range of services, including M&A, Private Placements, Public Offerings, Family Office, and Consulting Services to Israeli and global clients. With over $10 billion in completed transaction values, it boasts one of the largest Corporate Finance teams in Israel with dedicated experts in the Life Sciences, Technology, New Mobility, Climate Tech, and Real Estate industries. The Life Sciences team, headed by Dr, Laurent Choppe, has ten professionals, including three medical doctors, most of whom are immigrants.

Catalyst is a prominent multi-fund firm based in Israel with over 24 years of experience in investing in mature, disruptive technology companies that have an Israel nexus. Established in 1999, it is currently the only fund still operating with the same managing partners. Catalyst III, the latest fund, resulted in five exits out of eight investments, with four going public in America and one through M&A.

Past events have featured political figures such as Benjamin Netanyahu, Yair Lapid, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Gantz and Naftali Bennett. The event has also seen key figures from global high-tech companies like Google, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Orange, Merck, and Bosch, among others. This year, we are honored to host Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Hang Lung Properties, as well as leaders from Italian and German banks such as Banca Generali and Hauck Aufhäuser Lampe.

The Israeli tech scene is currently very attractive for investments and acquisitions as the markets are down and valuations have dramatically decreased. Furthermore, global tech companies willing to take risks are actively looking for M&A opportunities that are now appealing. Despite market uncertainty, we believe Israel’s diverse and impressive supply of breakthrough technology start-ups will continue to prevail and remain a stable and safe investment. We have to adjust our investment policies and outlook, but the fact that Catalyst has had the same managing partners and has been operating continuously for over 24 years has enabled them to weather multiple crises and know how to react when one arises. Part of our strength comes from the fact that we’ve been sticking together for so long.

At the event, Catalyst will celebrate the closing of the Catalyst IV Fund and the launching of the Catalyst Investors' Club.

This article was written by Edouard Cukierman, chairman of Cukierman & Co. Investment House and a founding and managing partner of Catalyst Investments and Caleb Rubinson Director of Investments at Catalyst Investments.