Today: Apr 17, 2024

8200 Alumni Association: Unite for startups’ success

4 months ago

At Calcalist’s 2024 Forecasts event in Tel Aviv, CEO of the 8200 Alumni Association, Chen Shmilo, discussed the importance of supporting early-stage startups and small businesses amidst the war in Gaza. He acknowledged the positive response of the Israel Innovation Authority in providing grants for startups and addressing market failures, but stressed the need for a “joint effort” by the government, private companies, and venture capitalists to maintain and increase a diverse tech ecosystem.

Shmilo emphasized the importance of encouraging people from underrepresented communities to join the tech ecosystem and promoting employment and career opportunities among these communities. He expressed concern about not letting go of the progress made in diversifying the landscape of entrepreneurs in Israel before the war and stated that there is still a lot of work to be done in that regard.

In addition to members of the 8200 Alumni Association serving in reserve units since 7/10, Shmilo noted that the organization has shifted its social programs to support the current needs of Israeli society. This includes forming a special batch of the small businesses program and supporting alumni companies of the accelerator program. The organization also works to connect startups to mentors and investment opportunities in collaboration with the Israel Innovation Association.

Shmilo provided an overview of the 8200 Alumni Association, stating that it is the formal graduate organization of Unit 8200 in the Israeli Defense Forces. The association has 24,000 members and primarily focuses on benefiting Israeli society as a whole.