Guy’s story is part of Startup Nation United, a series showcasing how individuals and organizations have united under a common vision to do their part during the ongoing war. The podcast is produced and moderated by Michael Matias and Yaffa Abadi, in collaboration with CTech, as a spin-off of the popular podcast series “20 Minutes Leaders”, also published in collaboration with CTech.
When the rockets woke up Guy and his partner that Shabbat nearly two months ago, it took only a handful of hours before he had jumped into action. After learning about the atrocities that occurred at the Nova Festival Guy reached out to his good friend Nimrod Arnin, the producer of the festival, to make sure he was alive, and do what he could to help. Together with Nimrod and other producers of the festival, they gathered in the office of Walnut, a high-tech startup that provided their beautiful space free of charge, setting up an operations room and mobilizing efforts.
Their actions since that day have included locating 40 people who initially went missing in those first hours of chaos at the festival, raising over $250,000 in donations to purchase and deliver equipment to the IDF, and providing for those displaced from communities in the North and South. With a group of over 200 dedicated volunteers and more than 50 tech companies, it is an operation of efficiency and high impact, like the heart of our Startup Nation.
Alongside their High Tech Operations Room, Guy and his team at Fusion have made it priority number one to support their founders in whatever ways they can.
Pre-seed startups, by nature, are in that delicate space of establishing their business foundations. On top of that, many team members of these early-stage startups have reported to reserves, and the general chaos, unease, and stress brought on by functioning in a war makes this a complicated period. As Guy puts it, “These companies are not yet at a point where it’s necessarily a well-oiled machine. There are a lot of moving pieces and now the added complexity of wartime emergency. As entrepreneurs, we have to be even more resilient.”
With over 100 early-stage startups, the Fusion team is doing all in its power to guide them through these objective hardships, as Guy explains, “We immediately started to do what we know how to do best, which is to create a platform for them, whether we are talking about workshops, content, connections, or just a safe space for them to share.”
Fusion has organized sessions with psychologists, therapists, and organizational coaches to help their founders navigate this complex situation and learn the tools to function as best as possible in wartime. Fusion has also invested in nine new companies and made three follow-on investments since the war began, amplifying the resilience of this country and their belief in our Startup Nation.
However, Guy’s contributions extend beyond establishing the High Tech Operations Room and supporting his founders during this time. Guy was called to serve in Miluim a few days after the war began, and continues to balance his reserve duty, his Operations Room initiative, and his role as a support to Fusion’s pre-seed company.
With the bird’s eye view that Guy has on our Startup Nation, he remains optimistic, proud, and in awe of how Israeli entrepreneurs and our society as a whole navigate forward from within these most difficult times.
“When you look at the grand scheme of things, Israel is a miracle. A country with the numbers that we have in terms of GDP, startups per capita, the amount of money that has been invested in the tech ecosystem, and the number of unicorns and startups and companies that have IPOs on Wall Street. And when you look at it from a historical point of view, you have a war or a military operation here every two to three years. It’s just crazy that despite all of that, the economy is thriving, the cost of living is going up, the quality of living is improving, and all the civil systems, including the economy and the tech industry itself, are growing consecutively over the last few decades.”
With the incredibly active role Guy has played in serving Israel and its citizens on multiple fronts and his unwavering belief in the resilience of our people, Guy, the volunteers of the Operations Room, and the team at Fusion are all shining examples of how we push through, no matter what.
Yaffa Abadi is the founder and CEO of Abadi Brands, a boutique consultancy specializing in personal branding and thought leadership for investors.
Michael Matias, Forbes 30 Under 30, is the CEO of Clarity, a startup that preserves trust in digital media by fighting deepfakes, and an active angel investor in the AI and Cyber domain.