London Stock Exchange chief ‘humbled’ by resilience of Israeli tech sector

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London Stock Exchange chief ‘humbled’ by resilience of Israeli tech sector

Tom Attenborough and deputy PM Oliver Dowden pledge support for UK-Israel trade ties at London business summit

Tom Attenborough, head of international primary markets at the London Stock Exchange Group, said the resilience that Israel and Jewish communities worldwide have shown since 7 October has been “astonishing and humbling.”

Speaking on Thursday at the inaugural Restart IL summit  – to help revive the nation’s  economy by connecting leading UK investors with Israeli startups – Attenborough said: “This resilience has not been any clearer than in the world of the Israeli technology sector, which continues to deliver despite the impact that businesses continue to have both on their staff, and on their leadership during these times.”

At the summit, held in cooperation with the Israeli Embassy, Economic Office and UK Israel Business, around 30 Israeli startups and entrepreneurs from the world of AI, climate tech, cybersecurity, agritech and foodtech, presented their technology to over 200 British private and institutional investors and business leaders.

Attenborough noted how the London Stock Exchange has a long history of supporting Israeli companies – 23 are currently listed, with a total market capital of $9 billion.

He urged the Israeli entrepreneurs present to “keep doing what you do best, continue to innovate and show that resilience and fighting spirit, and continue to inspire and humble those of us that hopefully play our own small role in helping finance you at the right time.

“Please see us as friends and as a home to have that discussion and debate. We hope to be seeing many of you again on a platform not just to finance your business but to amplify those businesses on a global scale.”

Also among the speakers were Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, who demonstrated support of the UK’s relationship with Israel and the business ties between the two countries, especially in the tech sector.

Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely, UK Israel Business chair Danny Kessler and its executive director Dor Bershadsky also spoke. Their resounding message was of hope and optimism and that Israel’s economy will come back from this crisis stronger than before. There was also a video address from Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Izhar Shay has pledged to create a startup in memory of his son Yaron and the 1,119 others killed on 7 October

As part of the conference, esteemed tech entrepreneur Izhar Shay, whose son Yaron was killed in the 7 October Hamas attacks, officially launched his project, Next October – a mission to create 1,200 new Israeli startups, one in memory of every fallen soldier and murdered civilian of the 7 October massacre. Each one bearing the name of someone who was killed.

Yaron, who would have turned 22 this week (Wednesday) was stationed on the southern Gaza border with his specialist Nahal Commander unit. In a chilling twist of irony, their mission had been to keep the peace in the area. They were looking after Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

Shay, the former Minister of Science and Technology, and his son Ophir, presented the initiative to the audience comprising over 200 entrepreneurs, investors and business professionals.

They plan to establish around 600 of the tech-for-good startups this year, and more than 1,200 by 2025. Around 150 companies, including Meta, OurCrowd and Pitango, have already been confirmed as partners.

Izhar Shay and his son Ophir (Yaron’s older brother) presenting the Next October project to a packed audience

“We want to eliminate evil with good,” said Izhar. “I spent a lot of time thinking about the right way to deal with the atrocities. The best way to fight terrorism is to build a better world.”

The event, held at the Royal Society of Arts, was packed, despite crowds of Pro Palestinian protestors gathering outside.

It was the first Restart IL summit, which the organisers hope to roll out abroad next year.

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