Startup Nation UnitedEdouard Cukierman’s multifaceted impact on Israel during wartime
Startup Nation United
Edouard Cukierman’s multifaceted impact on Israel during wartime
With his work as a spokesperson, his support of non-profits, and continuing to invest in high-tech with Catalyst Investment, Edouard is a driving force in our nation during this critical time
Edouard Cukierman has been a driving force behind Israel's thriving tech ecosystem for the past three decades. As the founder of Catalyst Investments, the largest investment banking team in Israel, Edouard and his team have successfully raised approximately $10 billion for Israeli startups. But he is also playing a major role in impacting our country during this critical time, on a professional personal, and social level.
Edouard’s story is part of Startup Nation United, a series showcasing how individuals and organizations in the tech industry 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.
The war hits close to home for all of us in Israel, and Edouard is no exception. With both his sons serving in Gaza—one in a commando unit on the ground since October 7th and the other reporting to Miluim shortly after—Edouard has stepped into action as a spokesperson for Israel and its war efforts.
When Edouard served in the IDF, he played the role of army spokesperson in a unit handling hostage situations for more than ten years. With this experience he has been invited to Europe and the US where he has been presenting Israel’s position, explaining the terrorism that Hamas stands for, and advocating for the needs of Israeli civilians and the army on the ground. In a time so critical for Israel in the court of public opinion, Edouard’s efforts on this front, specifically with his background and family involvement, are invaluable to our country.
Beyond the work he has been doing as a global advocate, Edouard also plays an integral role with Sar-el, the non-profit organization he is a board member of that has been hosting volunteers in Israel from all corners of the world since 1982. With volunteers flooding in to help with logistics on military bases and the inability of these volunteers to sleep on the military base due to security reasons, he has been raising funds to lodge them in hotels and make other accommodations.
Yet acting advocating for Israel and his hands-on involvement with Sar-el is not where Edouard’s work ends. Having played such an active role in investing in the high-tech ecosystem, Edouard possesses unique insights into the remarkable dynamics of Israel's high-tech ecosystem and how these technologies are often intimately connected to our military efforts, “Many of the technologies that have been developed in Israel have a team that was trained in the army, and many of them came from very special units like 81 unit or 8-200 unit.”
Edouard underscores that the high-tech ecosystem not only strengthens the economy but also plays a pivotal role in enhancing Israel's ability to protect itself.
One shining example of a high-tech company that could be hugely impactful on the military is Civan Lasers, a company Catalyst has worked with closely. Civian Laser developed new laser technology which could be complementary to the Iron Dome. As Edouard explains, “The main difference is that they use a laser which enables a reaction at the speed of light, in real-time. The cost of using a laser is just the cost of energy. So it costs about $2,00 to $2,50 each time you use it, as opposed to the Iron Dome solution, which costs between $50,000 to $100,000 for each rocket or missile we're using to destroy a rocket.”
As Edouard's sons serve on the frontlines, he is playing a multifaceted role in supporting Israel. His active involvement in developing the high-tech ecosystem, his articulate representation of the country abroad, and his support of an impactful non-profit position Edouard as a shining example of the impact individuals can make and the resilient spirit of the people in our country, 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.