Israel-Australia business

A look at the ‘Next October’ initiative

Start-ups participating in the Next October initiative commit to “doing good” as a core value.

The past week, Israel has commemorated six months since the “Al-Aqsa Flood” took place.

This is a good time to look at the “Next October” initiative which proposes the establishment of a new tech start-up for each fallen soldier and civilian victim of October 7. The idea is not only to commemorate the victims – but also to foster growth and progress in their memory.

Start-ups participating in the Next October initiative commit to “doing good” as a core value. They pledge to honour their chosen victims in various ways, depending on their capacity: and keeping in mind the specific stories of the victims. This commitment is not just a symbolic gesture but is integrated into the operational and ethical framework of the start-ups.

The initiative has been set up by Israel’s former minister of science and technology, Yizhar Shai, from the Resilience Party. He is also a prominent venture capitalist. Tragically, on October 7, a catastrophe struck the Shai family when their son Yaron was killed defending Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, the closest kibbutz to Gaza itself.

Yaron was on a routine patrol with two other brigade members, and they were the first to encounter terrorists who breached the fence in the Kerem Shalom area. They were only three skilled soldiers against dozens of terrorists: and yet they managed to protect the nearby kibbutz and outpost from the terrorists.

Kibbutz Kerem Shalom was one of the few kibbutzim in the Gaza area and the nearby base with numerous female soldiers that was not conquered by Hamas fighters: and whose residents were not massacred or taken hostage.

Shai recently said, “They came to destroy, and we are here to build. Let’s put together a moral response to this evil attack on humanity by building the foundation for thousands of new innovative businesses – that will make this world a better place, in so many ways.”


In the past four years the Israeli economy has gone through two major shockwaves which have tested its resilience: above and beyond the current war. I am referring to Covid and the related massive interruptions we all still remember only too well.

A few industries, including the restaurant sector, have been hit the hardest. A new Israeli start-up SpareEat has come up with a creative way to provide much-needed extra revenue for hospitality businesses.

SpareEat is an environmental and social impact firm fighting against the cost of living and food waste in Israel. It is estimated that 33 per cent of produced and processed food is wasted.

The SpareEat app allows consumers to purchase unsold dishes and items from the menu, with short expiration dates: directly from restaurants and cafes at half price.

This helps customers to save money, while at the same time, provides increased income for SpareEat partners. A great example of why some are now calling Israel the “rise-up nation”.

Paul Israel is the executive director of the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce.

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