Miami-based 1948 Ventures announced its launch in recent weeks with plans to invest in early-stage Israeli technology companies, despite escalating war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
The new venture capital firm, founded by Aaron Kaplowitz, will focus on writing $100,000 to $1 million checks to Israeli startups developing dual-use technologies that can aid Israel’s defense capabilities. The firm’s name refers to the year Israel was founded.
Kaplowitz has previously made personal investments in several successful Israeli startups that went on to be acquired.
“Now is exactly the time to invest in Israeli technology,” said Kaplowitz. “I believe in the resilience of Israel’s tech ecosystem and its power to produce game-changing technology when it’s needed most.”
“People tell me I’m crazy for traveling to Israel in the middle of a war. I can understand their concerns, but it’s not going to deter me from going back again. After all, I launched 1948 Ventures based on the founding principle that we show up. And we will continue to show up”Aaron Kaplowitz
According to Kaplowitz, engineers and entrepreneurs were recently pulled back from the front lines by the Israeli government and defense organizations like the IDF, and ordered to ramp up production on technologies that could support the war effort.
“These men and women who were pulled from the battlefield know exactly what’s on the line,” he said. “These are the kinds of people we want to invest in.”
The launch comes just weeks after Kaplowitz returned from a trip to Israel, where he met with startups and saw firsthand the disruption caused by rocket attacks and military mobilization.
“People tell me I’m crazy for traveling to Israel in the middle of a war,” he said. “I can understand their concerns, but it’s not going to deter me from going back again. After all, I launched 1948 Ventures based on the founding principle that we show up. And we will continue to show up.”
1948 Ventures is currently evaluating dozens of startups in sectors like defense, robotics, and communications tech. The firm plans to begin due diligence soon on the most promising companies.
While moving quickly to deploy capital, Kaplowitz emphasized that 1948 Ventures will maintain thorough diligence standards.
“Of course, we are seeking companies that have a great team, a scalable product, and a strong business model,” he said. “But we also want to invest in founders who share our values and are highly motivated to do what it takes to ensure Israel’s future.”