Eric Benhamou, Chairman
Eric Benhamou is the CEO and Founder of Benhamou Global Ventures, LLC. Benhamou Global Ventures, started in 2003, invests and plays an active role in innovative high tech firms throughout the world. He was an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at INSEAD from 2004 to 2010. He is now a Visiting Professor at IDC Herzliya’s Arison School of Business.
He served as Chairman of the board of Palm, Inc. from 1999 until 2007 and as Chief Executive Officer of Palm from 2001 until 2003. Mr. Benhamou served as Chief Executive Officer of 3Com Corporation from 1990 until 2000 and as Chairman of the board until its sale to Hewlett Packard in April 2010. In 1981, Mr. Benhamou co-founded Bridge Communications, an early networking pioneer, and was Vice President of Engineering until its merger with 3Com in 1987.
Mr. Benhamou currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Cypress Semiconductor and as a Director of Silicon Valley Bancshares. He also serves on the boards of several privately held companies of the BGV portfolio. He currently advises Israel Cleantech Ventures, the leading clean tech venture fund in Israel, and the Institute for the Future, a think tank based in Silicon Valley. He is Vice Chairman of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and serves on the board of Stanford University’s School of Engineering. He is a Founder and the Chairman of the Israel Venture Network, a venture philanthropy organization for a stronger Israeli society. In 2003, Mr. Benhamou was appointed to the U.S.- Israel Science and Technology Commission by U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans.
Mr. Benhamou received a Masters degree from Stanford University’s School of Engineering. He also holds a Diplome d’Ingénieur and a Doctorate from Arts et Metiers ParisTech.
Benny Levin, Vice Chairman
Benny co-founded NICE Systems a worldwide leader of multimedia digital recording solutions for business interaction management, where he served as NICE’s President and Director from its inception and as Chairman and CEO from 1998 to 2001. Under Benny’s leadership the company achieved impressive growth and raised significant funds, both on NASDAQ and the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).
From 2004 to 2012 Benny served as Chairman of the Board of dbMotion, enabling healthcare organizations to seamlessly connect and coordinate healthcare.
Since retiring from most of his business activities, Benny dedicates himself to a wide array of social and philanthropic activities. In addition to serving as IVN’s Vice Chairman, Benny serves as Active Chairman of the Board of the Ben Yakir youth village, assisting youth at risk mostly from the Ethiopian community and is involved in a variety of other philanthropic activities as a member of the Israeli Board of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) and the board of Hakol Hinuch. Additionally, Benny is the Founder of JDOCU, a group of philanthropists and photographers that use the camera as a tool to document activities of Tikkun Olam (‘Repair the World’) in partnership with the JDC.
Benny Levin served in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Intelligence Corps and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1978 during his army service he was awarded the Chief of Intelligence Decoration for Creative Thinking. Benny has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.
Itsik Danziger, Investment Committee Chairman
Itsik brings over thirty five years of experience in senior executive positions in the telecommunication technology industry and over ten years of experience in board positions of not for profit organizations.
From 1985 through 2007, Itsik has been with the Comverse Technology group in various senior management positions including: President of Comverse Network Systems, where he led the company from a startup state to becoming the worldwide market leader with revenues of over $1B; President of Comverse Technology Group and active Chairman of the Comverse subsidiary – Starhome.
He was a member of the National Task Force for the Advancement of Education in Israel (Dovrat Committee), and chaired two of its subcommittees. Itsik was Chairman of IVN’s Education Initiative in the Galilee Panhandle and of IVN’s Principal Training initiative, which led to the founding of Avney Rosha, the Institute of School Leadership. Itsik serves currently as board member of Avney Rosha.
In addition, Itsik serves as active chairman of Galil Software, a social venture focusing on outsourcing SW development services and employing Arab engineers. He serves as active board member in several technology companies and NGOs.
Itsik holds B.Sc cum laude and M.Sc in Electrical Engineering from the Technion and M.A cum laude in Philosophy and Digital culture from Tel Aviv University.
Yael is Managing Director of the Israel liaison office of Mintz Levin, a US law firm and Leads the firm’s Israel Business Group, which is focused on supporting Israeli clients in their international business and legal needs. Prior to joining Mintz Levin, Yael served as a corporate attorney for Koor Industries, Inc., an Israeli company then publicly traded on the NYSE, and for Menora Gaon Capital Markets Group. Yael has also practiced as a litigation attorney at Dr. J. Weinroth & Co., and for the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva Va’Din), a non-governmental organization advocating environmental issues. Yael received her LL.B. and post bachelor degree in Economics from Tel Aviv University, and completed mediation training from the Israel Center for Negotiation and Conflict Management (ICN).
Avi Fogel, based in New York City, is a serial entrepreneur, an active angel investor, and principal and owner of Majorlee Investments, a small combination hedge fund and VC fund focusing on tech investments. Avi is also a member of the board of directors of New York Angels – the largest angel group in NY state and one of the earliest and largest groups in the US, as well as Launchpad Ventures – Boston’s largest angel group. Avi has been the CEO of four technology startups in which he saw six exits. Two of the companies were Israeli (LANNET, ProActivity) and allowed Avi to live through the cycles of the “startup nation”.
LANNET, Inc (The US subsidiary of LANNET, an Israeli LAN switching vendor). LANNET went public on NASDAQ and was then acquired by Madge Networks. CommHome Systems – a residential gateway startup which was acquired by Network-1, an intrusion prevention software vendor, which was public on the NASDAQ-SC and sold its consulting division to Exodus Communications. ProActivity – an Israeli process management software vendor which was acquired by EMC Avi has made 13 angel investments, 5 of which have exited – with a total IRR on these investments of 76%. Avi sits on the board of Localytics, a Boston based mobile analytics vendor and is a graduate of Israel’s Technion (B.Sc.E.E) and Babson College (MBA – Summa Cum Laude).
Avi is an avid jogger and could frequently be found jogging through Central Park or or the Tel Aviv beach pathway.
Noa is an entrepreneur residing in Silicon Valley running Circles, a stealth mode business-social startup she co-founded. Prior to her entrepreneurial activities she started and ran a non-profit program that brought volunteer tutors and mentors to work with underprivileged students in middle schools in Mountain View, California, and volunteered with AVID, tutoring and mentoring high school students, assisting with their academics and college and scholarship applications. Noa held various finance roles, including managerial roles at Read Rite Corporation, audit at Ernst and Young, and as a revenue agent for the Israeli IRS.
Noa holds a Bachelor of Art cum laude degree in Economics and Business from Bar Ilan University and a Master’s of Science degree in Accounting from the Lucas Graduate School of Business at San Jose State University.
Judah S. Kraushaar
Judah is Managing Partner of Roaring Brook Capital, L.P., a Long/Short Equity Fund established in 2006. Prior to that, he was First Vice President of Merrill Lynch where he ran the global financial services equity research team and was a top-ranked analyst for more than a decade. In 2006, he authored the best selling book, “The Real Deal,” the autobiography of Sandy Weill and a history of the modern financial services business.
Judah serves on the board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and on AIPAC’s National Council and was a past executive committee member for the American Jewish Committee. He was also formerly president of The Bank & Financial Analysts Association.
Judah earned his B.A degree in 1979 and his M.B.A. the following year, both from Cornell University. He remains actively involved with the University, serving on its University Council and mentoring graduate business school students.
Judah and his wife, Michele own Meadowland Farm in Dutchess County, New York. They have three grown children, Liana, Elias, and Sofia.
Vincent Worms, a native of France, has lived in the US for nearly 30 years. He resides in San Francisco but travels regularly back to Europe, both for professional and personal reasons. Vincent has an engineering background from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, and a Master of Science Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1982, Vincent founded Partech International, an international venture capital firm, focusing on high technology investments in Silicon Valley, Western Europe and Israel. He has served on the Board of numerous private and public companies, including Business Objects, Informatica, and Sangstat Medical in the US.
Vincent is actively involved in the management of his family foundation www.tsadik.org, and its contemporary art activity www.kadist.org . The philanthropic side of the Tsadik Foundation includes various programs, a number of them in the developing world; another important component is Tsadik’s involvement in Jewish Life causes, and a variety of non-profit organizations in Israel.
A global executive with more than 30 years national and international experience in all aspects of organization management, Arik’s is a seasoned professional in fields of sales & marketing, value creation, revenue & equity growth and global operations.
Currently President and CEO Israel’s Oil Refineries, Arik spent three decades at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., culminating with his role as Head of Teva Generic Systems, responsible for all of Teva’s backend units and processes. During his 30 years at Teva, Arik was directly responsible for multi-billion dollar P&L’s, developed a deep understanding of financing and taxation (local and international), oversaw R&D activities and managed complex global operation networks. Within the framework of Teva’s corporate social responsibility program, Arik served as Executive VP of Institutional & Community Affairs at Teva.
Arik has broad management experience at all levels (small teams to organizations with over 25,000 employees), with emphasis on identifying, developing and grooming human talent both through developed, formal HR processes as well as informal means.
Arik served for 10 years in the IDF as a pilot in the Air Force. He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (res.)
Arik received his B.A. in Economics and International Relations and M.A. and in Economics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Claudio is an audit partner at PwC Israel. He joined the firm in 1987 and became a partner in 1996. Claudio is a member of the Executive Board of the Israeli firm.
Mr. Yarza serves for over 15 years as the Israeli firm Life Sciences practice leader. He is responsible for the audit of Israeli and multinational public and private companies, primarily in the fields of life sciences, technology and industry. Claudio was extensively involved with services provided to a significant number of the Israeli firm’s life sciences companies, including start-ups as well as mature companies, local representatives of global companies, investment companies, venture capital funds and incubators.
Claudio earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He was a research assistant and a teaching assistant at the Hebrew University Department of Economics.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Yarza served during five years as an officer at the Financial Advisor of the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, retiring with the rank of major.
Claudio is qualified as a Certified Public Accountant in Israel and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel and its liaison committee with the Supervisor of Banks in the Bank of Israel.