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.
Avinoam Armoni is a principle in A. Armoni Consulting Ltd, a museum and resource development strategy and project management group. He was the CEO of Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People, until 2012. Prior to this he served as VP for external relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was a consultant to the Edmond J Safra Philanthropic Foundation in Geneva, and acted as strategic consultant and adviser to a number of organizations, mainly in the academic and voluntary sector. As executive director of the New Israel Fund, he managed and developed programs in Israel, oversaw grant making activities, fundraised and represented the organization internationally. Avinoam served as special adviser to Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem, in which capacity he was in charge of neighborhood affairs.
As a strategic consultant, Avinoam has worked for the Prime Minister’s Office, academic institutions, foundations and in the business community. He lectures extensively in Israel and abroad on strategic planning, resource development, project management and the development of social responsibility within the business sector in Israel.
Bernie is the Principal of Belkin Capital, which raises capital for investment in retail and real estate projects. He was the Managing Director of California Israel Angels, a group of high tech executives who provide members with investment opportunities in Israeli early-stage high tech Companies and assist with market validation, capital raising & business development. Previously, Mr. Belkin was a consultant to early-stage high tech companies, and was the founder and CEO of Trans Continental Marketing, a direct mail business. He served as the International Sales/Marketing Manager at Hewlett-Packard, worked at Motorola Israel, and as Product Manager at HP. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Technion Society, Interplast, and the San Jose Federation. Mr. Belkin has a BSEE from Georgia Tech and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
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).
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.
Shuki is a veteran of the Software industry in Israel and now an active social investor, member of the IVN executive board, board member of Tzeva: Youth Building the Future, member of the Lay Leadership in Israel steering committee and involved in other organizations.
At IVN, Shuki has led the education initiative in Sderot and now is part of the operating committee that leads the Social Venture program, pairing active of high-tech industry veterans with the most promising social ventures in Israel.
Shuki was Managing Director at Giza Venture Capital for 10 years and before that he was with Amdocs for 15 years. His last position there was Senior Vice President of Business Development.
Shuki holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Tel Aviv University.
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.
Isabel Maxwell is a Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum and is president emerita of Commtouch Software Ltd. (nasdaq:CTCH); she is co-founder of the Magellan On-Line Guide, the pioneering directory and search engine portal that she successfully negotiated the acquisition of by Excite in 1996. Magellan was one of the most visited sites on the internet. She has been involved in multiple Israel enterprises and organizations over the years, including as senior adviser to Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen America (2007-2009); HaHevra LeHaganat Hateva, the ‘Sierra Club’ of Israel; Soroka Hospital of the Negev (2001-present) and has been a long time Governor of the Board of the Peres Center For Peace and the American Friends of Rabin. She was executive Chair of the Social Entrepreneur Fellowship program of IVN from 2004-2010 and continues actively to impact the Social Enterprise space in Israel. She passionately believes in the power of individuals to make a difference. She became a full member of the Board of IVN in 2008. Isabel is French-born and Oxford educated and has divided her time during the last 17 years between Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, France and Israel.
David, a retired PricewaterhouseCoopers senior partner, is actively involved with a number of charitable organizations where he serves on the boards and finance committees. He and his wife tutor financial literacy in the Oakland, CA school system and are also mentors to high school students in Richmond, CA. While at PWC, David held numerous senior management roles including responsibility for global products and services and international tax networks while serving on the firm’s Global Tax Board. He has served as audit chair on the board of a public company as well as on the advisory boards of private companies in the Bay Area. Additionally, he was Senior Director at the Wharton School’s Executive Education program in San Francisco. David has degrees from the Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and the New York University Graduate School of Law where he received an LL.M in Taxation.
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.