Dr. Erel Margalit
Member of the Israeli Knesset
Founder, Jerusalem Venture Partners
Elected to the Israeli Knesset in 2013 on behalf of the Labor Party, MK Dr. Margalit is a visionary who strives to bring innovative leadership to Israel’s most pressing political, economic, and social challenges.
As an Israeli entrepreneur with nearly 30 years of experience in leading successful start-ups, large companies, and social and cultural endeavors, Dr. Margalit is among the leading architects of the “Start-Up Nation,” standing at the center of Israel’s technological revolution in the 1990s, working with legendary Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. During these years, they solidified Israel’s capital as a high-tech hub bringing over 70 technology companies to the region and launching the country’s first four technological incubators.
In 1993, Dr. Margalit founded Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) helping create and build some of the largest and most noteworthy technology companies out of Israel, transforming them into global enterprises. From its founding until January 2011, Dr. Margalit assisted in building numerous technology companies that are today global enterprises with traction in Israel, the United States, Europe, and Asia. In addition to helping to orchestrate the $4.8 billion sale of Chromatis to Lucent Technologies in 2000, Dr. Margalit successfully led exits such as Netro (initial public offering; JVP subsequently sold its shares at a $5.5 billion company valuation), Precise (initial public offering and subsequently acquired by Veritas), Scorpio (acquired by US Robotics), Fundtech, ViryaNet, Jacada, Cogent, and Allot. He also served as Chairman of market leaders such as CyOptics and CyberArk before his transition to politics. In 2005, Forbes international business magazine selected Dr. Margalit as the top-ranking non-American venture capitalist on its prestigious “Midas List.” In 2010, The Marker Magazine named him the Venture Capitalist with the Golden Touch.
Seeking to drive social change in Israel, Dr. Margalit and his wife founded the community-based non-profit project JVP Bakehila (“In the Community”). For the past twelve years, JVP Bakehila has transformed the lives of more than 25,000 children in Jerusalem in public schools and the communities, with a view to strengthening society from within. Each year, 45 year-of-service volunteers (18-year-old agents of change) work within these communities transforming the lives of these youngsters.
Since his election to the Israeli Knesset in 2013, Dr. Margalit has proved to be an innovative public leader with an economic vision, pursuing collaborative approaches that promote economic development. Building on his business acumen, Dr. Margalit is bringing regional development to Israel’s new frontiers in the Galilee in the far North and in the Negev in the far South, regions that present new economic opportunities. In cooperation with regional leadership, Margalit is in the process of creating seven regions of excellence and innovation across the country that will attract investment, generate jobs, and bring growth to areas of the country that have been left behind.