March 1, 2012, Barcelona, Spain -- As thousands of companies flock to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, entrepreneur Erel Margalit, founder of the JVP Media Quarter in Jerusalem, received an honor of the highest degree – a personal invitation from the Catalan Government.

Margalit was invited as an economic advisor to Catalonia, which has been impressed with Israel’s hi-tech capabilities and is hoping to adopt the “Start-up Nation” model to create a Silicon Valley of its own.

During the visit, Margalit met with Carles Vilarubi, Vice-President of the world renowned FC Barcelona football club. The two discussed initiatives that could merge new media and sports as a way to spur Spanish economic progress. With tens of millions of Barca fans worldwide and billions of users on social media, the merger of the two fields could present an enormous opportunity for the club and the region. Margalit told Vilarubi about a number of JVP companies which successfully combine sports and social media.

Vilarubi said he was impressed by the JVP technology. “JVP’s expertise in new media will undoubtedly prove helpful in the process the Barca club is trying to push forward.”

The two groups decided that JVP staff would work together with FC Barcelona management to facilitate future cooperation.

Margalit, who was given a personalized Barca jersey, was enthusiastic about teaming up with the world-famous club. “I have no doubt that Barcelona’s excellence in sports, particularly soccer, along with our prowess in hi-tech and media, will prove to be a winning combination. I believe that this visit will lead to further cooperation that will prove beneficial to both sides.”

“I am sure that our companies can develop unique products for Barcelona’s extensive fan-base as well as the team’s stars, in the same way we already cooperate with some of Hollywood’s media and movie giants.”

Margalit’s visit followed a November, 2011 visit to Israel by the Catalan leadership headed by Oriol Pujol, a key figure in the Catalan Government and son of Jordi Pujol, who was the Catalan President for 24 years and is considered a personal friend of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

The Catalan delegation, headed by Pujol, was extremely impressed by Margalit’s part in revolutionizing Jerusalem’s hi-tech industry, particularly with the founding of the JVP Media Quarter which has turned into a hub of hi-tech, cultural and social entrepreneurship, generating dozens of world-leading companies. They expressed great interest in adopting similar initiatives that could help improve Spain’s economic situation.

“We are so proud that the Spanish government sees a state as young as Israel as a leader in technological and economic development,’’ said Margalit. “Israel must capitalize on this and facilitate as many international economic relationships as possible.”

During the visit, Margalit also met with Catalan Finance Minister Andreu Mas-Colell, Tatxo Benet, owner of Mediapro, Spain’s largest media group, and Isac Andic , owner of the Mango Group, an international leader in fashion.