Erel N. Margalit, PhD is one of the chief architects of the startup nation, bringing innovation and entrepreneurial leadership to the country’s most pressing political, economic, and social challenges.
Twenty-six years ago Erel founded JVP, a pioneer in the venture capital industry that turned into a globally recognized brand that combines business and social impact. He was chosen by Forbes as the leading non-American venture capitalist, one that combines social profit along with smart investment. Erel was also chosen by Israel’s prestigious business publication The Marker as the “venture capitalist with the golden touch.” Based on his vision, the Margalit Startup City model was established creating centers of excellence in Jerusalem, Beer Sheva, Galilee and Haifa along with New York City incorporating investments, opportunity and impact.
Erel has been at the forefront of numerous global exits and JVP has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top performing funds in the world by Preqin. Under Erel’s leadership, JVP has raised over $1.4B from institutional and private investors, as well as from private equity, endowments, pension, and global corporate funds. JVP is highly regarded in its ability to transform ideas into leading industry verticals and international players. JVP has been instrumental in building some of the largest companies out of Israel, facilitating 36 exits along with 12 Initial Public Offerings on NASDAQ, including CyberArk Software (NASDAQ: CYBR, $4.7B market cap.), QLIK Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK, then $4B market cap.) and Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI, $3B market cap.) as well as the $4.8B sale of Chromatis to Lucent Technologies, the listing and sale of Netro for $5.5B, Cyoptics (acquired by Avago for $434M), XtremIO (acquired by EMC for $435M), Precise (IPO and subsequently acquired by Veritas), Scorpio (acquired by US Robotics), Fundtech, ViryaNet, Jacada, Allot and many more. With over 150 investments, JVP’s portfolio companies continue to drive global markets today.
During his tenure as Member of the Israeli Knesset, between the years 2013 – 2017, Erel served as a Member of the Security and Foreign Affairs Committee and Finance Committee. Erel led the Knesset’s Cybersecurity Taskforce and the Taskforce developing the North and South of Israel, implementing various economic development initiatives around the country.
Along with the business successes, Erel and his wife Debbie recognized the socio-economic gaps among Jerusalem’s disadvantaged children and it propelled them to create the social impact program Margalit Startup City Community “Bakehila.” What started in Jerusalem twenty years ago is a now a nationally renowned educational non-profit that raises academic achievements and promotes personal and societal growth. More than 40,000 students nationwide, Jews and Arabs, have attended the Margalit Startup City Community programs as the program continues its reach.
Erel also spearheads the Innovation Initiative for the Mediterranean Basin countries, engaging Arab countries on projects around innovation in the Euro-Med region.