Mr. Yigal Erlich is the founding father of the Israeli venture
capital industry and one of the most prominent figures in the Israeli
high-tech arena in the past 15 years.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Mr. Erlich identified a market failure
and a huge need in Israel to establish for the first time a professionally-managed
venture capital industry that will fund the exponential growth of
high tech ventures coming out of Israel.
In late 1992, Mr. Erlich convinced the Israeli government to allocate
$100 million for his venture capital vision. Within a period of
three years, Erlich, along with the other members of the core team
at Yozma, established ten venture funds. These ten funds, which
include Gemini, JPV, Nitzanim (Concord), Polaris, STAR and Walden
Israel, are the backbone of the vibrant and sophisticated venture
capital market that Israel has today.
Mr. Yigal Erlich is the founder of the Israel Venture Association
and served as its Chairman. Between 1984 and 1992, Mr.
Erlich served as the Chief Scientist of Israel's Ministry of Industry
and Trade. During his eight-year tenure as Chief Scientist, Mr.
Erlich commanded an annual budget of $200 million, primarily directed
at research and development projects of high-technology companies.
In addition, Mr. Erlich initiated the Generic Technology program
which fostered cooperation on long-term R&D activities through the
creation of consortia of companies with research institutes and
Mr. Erlich also started the Technology Incubator Program that led
to the creation of 24 Incubation Centers throughout Israel. Mr.
Erlich was instrumental in the establishment of several bi-national
industrial and technology R&D cooperation agreements with Canada,
France, the Netherlands, Singapore and Spain. Mr. Erlich was the
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the US-Israel Bi-national
Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), and a Director
of the Dead Sea Works, Israel Chemicals, Israel Oil Refineries,
Hadassah's commercialization company - Hadassit, and the Technion
Research and Development Co. Ltd.
Mr. Erlich was the Deputy Chairman of the National Reasearch & Development Council
of Israel until 2010 and the Chairman of MATIMOP, a non profit Government Entity for
the promotion of industrial R&D; A Board Member of the Russian Venture Capital Company (RVC),
a $1 billion government fund of funds and was a consultant to several governments including New Zealand,
Korea, Canada, Latvia, Slovakia and estonia.
Between October 2010 and June 2011, Mr. Erlich was the chair of a committee
within Eureka program, targeting new methods for financial innovation. He also participated,
several years ago, in two EEC projects for transferring the success factors from the Israeli
experience in high-tech start-ups to several European countries and advised the World Bank on
the adoption of policies and performance monitoring in Venture Capital in Western China.
Mr. Erlich holds B.Sc. and M.Sc.
in Chemistry and an MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.