The team


Roni Zehavi


Roni is the CEO of CyberSpark, the Industry Initiative, created to advance research and development of cyber solutions in Beer-Sheva. He has more than 10 years of proven success in the entrepreneurial Hi-Tech arena, integrating highly-innovative and multidisciplinary technologies into sellable products. His range of experience includes stewarding ideas through the development process into the marketplace.

His most recent company, “To-Be-Education,” is creating a platform upon which teachers and students can upload content that can be transformed into dilemma-based learning games with multiple users, facilitating the development of global learners’ communities.

An experienced test engineer and pilot from ETPS UK and an Aeronautical Engineer from the Technion, Roni is a well-known expert in the aviation professions, including their operational, methodological and technological aspects. In 2004 Roni founded Rontal Applications, a leading provider of a 3D based application for simulations and real-time Command & Control systems. Under his leadership, the company has achieved success results before being acquired by an American corporation.


Yoav Tzruya

Partner, JVP Cyber Labs

Yoav has over twenty years of experience in digital media, content services, telecom value-added services as well as mission critical enterprise software including C5I and Cyber Security. With his hands on approach to working with the numerous incubated and graduated portfolio companies, Yoav sits on the board of several of JVP’s companies including ThetaRay, Morphisec, CyActive and AnyClip Media.

Prior to joining JVP, Yoav headed venture capital consulting business, Altus Media, before that, spent five years as General Manager/COO and CMO of Exent Technologies leading its strategy, business and operations in the space of video games digital distribution. Exent pioneered the space, while working with multiple industry leaders, including Verizon, Comcast, Intel, CBS, Time Warner and France Telecom. Yoav held multiple executive level positions with TeleKnowledge, an innovator in  business support systems, helping develop telecom value-added services and digital media strategies for Telefonica, Yahoo,, StarMedia and others. Yoav spent six years in the Israeli Air Force, managing mission critical development projects including in the “enterprise” control, command & security space, and is a decorated officer.

Yoav holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics (cum laude) and an MS in Computer Science (cum laude) from Tel-Aviv University, as well as an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management’s international program in collaboration with Tel Aviv University.


Dr. Yaniv Harel

General Manager, Cyber Solutions Group, EMC- Center of Excellence

Yaniv Harel, PhD, is the General Manager of the Cyber Solution Group at EMC Israel. In his previous roles, in the IDF (Israel Defense Force), he served as the head of several leading technology units. In 2011, he founded the Cyber branch in the Ministry of Defense R&D Directorate (MAFAT) and made it one of the largest branches in the MOD, running dozens of collaborative projects with Israeli companies. In 2002, Harel was awarded the Israel Presidential Medal for Security. He’s the head of Research Strategy at the Cyber interdisciplinary center – ICRC – in Tel-Aviv University. He holds a BSc in Engineering from the Technion, an MBA from Manchester University, and a PhD from Tel Aviv University.


Brig. General (Res.) Shelly Gotman

Managing Director, Information Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) Lockheed Martin Israel

Shelly brings over 20 years of senior leadership experience from the IDF and private sector. He has been responsible for the development and execution of business in Israel for Lockheed Martin IS&GS since April 2014. Since 2001, Shelly has held several key commanding posts in the IAF, including Commander and administrator of Hatzerim Air force base which includes: IAF Flight Academy, combat squadrons comprised of several hundred aircraft, advanced logistics and operational equipment and direct responsibility of over 3,500 individuals. He was also the Department Head of IAF air operations, planning and implementation of all air operations for IAF.

After retiring from the IAF, Shelly spent 6 years as deputy CEO of Arava Power Company, Successfully spearheading international initiative to introduce and develop solar energy fields Israel & abroad. Shelly holds an M.A. in Strategy and National Resources Management, from National Defense University, Washington DC (full scholarship, Selected by IDF Chief of Staff for exhibiting outstanding leadership qualities) and a B.A. in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University.


Zafrir Levy

VP Business Development, BGN Technologies Ltd.

Mr. Levy joined BGN in 2007. Prior to Joining BGN, Mr. Levy managed for several years the business development activities in the areas of engineering, computer, exact sciences and medical devices at TRDF (Technion R&D Foundation). Previously he held a number of managerial positions in the R&D and Marketing teams of Encotone, a provider of PKI digital signatures solutions and acoustic signing technologies. He was the founder and the CEO of Thinking Different, a company which activated out-sourcing classes and other activities in the field of computers, sciences and innovative thinking. Mr. Levy holds a MBA focus on Hi-Tech from the Technion, and a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration from Haifa University.


Yarom Ariav

Executive Chairman, Lavi-Capital Ltd.

Mr. Yarom Ariav is the executive chairman of Lavi Capital LTD. and the chairman of the Lod Foundation. He is also the chairman of Tel Aviv Global City. Mr. Ariav is the chairman of the investment committee of AMITIM pension funds and a director in Alony Hetz LTD. and he is the manager of Caesarea forum.

Mr. Ariav was appointed Director General of the Ministry of Finance in January 2007 and completed the term in November 2009. He helped lead the Israeli economy through the recent financial crisis, a challenge which Israel impressively overcame, and was in charge of setting and implementing Israeli macroeconomic policy. Mr. Ariav chaired the steering committee for joining Israel to the OECD, and he was a central figure in the Israeli administration.  He was one of the strongest supporters of Israel National Economic Council and headed the implementation committee of its economic agenda. Prior to his work in government, he served as President & CEO of ICL Fertilizers Europe (ICLFE), the European operation of ICL Fertilizers- a segment of Israel Chemicals (ICL) Group (traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange). Mr. Ariav joined  ICL in 1993 and served in numerous positions including ICL Representative in South America and Director at SQM company in Chile; Vice President Marketing, Rotem Amfert Company, Senior Vice President, Marketing, ICL Fertilizers, followed by President and CEO of ICLFE.

From 1984 to 1993 Mr. Ariav served the Government of Israel in several positions. At the Ministry of Energy he was Coordinator of Government Oil Policy. In 1985 Mr. Ariav joined the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Budget. In that capacity, Mr. Ariav was directly responsible for the budgets of the Ministry of Industry & Trade, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Science. He was also involved in formulating Government initiatives such as strengthening the business sector, encouraging research and development, agricultural planning, defining regional policy and government commerce. Mr. Ariav holds a B.A. and M.A. (cum laude) in Economics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Irit Talmi


Irit Talmi – Accountant and Economist. She graduated with honors from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Previously, she worked in Ernst & Young’s Hi-Tech Department. A Negev native, she is raising her children here too.

Nitsan Holland

Academy Coordinator & Executive Assistance

Nitsan holds a cum laude B.A. in Sociology, Anthropology & Israel studies from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Nitsan has background in content editing, administration and events production in the academy and the private sector.