Our Team

Our team comprises a diverse group of independent professionals who share a common vision: to establish the Jordan Valley as a “Living Lab” and an engine of economic growth for the region, stretching from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea and encompassing the adjacent areas of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. We aim to provide an environment that will cultivate, foster and enable innovative thinking and result in the creation of new, pragmatic and potentially profitable Agriculture and Food technology solutions and businesses that will in turn create new technology based employment opportunities in the region.

The Board of Directors

Ret. Gen. Ilan Biran

Chairman of the board at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, director at Israel Discount Bank, chairman of Plana Sasa Ltd, chairman of Melodea Bio Based Solutions, and a director at Itamar Medical Ltd. Ilan is a seasoned public officer with an illustrious career of 35 years in the Israeli Defense Forces. Ilan’s business career began as CEO of Bezeq, the Israeli Telecommunications infrastructure and services company. He also served as chairman of the board of Yes, chairman of the board of Bet Shemesh Engines, and held directorships with companies such as Israel Aerospace Industries, Netafim, Massad Bank and Delta 3. In 2003, Ilan was awarded an honorary PhD by the Technion for his contribution to the defense industry. For the past 9 years, Ilan serves as chairman of the management committee of the Kinneret Academic College and on the board of the Kinneret Innovation Center.

Mr. Kalman Kaufman

A leading figure in Israeli industry, a senior executive, a visionary, a seasoned entrepreneur and an experienced investor. Kalman founded a large number of companies in the field of electronics. He serves as a member of the Management Board of the Kinneret Academic College and as chair of the Israeli Institute of Innovative Science and Technology Policy, and other NPOs designed to promote education in Israel. Kalman is chairman of the board of Medasense Biometrics and Invisia Ltd, and also serves as a Director at Tower Semiconductors and Jordan Valley Semiconductors. Previously he served as chairman of the board at the Kinneret Academic College, Corporate VP for Applied Materials USA and as President of KLA Tencor Israel. Kalman is the driving force and Chairman of the Kinneret Innovation Center.

Mr. Miki Lev

CEO of the Kinneret Academic College since 2016, Miki comes from a business background and with extensive experience as a senior executive at some of the largest retail organizations in Israel (e.g. Tnuva, Blue Square/Mega). Prior to his position at the Kinneret Academic College, Miki was Head of the Learning Division at the Institute of Leadership and Governance (JDC). Miki acquired a Masters degree from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA. USA. Prior to that Miki served as a fighter pilot and commander of squadrons in the Israeli Air force.

Mr. Gur Shahar

Gur is well versed in the financial realm, having served as CFO in private and public companies in diverse areas of commerce both in Israel and the USA. Gur is business driven and deeply involved in substantial business activities. He contributes and participates in private and public capital raising operations, as an investor or as an employee. Gur has proven success in corporate recovery during financial crises and is currently the CFO of the Zemach Regional Industries Ltd.

Mr. Menashe Shalom

CEO of Zemach Regional Industries Ltd, a cooperative owned by 32 Kibbutzim and other agricultural businesses in the Jordan Valley, Israel. With over 30 years experience in agriculture management, Menashe is an expert in the sale, marketing and financial management of agricultural businesses. He led the agricultural business management of several kibbutzim over the last two decades, innovating and driving through significant change in traditionally conservative businesses and communities. After managing the businesses of Kibbutz Amiad for three years, Menashe was appointed chairman of the Kibbutz, where he served until 2015. Menashe also managed the businesses of Kibbutz Ashdot Yaacov (Ihud) in the Jordan Valley for 5 years, until his appointment as CEO of Zemach Regional Industries. Menashe is a significant driving force behind the creation of the Kinneret Innovation Center and is an executive member of its board.

Team Members

Elad Shadmir

CEO, Kinneret Innovation Center

Elad has led as CEO in an Argentinian tourism company, a commercial company in Tel Aviv and a regional municipality. An experienced entrepreneur and a champion for social causes, Elad also founded and directed national programs for integrating youth at risk and youth with disabilities.

Uriel Perman

Director of Innovation, Kinneret Innovation Center

With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech industry, Uriel mentors the startups at KIC. After understanding their needs and idea, he tailors solutions that will help the startups grow and meet their goals. As co-founder and CEO of CrediGence Innovation, a startup that provides data-driven loan management systems, Uriel’s entrepreneurship experience makes him a valuable mentor.

Dr. Ran Suckeveriene

CTO, Kinneret Innovation Center

Group leader of the Laboratory of Polymers, Composites, and Nanocomposites at Kinneret Academic College, Ran is an experienced lecturer, scientist and faculty member of the Water Industries Engineering Department at the Kinneret Academic College since 2013. A Technion graduate with extensive industry experience, Ran has been an industry consultant for many years, leveraging his vast multidisciplinary expertise in polymers, composites, electro-chemical and electro-mechanical sensors and nanomaterials. Currently, he is the CTO of the Kinneret Innovation Center and Obvislim Ltd.

Shir Eligor

Director of School for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Director of Community, Kinneret Innovation Center

Entrepreneur by heart, Shir founded Live It Together, a business model for buildings in the cities to combine a shopping center, common spaces for people and social activities. Shir also founded BobaKhan, a bubble tea drink cart that sold at large events, fairs, and markets. A confident public speaker, Shir coached public speaking and taught an entrepreneurship course which he developed to a diverse audience at Project 21. At the core of every issue, Shir believes it is essential to work with people to make a positive impact in the world.

Yardena Taylor-Arzi

Coordinator, Kinneret Innovation Center

Yardena facilitates the daily operations of KIC. She organises meetings, handles the logistics and host guests to the centre. As part of the External Relations at the Kinneret Academic College, she is a strong link between KIC and the Kinneret Academic College.

Mrs. Hilla Barkan

Strategy Advisor for Kinneret Innovation Center

Experienced in business negotiations and conflict resolutions, Hilla serves as Director of External Relations and Management at the Kinneret Academic College on the Sea of Galilee. Previously, Hilla led the Bandnet Program for the Joint (The Jewish Federation) to promote and provide support to immigrant youths in Israel’s education system. Prior to that, Hilla coordinated the Ofek Program which supports and guides immigrant youths. With a wealth of experience in corporate organisation and administration, budget management, resourcing and fundraising, Hilla advises on the strategy of Kinneret Innovation Center