Jason Greenblatt at the 2020 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit
(photo credit: OURCROWD)
Former US special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt is joining OurCrowd, a large venture capital investment company in Israel, as a partner specializing in facilitating relations with potential clients in the Middle East region.
“I am delighted to join OurCrowd and help bring its mission of democratizing venture investing to the broader Middle East, helping start-ups to solve urgent problems in medical, sustainable and cyber technology, and linking them to the investors they need to bring their innovative ideas to reality,” he said, according to a statement by OurCrowd.
Greenblatt, 52, worked as a lawyer for US President Donald Trump for two decades prior to joining the administration, where he became the architect behind the “Deal of the Century” Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Positioned as a staunch defender of the Jewish state, Greenblatt has made numerous trips to Israel, the Palestinian territories and the Middle East since assuming his position in the administration just over three years ago. He resigned his position in September 2019.
“I have spent time recently addressing a problem that many people believed was impossible [to solve]. There are those who look at an impossible problem and simply can’t see past it,” Greenblatt said. “And then there are those, like OurCrowd, its investors and its portfolio companies, who look at a problem and see not an impossibility but an opportunity that can be addressed with the application of resources, talent, ingenuity and dedication.”
Together with US Ambassador David Friedman, Greenblatt was one of the more high-profile US officials working to strengthen the US-Israel alliance, and helped change the way the American government speaks about settlements, checkpoints and other contentious issues related to the conflict.
“As a partner at OurCrowd, I will continue building relationships between Israel and its neighbors in the region, to work on what once seemed impossible, building together an economic bridge of peace,” he said. “By working together on investments, innovation and technology, Israel and its neighbors can together provide a new potent energy to the region.
“Together with OurCrowd, I am committed to helping create a Middle East 2.0, whose might and energy can power the region, and the world, to a much brighter future.”
Greenblatt explains that his intention is for the Middle East to thrive, and that in order to do this, the region must be united – Palestinians, Israelis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Saudis, Emiratis, Qataris, Omanis, Bahrainis, Kuwaitis and others – working together to “build a new future today, for all the peoples of the Middle East.”
“I am looking forward to embarking on this challenging and exciting journey with [founder and CEO] Jon Medved and the rest of the talented team at OurCrowd,” he said.
Working to gain Middle East investment opportunities is no easy feat for any Israeli company, considering that the bulk of its Gulf neighbors hold no formal ties with Israel, except two – Jordan and Egypt.
OurCrowd has been working for years to establish these types of relationships, despite the uphill battle this entails. Most recently, the OurCrowd Summit in Jerusalem included participants hailing from every member state of the Arab League. In January, Medved became the first Israeli venture capitalist to address the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) conference in Abu Dhabi at the Emirates Palace.
“We are delighted to welcome Jason Greenblatt to the OurCrowd team,” Medved said. “He is not only a visionary who is pointing the way to a brighter future for the entire region, but he is someone who makes things happen. This is going to be an incredible journey together, and we look forward to making formerly impossible dreams of regional economic and technology cooperation come true.”