Arab Israeli social entrepreneur Imad Telhami has seen phenomenal success from the Babcom customer-service centers he and partner Dov Lautman established to employ Arab women and men in the north, south and Jerusalem.

Babcom (“Your Door” in Arabic) now employs 5,000 people providing outsourced services, including call centers and software development, to Israeli companies. In 2018, Harvard Business School built a case study about Babcom into its curriculum.

But Telhami was increasingly troubled to note that no Babcom client companies were owned or managed by Arabs.

So in 2014, he joined forces with venture capitalists Chemi Peres of Pitango and Erel Margalit of JVP to found Takwin Ventures, the only VC firm in Israel dedicated to investing in startups with at least one Arab Israeli cofounder.

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Two of the promising startups in Takwin Ventures’ portfolio have Technion connections. Feelit Technologies Co-founders CTO Meital Segev-Bar and CEO Gady Konvalina are both Technion alumni, and the third Co-founder is Professor Hossam Haick of the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering. Imagry CTO Ilan Shaviv is a Technion alumnus.