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New VC firm focuses on Israeli start-ups

A former Israeli intelligence officer and a senior U.S. technology industry analyst will launch a new venture capital firm targeting the Israeli start-up market.

A former Israeli intelligence officer and a senior U.S. technology industry analyst will launch a new venture capital firm.

Targeting the Israeli start-up market, the new firm was founded by Michael Gartenberg, a former vice president at market research firm Gartner; Jay Forman, former general counsel to Israel's Ministry of Defense; and Joseph Stechler, president of his own investment firm.

The three are launching a VC fund aimed at supporting emerging security, multimedia and wireless technology coming out of Israel. The firm is expected to open its doors June 1.

The venture is dubbed Dellet, which means "door," in Hebrew, and will focus on start-ups working on business-to-business e-commerce, applications hosting, data warehousing, imaging, multimedia and network security.

Gartenberg, a senior technology analyst and industry pundit, said he will stay on as a consultant at Gartner while launching the new venture.

Dellet aims to lower the barrier of entry for smaller companies made up of technology-savvy engineers and product developers who may not be knowledgeable about the intricacies of launching businesses, Gartenberg said.

"We're taking a different approach to the VC idea; we want to allow technologists to be technologists," he said. "Sometimes the best technologists can't write business plans, and we don't want that to be a barrier."

But business plans aren't the only thing the VC fund will be offering, he added. "First and foremost, we offer the thing that we think start-ups need most, which is money."

The firm will initially be based in Inglewood, N.J., but will eventually open offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, he said.

Gartenberg is one of many analysts leaving consulting firms for greener pastures, although he is somewhat unique in his continuing relationship with the company.