Elie Wurtman

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Elie Wurtman
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Born
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NationalityIsraeli
CitizenshipIsrael
Education
  • BA in Political Science
  • BA in Talmud
Alma mater
  • Columbia University
  • Jewish Theological Seminary
Occupation
  • Venture capitalist
  • Businessman
  • Entrepreneur
OrganizationPICO Venture Partners
TitleCo-founder

Elie Wurtman is an Israeli venture capitalist, businessman, and high-tech and social entrepreneur. He co-founded and served as the first Executive Chairman of the e-commerce company Vroom, which went public in June 2020.[1] He is the co-founder of PICO Venture Partners, a Jerusalem-based venture capital firm, the non-profit organization PICO Kids, and Bat Shlomo Vineyards.[2]

Early life

Wurtman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and emigrated to Jerusalem, Israel, with his family when he was eight years-old. His father, a lawyer by training, worked as a real estate broker and his mother was an activist on behalf of Soviet Jews.[3]

Wurtman graduated with a BA in Political Science from Columbia University and a BA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, both in 1991.

Career

In 1996, Wurtman co-founded and served as CEO of Deltathree, one of the first companies to offer telephony service over the Internet. Wurtman took Deltathree public in November 1999 when the company became Jerusalem’s first tech unicorn.[3]

Wurtman began his venture capital career at Jerusalem Venture Partners, where he worked from 2003 to 2006 leading investments in early-stage media technology as well as enterprise software. From 2006 to 2012, Wurtman served as general partner at Benchmark Capital alongside Michael Eisenberg and Arad Naveh.[2]

From 2011 to 2014, Wurtman was Executive Chairman of NJOY. In 2014, Wurtman co-founded Vroom with Alon Bloch, Marshall Chesrown, and Kevin Westfall.[1] From 2014 to 2016, Wurtman served as the first Executive Chairman of Vroom and remained a director until the company’s IPO in June 2020.[4]

In 2015, Wurtman founded PICO Venture Partners with partners Todd Kesselman and Gina LaVersa to invest in early-stage startups.[5] PICO was the first investor in companies such as Vroom and Spot.io.[5] Among other industries, PICO Venture Partners focuses on enterprise software, SaaS, automotive retail, Fintech, e-commerce, and cybersecurity.

Social entrepreneurship

Wurtman is a social entrepreneur, community advocate, and a Middle East Leadership Initiative Fellow at The Aspen Institute.[6] His work includes youth education and the economic redevelopment of the industrial Talpiot neighborhood in Jerusalem. Beginning in 2012, Wurtman helped attract startups and leading ecosystem players to Talpiot such as Autoleadstar and Start-up National Central.

In 2013, Wurtman founded PICO Kids, a non-profit organization in Jerusalem that educates youth across the city about STEEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Math) through project-based learning. PICO Kids' "21st-century skills" program focuses on values, identity, and design thinking with the goal to inspire Jerusalem’s future problem solvers and changemakers.[7] The organization serves elementary and high school students from diverse economic, social, and religious groups.[4]

In 2010, Wurtman founded the Bat Shlomo Vineyards, a boutique winery in northern Israel.[8]

Elie Wurtman in the media

  

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Orbach, Meir (2020-06-03). "Online Used Car Marketplace Vroom Triples its Aim for Nasdaq IPO to $318 Million". CTECH - www.calcalistech.com. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Elie Wurtman - Partner @ PICO Venture Partners". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bahur-Nir, Diana Bahur-Nir; Orbach, Meir (2020-06-20). "Wurtman's roller coaster: From fears of bankruptcy in March to $6 billion exits in June". CTECH - www.calcalistech.com. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gomes-Hochberg, Cassandra (2020-07-08). "Elie Wurtman: The man with the golden touch". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "PICO Venture Partners Closes $80M Second Fund". VentureBeat. 2019-09-26. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  6. "Elie Wurtman". AGLN - Aspen Global Leadership Network. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  7. "Inspiring Jerusalem's Future Problem Solvers". The Aspen Institute. 2020-06-25. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  8. Leichman, Abigail Klein (2019-04-16). "Winery cultivates caring for Israel along with the grapes". ISRAEL21c. Retrieved 2020-10-09.

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