Following a well-received presentation at the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit held earlier this month, Jason Greenblatt, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, is joining the crowdfunding platform as a Partner building ties in the Middle East region.
Greenblatt was previously an Assistant to the President of the United States, and Special Representative for International Negotiations. He exited the White House at the end of 2019. Greenblatt is credited with being the architect of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan described as the deal of the century. The peace initiative was led by Jared Kushner, a key Senior Advisor to the President who is also his son-in-law.
The Peace Plan is designed to improve the economic well-being of the Palestinian population while eventually providing a degree of political autonomy. “Peace to Prosperity“ is described as creating a “path to prosperity, security, and dignity for all involved. If the parties can agree on this framework as a basis for negotiations, the potential for both the Israelis and the Palestinians and the region is unlimited.”
Israel is, of course, known for being the “innovation nation” – a country of entrepreneurs that have punched above its weight class by creating many successful tech firms – generating wealth and prosperity. OurCrowd has been described as leading the charge in fomenting an innovation-driven economy. Since platform launch, OurCrowd has seen over $1.4 billion in committed capital while 36 exits have benefited the platform’s investors.
— Crowdfund Insider (@crowdfundinside) February 13, 2020
One of the goals of OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved is to spread the economic success, and affiliated wealth, across the MENA region.
In January, Medved became the first Israeli venture investor to address a public business gathering in Abu Dhabi when he spoke at the SALT conference at Emirates Palace. Other, unannounced meetings in the region have been rumored.
In a release, Greenblatt said that he sees opportunity where others see opportunity – alluding to the Peace Plan.
“The miracle of Israel’s startup nation, the disproportionate amount of disruptive technologies and wealth-creation events that come out of Israel, is a model for other countries to follow. Israel is a light for the entire region, allowing this type of innovative thinking to spread for the benefit of all,” stated Greenblatt.
A population that is benefiting from capitalism and entrepreneurship benefits everyone. Greenblatt envision each society – Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian, Egyptian, Saudi, Emirati, Qatari, Omani, Bahraini, Kuwaiti and more as part of this movement.
Greenblatt sees his role as building relationships between Israel and its neighbors in the region, working on an issue that once seemed impossible.
“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 stated.
Speaking with Crowdfund Insider, Greenblatt said he expects to be based both in the US as well as Israel. He explained that trust is an important aspect in the region, and in-person meetings are an important part of building trust.
“Luckily, I have spent a great deal of time in the region and feel thoroughly comfortable and welcome in the region,” he said.
Greenblatt added that he continues to outline his goals for the first year. He said you need to be patient in the region and we should check back in a few months.
Asked about the press conference when the Peace Plan was announced and while several middle east countries were represented at the gathering – Palestinian officials were notably absent. Greenblatt had this to say:
“Sadly for the Palestinian people, their leadership – both the Palestinian Authority, as well as their bitter rivals, the Iran-funded Hamas terrorists who subjugate 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, rejected the plan before it was even presented. They do this to the serious detriment of their people. This is a realistic plan that could allow the Palestinians to finally thrive and prosper, something they deserve. But no one can force them to come to the negotiating table. No once can force a peace deal on either side. The Palestinian destiny is in their hands. I hope they take their responsibility seriously.”
As there continues to be a good number of Fintech related events taking place in the MENA region, as well as developmental conferences, Greenblatt expects to be a presence at many of them:
“Jon and Our Crowd have an exciting platform, and I was so glad to see that Jon participated at SALT. Each interaction like that is a building block toward deepening business ties and a better relationship between Israel and its neighbors. People can only benefit from these interactions. Likely I will be attending many of these conferences. These are great places to spread the mission and build bridges. I look forward to it.”
So can Greenblatt expect some vocal support from the middle east countries that currently, quietly, support the initiative? Greenblatt expressed his hope they would:
“I think the region recognizes the great benefits to the economies and their young population by doing business throughout the region. I think we are at a historic time for this region. If they connect on business, the sky is the limit on their economic growth. Let’s hope they all cooperate. I can’t give you any predictions yet.”
Having recently worked closely with President Trump and his key advisors, CI asked if the White House was aware of his new position with OurCrowd:
“While I continue to support the White House’s mission of peace and remain dedicated to that, I have not told them yet about this announcement. They will find out about it with everyone else. I hope they are excited for me, and I think my efforts can only help pave the way to peace.”
Will Greenblatt consider re-joining the administration? He says he has not given any thought to that and he is currently thrilled to be back as a father and husband.
As for his opinion on the upcoming Presidential election, Greenblatt expressed his ongoing support for President Trump:
“I think President Trump will be re-elected. He has done some amazing things for our country.”