By moving in “the same circles as her father” and vowing to “work only on things involving Israel,” Isabel Maxwell became a pivotal liaison for the entry of Israeli intelligence-linked tech firms into Silicon Valley with the help of Microsoft’s two co-founders, Paul Allen and Bill Gates. This is Part II of the series “The Maxwell Family Business: Espionage” and focuses on Isabel Maxwell. Part I can be found here. In 1992, Israel’s government created the Yozma Program at the urging of Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade – Yigal Erlich – as Erlich moved to leave that position. The Yozma Program aimed to “incentivize venture investment” by creating state-linked venture capital funds, which later spawned a myriad of Israeli hi-tech start ups with merging them with major, foreign technology companies. According to Erlich’s website, he had lobbied Israel’s government to launch Yozma because he had “identified a market failure and a huge need in Israel to establish for the first time a professionally-managed venture capital industry that will fund the exponential growth of high tech ventures coming out of Israel.” He then “convinced the Israeli government to allocate $100 million for his venture capital vision.”
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