About Us

Eric_BentovAriel (Eric) Bentov, Adv. LLB
Founder & Chairman
eric@championcapitalgroup.com

Eric Bentov is a co-founder of Champion Capital Group LLC., with more than 18 years of experience in   the Domestic and International business sector.  As a recognized business leader known for crafting the   requisite strategic vision to achieve short and long term business and investment goals, Eric brings his   unique blend of executive acumen, global team building and investment and business development solutions.  Accordingly, Mr. Bentov developed an exclusive and unique alliance for Champion with major capital partners, high net worth individuals, high profile Tech development companies and major international marketing firms, together with international high profile political and business executives to complete Mr. Bentov’s vision – to create a one stop shop business development company that can cater to the needs of small to mid cap companies in their process to achieve their business development goals, locally and internationally.

Accomplishing a project close to his heart, Eric spearheaded the development and creation of EILAT HUB, an advanced tech center in Israel, through the cooperation of the Municipality of Eilat and participating mentors / advisors from the US and Israel.  In addition, Mr. Bentov has a substantial background in shipping and international physical commodity trading, including and not limited to Oil, Gas and Metals. Moreover, he is involved in other domestic business ventures that involve Tech and Bio Tech ventures, Energy, Sustainability Projects, Real Estate, Finance and Hospitality, Agriculture and International financial solutions.

Prior to Founding Champion, Mr. Bentov’s executive background includes serving as President and CEO of Goodson Management Inc., a private financial company, which focused on lending, real estate, and a wide range of private investment opportunities. Prior to Goodson Management, Eric provided significant consultant services to various boutique financial institutions in New York, including serving as an Executive Vice President of Mortgage Bank, located in Roslyn, New York.

Mr. Bentov’s business experience and training began with his associate position in De Orchis and Partners, a well recognized New York City law firm that is a leader in Maritime Law practice. Mr. Bentov also developed his own Law Practice in Israel which focused on Corporate, Banking Law and Real Estate.  Eric holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Sheffield University in England and is a member of the Israeli Bar Association.

PETER_LAGONIKOS_2Peter Lagonikos
Founder & Co-Chairman
peter@championcapitalgroup.com

Peter Lagonikos is a co-founder of Champion Capital Group LLC and has more than 17 years of     professional and investment experience in business operations, strategy, finance, law, real estate,     commodities and management consulting.  As part of the Executive team at Champion, Peter manages the firm’s legal affairs, including responsibility for legal compliance, corporate structuring, contract negotiation as well as strategic business development.

A serial entrepreneur, in addition to real estate and commodities, Peter has previously invested in several New York City business ventures related to the food, entertainment, telecom and hospitality industry(s). He currently serves as a Legal Advisor and/or Executive Director of various philanthropic, advanced technology, fintech and early stage start-up companies, including the Eilat Hub Israeli Tech Center, linkID International, Socialfy Media and Ellis Jaxon Farms.

Mr. Lagonikos began his career as a real estate and commercial litigation attorney in the City of New York.  Over the ensuing years, as a Managing Member at EELP International, Acadia Metals, Penmark of New York and Strategic Partners Alliance, he garnered a broad leadership and business background with experience in investments, finance and business development in various business sectors, including Commercial Real Estate, Technology, Metals and Oil & Gas.

Peter previously served as Co-Editor of the New York Criminal Law News and also as Legal Advisor to the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization, a United Nations NGO.  He is licensed to practice law in New York State and earned his J.D. from New York Law School in 1998.

ODED_HARELOded Harel
Head of Global Business Development

In addition to being a seasoned global entrepreneur with ownership is numerous companies in the fields of telecommunications, real estate, green energy and “high-tech”, Oded Harel brings to Champion over 40 years of unparalleled international business experience, accomplishments and acumen which transcends most global platforms.

Significantly, and since 1991, Oded established “Shiran General Trade Ltd.”, a holding company managed  from Prague with over 30 subsidiaries devoted to Central Europe trade and finance of commodities including iron ore, coal, steel and pipe, in addition to all related logistics of chartering trains to carry millions of tons of these bulk commodities between Russia and Central East Europe.  Shiran activities also include real estate infrastructure and development, hotels, shopping malls, pipe factories, including locomotive factories in Russia, steel production and rail/road logistics, including the largest logistic company in the Czech Republic and the development of the well known D47 Highway project of over 2.6 Billion Euro in the Czech Republic. The yearly turnover of the group exceeded $400 Million.   In 2007, Oded founded the “Far East Land Bridge”, a company which revolutionized China/Korea-to-Europe container logistics, reducing delivery between these nations door  to door from an average of 50 days to only 14 days.

Oded began his prestigious career in 1973 when he joined the Israeli industrial conglomerate KOOR Industries Ltd, becoming the financial director of KOOR Trade Ltd in Israel and spending 3 years in London developing the trade finance activity of the group worldwide, which covered a great part of all the exports and imports from and into Israel.  Thereafter in 1986 Oded established “Batrade Ltd.”, a trade finance company with the Bank LEUMI  Group, where he served as CEO and not only managed the bank’s largest clients of export in trade finance activities but he additional managed and oversaw its major projects, including irrigation projects in various countries and the desalination of salt water into sweet water.

Oded graduated from Tel Aviv University in 1971 with a degree in Economics and Accounting and thereafter qualified as a CPA.

STEVEN_COOKSteven Cook
Chief Marketing Officer
stevencook@championcapitalgroup.com
www.linkedin.com/in/StevenCook1/

Steven has 25+ years experience as an accomplished Fortune 50 global strategic brand marketer and CMO with GM expertise in consumer-centric brand building, transformational innovation, B2C and B2B business development and account management with P&G, Coca-Cola and Samsung Electronics, as well as startup experience in Palo Alto, LA , NYC and Atlanta. He is working with Champion Capital Group serving as its CMO with Biz Dev, Product Innovation & capital raise roles.

He has built and led iconic, image-based CPG and durable passion brands globally online and offline in the highly competitive Electronics, Tech, Entertainment, Beverage, Food, Cosmetics, Personal Care, and Health & Well-being categories where building customer intimacy and strong emotional connections with consumers is critical to growing brand equity and KPI results.

Steven was Samsung Electronics SVP, CMO, North America where he led Brand Marketing B2C and B2B teams and agencies across the $25 Billion Divisions. He was part of the Executive Team that contributed to Samsung maintaining its #1 share in HDTV and achieving #1 share in Mobile Phone in the U.S., and creating synergy across Product Groups.  Steven served as Coca-Cola VP Worldwide Strategic Planning, Business Development and Marketing for 13 years leading global and local teams to develop innovative consumer-driven brand strategies, technologies and programs. His brand marketing career started with P&G leading iconic brands and growth initiatives in N. America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific for 13 years.

Steven is also the Founder, Managing Partner of FortuneCMO LLC www.FortuneCMO.co working with Fortune 1000 companies, VCs, PEs & startup Founders leveraging his global CMO experience. Steven is regularly invited to Chair CMO events, keynote, and lead panels at global CMO thought leadership conferences.  Steven is the Resident Digital CMO and Contributing Editor for CMO.com by Adobe. www.cmo.com/search.html?q=Steven%20Cook;sort=article_date  He is on the Palo Alto-based CMO Council Advisory Board. He is a Charter Member of TiE Atlanta https://atlanta.tie.org the 4th largest Chapter in the world’s largest entrepreneur network.

ELI_POLLACKEli polak
Cyber Security, smart and safe city advisor

Eli Polak has served in the Israeli army for three decades. He retired after a successful military career as Brigadier-General in 2013. Along his career, General Polak has served as a commander and as an intelligence officer in various operational and technological units in combat zones and during war time.

Eli completed his military career as the Chief Combat Intelligence and Collection officer at the Ground Force Command (Brigadier-General). Previously, he served as the Geospatial Intelligence Agency (IGA) Commander – in the Israeli Intelligence Department (Colonel), and the Field Intelligence School Commander (Colonel). During his military career Eli command and manage few technical units which were unique on their domains and developed state of the art systems for the operational needs.

After his retirement in 2013, Eli founded and managed E.SOOF Ltd, a startup company specializing in solving one of the main problems in the world causing car accidents – texting while driving and its distraction outcome. E.SOOF developed a system called BAZZ, which is designed to enable safe driving by reducing drivers distractions. BAZZ allows the user to receive a text message such as SMS or WhatsApp, listen to the content of the message and respond 100% hands free via simple intuitive voice commands in four different ways.

Eli holds an MA in political science, specializing in national security at the University of Haifa and the Israel National Defense College (INDC), and a B.A in HR Management from Ben Gurion University (Graduated with Honors).

RON_HADANIRon Hadani
Bio Tech Advisor

Mr. Hadani is an entrepreneurial, team-builder executive with 28 years of experience in business, technology, product development and general management of medical device and imaging companies.

Mr. Hadani held technical positions at Johnson & Johnson Ultrasound, co-founded and lead Ultrasound Technologies, which he sold to U.S. Surgical Corp (USSC) and served as a Vice President for about 3 years. Following the acquisition of USSC by Tyco he acquired the division and sold it to the Charterhouse Group Int’l and served as the CEO of its U.S. based medical imaging company – Kontron Medical.

Prior to conceiving NaNaMed and its innovative rearward viewing colonoscopy concepts, Mr. Hadani was the President and CEO of Vision-Sciences, Inc. (nasdaq: VSCI) for seven years where he rebuilt the company, its business and its team, and lead the innovation and development of the company’s line of endoscopic products for the ENT, Pulmonology, Urology, Upper GI and Spine Surgery markets.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from NYU / Polytechnic Institute of New York.

RALPH_DI_FIORERALPH DI FIORE
Financial Advisor

Ralph R. Di Fiore CFA, Senior Managing Director, Mr. DiFiore is a founding principal of Chatsworth Securities LLC and a founding member of Chatsworth Capital Corporation.

He has served as the Director of Retirement Funds for McDonnell Douglas Corporation and held similar positions at NCR Corporation and Owens-Illinois Inc. He was also a founding partner of an international asset manager, an investment banker with James Capel Inc. (now part of HSBC) and was responsible for international marketing at Commodities Corporation. He has substantial experience in structuring and marketing a wide variety of sophisticated investment management products including equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, and managed futures. He holds a BBA and an MA from Pace University.

STEVEN_BOOKBINDER

STEVEN BOOKBINDER
Financial Advisor

Steve has over 30 years of experience in financial sales, business development and sales management.  Spanning his 30 years in the global financial markets, Steve has held senior positions with many prestigious firms.

Bear Stearns, Bloomberg, Cantor Fitzgerald and Dow Jones to name a few.  At Bloomberg, where he spent 15 years, Steve was co-founder of Bloomberg Tradebook, where he built and managed an international sales team of 150 people generating well in excess of $300M in revenues.

Steve has been a trusted advisor to many Wall Street firms and service providers. He has developed strategic relationships with senior financial service executives around the world. Due to his vast experience in the financial sector, he is frequently invited to speak at many industry events.

Steve graduated from Baruch College with a degree in Marketing and Finance and earned his MBA from Baruch College. He currently holds a NASD/FINRA Series 7 license.

KEVIN_RUBEY

Kevin Rubey
BioTech Advisor

Kevin Rubey is a global business leader who currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of EndoChoice where he is responsible for global manufacturing.

Prior to EndoChoice, Mr. Rubey was the Chief Operating Officer at Given Imaging (dual-listed on both the NASDAQ and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, where it is a component of the TA-100 Index and the TA BlueTech-50 Index) where he launched and commercialized the PillCam® Video Capsule and several other products.

Before joining Given Imaging in 2001, Mr. Rubey held a variety of leadership positions at Kodak, Imation Corporation and 3M Company. Overall, he has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing, research and development, supply chain, customer service, information technologies, intellectual property and quality and regulatory affairs.

Mr. Rubey holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.

SHUKI_YEHOSHUA_ABRAMOVITCH

SHUKI YEHOSHUA ABRAMOVITCH
Investment Advisor

Mr. Shuki Yehoshua Abramovich is a well renowned investment leader and currently serves as the President of Ava Financial Ltd. (ATRADE; AVATRADE)

and serves as the Chairman of Somoto Ltd.  In addition, he serves as a Director of Angioslide Ltd., Kalanit Hagilboa Ltd., Argaman Bareket Nadlan & Investments Ltd., Milestone Ltd., Shiftagift Ltd., Tarcha Group Ltd., Habima Building Co. Ltd., Orbix Medical Ltd. and Agate R.M. Investments & Medical Technologies Ltd.

Mr. Abramovich previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Clal Finance Ltd. and has also been a Director of I.D.I. Insurance Company Ltd. since May 15, 2014.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Management from Tel Aviv University and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Tel Aviv University.

Udi_Ben_BaronUdi Ben-Baron
Gaming Advisor

Udi Ben-Baron is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Champion Capital Group. Udi brings over 10 years of varied experience in Product Management in Global Corporations and early stage startups. In his role Udi led technological & business activities in Mobile Apps, Telecom, Broadcast, Video Conferencing and Wireless markets, bridging between technology and business needs.

Prior to joining Champion Udi was the founder of Sagarnoo, a location based market place for services/errands at close proximity. Before that, he held several Product Management and business positions, including leading Polycom (Nasdaq:PLCM) Video Conferencing servers product line, generating $100M revenues per year.

Udi is holding an MBA from the Technion, M.E in System Engineering (Technion – Cam Laude) and BSc in Software Engineering (Dean Honors).


Cooley

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP is a law firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with   offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. The firm’s practice areas that include technology, life sciences, clean technology,

real estate, financial services, retail, and energy. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters and high-stakes litigation, where innovation meets the law.

  • Cooley has 850 lawyers across 12 offices in the United States, China and Europe
  • 275 partners in a single-tier partnership
  • 1800 employees worldwide
  • Named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”
  • Recognized as Elite “Top-25 Innovative Law Firm” by Financial Times

Preeminent tech, life sciences, venture capital and fund formation practices

AMIT_POLLACK_MATALON_LLP

Amit, Pollak, Matalon LLP

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co., based In Tel Aviv (APM &   Co.), is a top-tier Israeli law firm, offering extensive   knowledge and expertise in all areas of corporate and commercial law.

With 58 years of experience and over 80 lawyers, we provide a complete package of legal services to Israeli and international clients across all business sectors. APM & Co. represents some of Israel’s leading enterprises, including publicly traded corporations, industrial companies, real estate developers and contractors, private equity and venture capital funds, high tech companies, software houses, banking institutions, insurance companies and trade unions. APM & Co. is consistently recognized as an outstanding firm in leading international and local directories of the legal profession such as, Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, Dun’s 100 and BDI Coface.