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Bank Hapoalim

has established a fully-owned subsidiary,Poalim Venture Financing.

PVF will specialize in financing and investment services for startups. Its board is to be headed by Hapoalim VP Dan Dankner, with Shmuel Shaked serving as CEO.

Shaked is well aware that PVF will have to contend with an increased risk factor in the hi-tech market, especially pertaining to startups. But at the same time, he believes new business opportunities have opened up. He is confident that hi-tech and New Economy will continue to grow and that cyclical downturns will not depress the entrepreneurial spirit.

He added that the company is weighing alliances with foreign companies in order to expand and diversify its business.

Shaked noted that the bank began investing in hi-tech three years ago. It has gained experience and has had several successful exits, such as

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