The Book and Case Studies:
The book and case studies project was inspired by the ethos of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program that ‘it’s the journey that counts.’ We thought that if we could create a repository of case studies of founder experiences in their own venture creation processes, it could serve younger entrepreneurs navigate their own journeys. We envisioned it as a kind of guidebook to the galaxy of entrepreneurship or a ‘holy grail’ of sorts. Jokingly, we entitled it The Zible, with a humble nod to the first example of a case studies compilation, whether your view of the Bible from a religious or secular vantage point. We added the ‘Z,’ as we tend to do, for many Zell activities and projects. So the Zible remains the domain for this project, which beyond the book and the first cohort of case studies will be an ever growing repository of learnings from the experiences of Zell alumni founders. This semester we plan to kick off a course in the program to study the the case studies. But also how to write case studies, so that we can keep the repository live and ever expanding. Stay tuned, we will be adding multimedia content, book updates and online tutorials.
Liat Aaronson, is the co-founder and COO of Horizen Labs, a blockchain technology company. She was the executive director of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program from 2005 through 2015. Since she has served as chairperson of the program and takes pride in the program's growth over the years and the ventures that have launched, but even more so the incredible people that have come out of the program and the initiatives they have led, including the Zell Alumni Network, an alumni organization that serves the 425 program alumni through career, guidance, startup support, activities, events, retreats etc. She holds a B.A. in political economy of industrial societies (economics and political science, cum laude) from the University of California at Berkeley, an LL.B. and MBA from Tel Aviv University, and an LL.M. in European law from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands (cum laude). She became a member of the Israel Bar Association in 1999, after completing her internship at Kantor, Elhanani, Tal & Co. She attained practical experience in mergers and acquisitions and new ventures, as an associate attorney at Naschitz, Brandes & Co. She was an investment partner at Marker LLC, a venture capital fund based in Tel Aviv and New York, and served as COO of Selina, a high growth hospitality startup. She is presently the CEO of the ZEP Fund, the venture arm of the program.
Lorein Abenhaim, who interviewed the alumni, researched and compiled the case studies, has a background in product management and strategy. She has spent the last nine years managing the build and release of digital products for various companies, including Selina, a hospitality group, Blippar, an augmented reality technology service, and most recently at Horizen Labs as an Operations Manager. She prioritizes creating digital products that humanize technology and drive positive impact in their specific industry.