Our Zell Fellows Venture Further

Introduced during the 2013-14 academic year and funded by Sam Zell, the Zell Fellows Program at the Kellogg School of Management is designed to be a unique, applied entrepreneurial experience for a select number of MBA candidates interested in starting a new venture or acquiring an existing one.

Over the years, we have found that the most successful Fellows have had a few things in common. Zell Fellows are consistently known to possess the following traits:
  • Drive and Urgency: Zell Fellows do not wait for things to come to them, they go out and make them happen. Rather than pushing things off or saying “I’ll get to that next week/month,” our Fellows push forward to achieve their goals.
  • Humility and Collegiality: Zell Fellows are knowledgeable in their given domain, but more importantly, they know what they don’t know and understand that there is always more to learn. Being coachable and flexible is not only important for success in the program, but also for overall success as an entrepreneur
  • Community-Oriented: Zell Fellows understand that what they can give is usually much more important than what they can get. They are generous with their knowledge and expertise and by doing so they receive the same generosity from their fellow students.

Program Highlights

All Fellows participating in the program, both the New Venture track as well as the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition track, will benefit from the following:
  • Mentorship from track faculty, outside advisors and practitioners, sharing their experience as well as providing guidance on the practical aspects of launching or acquiring a business
  • Experiences, including visits with Chicago-area entrepreneurs; leadership and executive presence workshops and private coaching; and both domestic and international treks to visit successful entrepreneurs, Zell Fellows alumni, and the other schools that are part of the Zell Global Entrepreneur Network
  • Resources, both financial and from vetted service providers, to put towards their businesses and entrepreneurial journey
  • Community, within their own Kellogg cohort, with other Kellogg Zell alumni, and with participants and alumni of the programs at other schools that are part of the Zell Global Entrepreneur Network
See below for information on the application process as well as a recorded info session and links to live Q&A sessions.
Read about the program as well as several recent Zell Fellow startups in this Poets & Quants article: Off the Launchpad: Kellogg’s Hottest MBA Startups.

Zell Fellows Alumni - New Venture Track

2020-21 Cohort

Anastasia Evanich ’21 / The Adrenal Drink
Sam Jactel ’21 / Agora Health
Sara Jandeska ’22 / Blue Comet Medical Solutions
Alyssa Marazzo ’21 /Ciclo
Emily Mohr ’21 / Nine Times Bakery
Sarita Patankar ’21 / HuddleMD
Ben Preston ’21 / Gearflow
Adam Turville ’21 / FinLit
Oliver Yiu ’21 / mySkin

2019-20 Cohort
Consumer & Enterprise Track

Connor Crown ‘20 / METEOR MCCK
Jennifer Daily ’20 / Lana Kila
Phil O’Brien ’20 / Limelight
Chris Rochester ’20 / Primary Colors
Marcus Schneider ’20 / again&again
Will Zheng ’20 / Serionix, Inc.
Michelle Zighelboim ’20 / Zéta 

Healthcare Track

Olivia Cameron '20 / UnifiHealth
Adam Cohen ’20 / Stemloop
Hanna Colin ’20 / B-Vitals
Amit Gupta ’20 / Cardiosense
Ana Kakkar ’20 / Every Clinic
Kartik Kesavabhotla ’21 / airmid Health
Xiao Zhang ’20 / Amasu 

Emerging Markets Track

Fernanda Colaco ’20 / Recigases
Rafael Leite ’20 / Beniccio
Sinthuja Nagalingam ’20 / Tilt
Brunna Seabra ’20 / Dindin 

2018-19 Cohort
Consumer & Enterprise Track

Sam Abidi '19 / Phelps2020
Kimmie Carey '19 / The Dose Co.
David Costello '19 / Kengos
Alex Eng '19 / SLATE
Daniel Kolb '19 / Commit
Cara Morphew '19 / BeenThere
Adam Motley '19 / Movo Chair

Healthcare Track

Jonathan Bateman '19 / Red + Blue
Kyle Metz '19 / Jabiru Medical LLC
Tim Taxter '19 

Emerging Markets Track

Layon Costa '19 / GetNuts
Enrique Evoli '19 / KIN Industries
Sahar Jamal '19 / Maziwa
Stephane Manuel '19 / TrueFiktion
Don Meier '19 / LineShift
Sam Schiller '19 / Carbon Yield
Julian Sheinbaum '19 / Teachability

2017-18 Cohort
New Venture Track

Nick Anastasiades ’18 / 2ndKitchen 
Jennifer Barron ’18 / Outfox
Kathryn Bernell ’18 / reBLEND
Allison Brown ’18 / Cariset
Rei Kawano ’18 / Heed Foods
Chase Michalek ’18 / Hilltop Health
Brittany Phillips ’18 / Carewaye
Milan Raj ’18 / Shaadi Destinations
Adam Swick ’18 / Swick Capital

Healthcare Track

Ben Beidler ’18 / Novosight
Andrew Cabodi ’18 / BackWave Technologies
Dianna He ’18 / Sit the Moon Health
David Nguyen ’18 / okam health
Kyle Wildnauer Haigney ’18 / ScriptPass 

Emerging Markets Track

Chioma Aladi ’18 / ENG Women
Nakul Khanna ’18 / Instago
Alejandro Orvananos Obregon ’18 /Qualtrium
Zain Shahzad ’18 / Allif
Patrick Tagny Diesse ’18 / Afiri

2016-17 Cohort
New Venture Track

Saumya ’17 / Kheyti
Nathan Cooper ’17 / Wise Apple
Rachael Feuerborn ’17 / Finch
Roshni Khurana ’17 / The Right Hook
Jared Scharen ’17 / eRetirements
Tiffany Smith ’17 / Tiltas
Carolyn Snider ’17 / Welltended
Eduardo Uriarte Ruiz ’17 / Kairos
Rachel Xanttopoulos ’17 / Daybreak

Healthcare Track

Barath Anandakumar ’17 / ActiWit
Gal Ben Dor ’17 / Getoo
Todd Cruikshank ’17 / Surgical Innovation Associates
Smit Naik ’17 / Actualize Therapy
Eloy Vinuales ’17 / PrediCare

2015-16 Cohort
New Venture Track

Tushar Garg ’16 / FlyHomes
Jordan Hollander ’16 / Citykey
Nidheesh Patel ’16 / Carvnient
Blair Pircon ’16 / The Graide Network
Bobby Powers ’16 / SharEd
Justin Saeheng ’16 / IFM Technologies
Beth Santos ’16 / Wanderful
Asaf Segev ’16 / Syteful 
Rebecca Sholiton ’16 / Wise Apple

2014-15 Cohort
New Venture Track

Lorena Arathoon ’15 / Snackerie
Jeremy Bolian ’15 /Acentive
Jesse Chang ’16 / MDAR Technologies, Inc.
Michael Jung ’15 / UroProx
Stephen Lane ’16 / FlyHomes
Priya Mathew ’15 / Practico
Luciana Silva De Oliveira ’15 / New Hope Ecotech
Kieren Patel ’16 / Opticent Health
Gaurav Shenai ’15 / Touchtrail
Tyler Wanke ’15 / Innoblative

2013-14 Cohort 
New Venture Track

Ty Benefiel ’14 / MeterGenius
Christopher Chon ’14 / Leonard & Church
Mathew Elenjickal ’14 / Four Kites
Vaibhov Goel ’14 / Tuplee 
Travis Granger ’14 / Arbyl
April (Yong Kyung) Kim ’14 /Chatting Cat
Daniel Klein ’15 / REPP
Jeremy O’Briant ’14 / License Buddy
Jason Sandler ’15 / Innoblative 

Zell Fellows Alumni - ETA Track

2020-21 Cohort

Asad Berani ‘21
Edgar Blanco Company ‘21
Dylan Ketcham ‘21
Elwin Ng ‘21
Alexis Osborn ‘21
Adam Root ‘21
Jaison Thomas ‘21

2019-20 Cohort
Alex Biegler ‘20
Caroline Haid ‘20
Erica Hauser ‘20
Jason Luo ‘20
Monte Malhotra ’20
Matthew O'Neill ‘20
Jessica Palfrey ‘20
Juan Reyes ‘20
Spencer Springer ‘20
Dan Violi ‘20

2018-19 Cohort
Ian Goldberg '19
Dan Kish '19
Isauro Reyna Valenciana '19
Fernando Ribeiro '19
Andro Rodriguez '19
Nick Seger '19
Robbie Sutkay '19
Blake Toll '19
Mayank Vijayvergia '19

2017-18 Cohort

Jose Anguis Horno ’18
Nate Barajas ’18
Anthony Cardona ’18
Lauren Davis ’18
Russell Johnston ’18
Carr Lanphier ’18
Marcella Lobo ’18
Timothy Novick ’18
Charlie Pratt ’18
Richard Roman ’18

2016-17 Cohort
Ayu Djaputra ’17
Blair Kessler ’17
Matthew Dellen ’17
Matthew McGarry ’17
Stanley Rodos ’17
Ashish Rohil ’17
Jay Shah ’17

2015-16 Cohort
Shaun Currie ’16
Ray Fan ’16
John Griffin ’16
Tommy Jackson ’16
Elise Krieger ’16
Will Wright ’16
Margaret Yeager ’17

Zell Fellow Highlights


Mathew Elenjickal ’14 / Consumer & Enterprise track
FourKites has completely transformed expectations for the shipping industry with their real-time tracking solutions. FourKites was named to Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startups 2019.

Surgical Innovation Associates

Todd Cruikshank ’17 Healthcare track
Surgical Innovation Associates is developing innovative medical devices. They have received FDA clearance and have begun clinical use of their first product.

Carbon Yield

Sam Schiller ’20 / Emerging Markets & Social Impact track
Carbon Yield won the 2019 Kellogg Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge and has received funding from an agricultural foundation which will help farmers become more resilient to climate change while returning carbon to healthy soil.

Saumya ‘17

Kheyti / Emerging Markets & Social Impact track
Saumya, founder of Kheyti, which helps small farmers in India with their “Greenhouse in a box”, was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs of 2019.

Will Wright ‘16

Peerless Events & Tents Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Track
Will Wright formed a search fund after Kellogg graduation and acquired Peerless Events & Tents for the purpose of building it into a major regional event rental business

Application Process

Application Dates

September 21, 2021
12:15-1:00 pm
September 26, 2021
11:59 PM
Program Application Deadline
September 29, 2021
Mandatory Applicant Activity
In person
Weeks of :
October 4, 2021
October 11, 2021
Zell Fellows Interviews
Round 1 - remote
Round 2 - in person
October 15, 2021
2021-2022 Invitations Issued

Program Dates

October 20, 2021
Zell Fellows Programming Begins
November 6-7, 2021
Fall Trek
December 5-8, 2021
Individual Track Treks
Spring Break 2022
Exact dates TBD
Israel Trek
Visit from IDC Zell Program
June 2022, exact dates TBD
ZGEN Gathering at Kellogg

Faculty Leadership

David Schonthal

Faculty Director, Zell Fellows Program
David founded the program in 2013 and has led the expansion of the program over the past several years as additional tracks, focus areas, resources, and experiences have been added to meet the specific needs of the students in the program.

New Venture Track

Tasha Seitz

Adjunct Professor of Social Impact, Track Co-Lead

Kate Wolin

Track Co-Lead

Gregg Latterman

Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Development and Alumni Engagement

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Track

Alex Schneider

Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Track Co-Lead

Matt Littell

Adjunct Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Track Co-Lead


Rick Desai

Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Expert-in-Residence, E-commerce

Suzanne Muchin

Clinical Associate Professor in Leadership Development and Communications and Expert-in-Residence, Value Proposition and Brand Positioning

Karin O'Connor

Clinical Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Expert-in-Residence, CXO Programs and Apprenticeship

Efosa Ojomo

Expert-in-Residence, Emerging Markets

Jon Wettersten

Expert-in-Residence, Digital Product Design


Raymond Fan


Elisabeth Settimi


Markus Scott


Anthony Walker


Program Staff

Jennifer Herold
Senior Program Manager
Tyler Seybold
Program Assistant

Sam Zell

Founder, Chairman
Sam Zell is a global, industry-agnostic entrepreneur and investor. He has a long track record of turning around troubled companies and assets, leading industry consolidations, and bringing companies to the public markets. His current investments are in logistics, healthcare, manufacturing, energy and real estate

Sam is the Chairman of Equity Group Investments, the private investment firm he founded more than 50 years ago. He also chairs five companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange: Equity Residential, an apartment REIT; Equity LifeStyle Properties, a manufactured home community and resort REIT; Equity Commonwealth, an office REIT; Covanta Holding Corporation, an international owner/operator of energy-from-waste and power generation facilities; and Equity Distribution Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) targeting opportunities to apply technological advancement within the industrial industry.

Sam also founded and chaired Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest office REIT until its 2007 sale for $39 billion in the largest leveraged buyout at the time. In addition, he introduced the first Brazilian and Mexican real estate companies, respectively, to the New York Stock Exchange through Equity International, a second private investment firm he founded to focus on real estate-related businesses in emerging markets.

Sam is an active philanthropist with a focus on entrepreneurial education. Through the Zell Family Foundation, he has led the sponsorship of several leading entrepreneurship programs, including: the Zell/Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business; the Zell Fellows Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; and the Zell Entrepreneurship Center at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC). The Zell Global Entrepreneur Network (ZGEN) unites the students and alumni of these programs and actively provides them with connections, opportunities, mentorship and support. Sam also sponsors the Samuel Zell/Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Real Estate Center. He holds a JD degree and a BA from the University of Michigan.

Sam was recognized in 2017 by Forbes as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds. That same year, Sam debuted his book, Am I Being Too Subtle? (Penguin RandomHouse), in which he shares fundamentals and philosophies that made him a self-made billionaire.


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