Team. Support. Joy.

Meet the people who are passionate about the potential that neuroscience and technology hold to enable longer and healthier lives. We’re not here to do the work of our entrepreneurs, but to make their work better.

The Joyful Team

Liron Nunez Weissman CEO
CEO Liron Nunez Weissman

Liron is the CEO at Joy Ventures. Before being named CEO in December 2021, Liron served as Joy's VP Product Development and VP Portfolio Success. Prior to Joy, Liron was the CTO of Beyond Mobility, where he evaluated startups for investment, and built and managed the service offering for the company’s corporate clients.

Before that, Liron headed the CTO office at Consumer Physics, where he was responsible for pushing the envelope of the SCiO device beyond its existing application, as well as expanding target markets. He also led a program at Consumer Physics focused on embedding the SCiO device in the mobile phone. Prior to this role, Liron was part of the founding team of Pearls of Wisdom, where he served as VP Development.

Earlier in his career, Liron led R&D in various disciplines and areas of technology, where he enjoyed rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty in the actual development process as much as possible.

Liron holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics, from the Hebrew University, as part of the Talpiot honors program.

Sources of Joy: Liron spends his free time (not that he has much) in traditional hand tools woodworking and enjoys cooking almost as much as he enjoys eating.

Josh Schulman, Ph.D. Chief Scientist
Chief Scientist Josh Schulman, Ph.D.

Josh is the Chief Scientist at Joy Ventures.  Before joining Joy, he led Partnerships and Innovation at Genetika+, a startup working on tools for successful drug development and personalized treatment of psychiatric disorders.  Prior to that, he led regulatory and clinical affairs at MaxQ AI and helped bring one of the first radiology AI applications to the market while working closely with FDA to develop policy on AI and Software as a Medical Device (SaMD).  

He continues to be active in helping develop standards and policy for medical devices and has served on industry groups addressing the use artificial intelligence and cloud computing for healthcare. 

For over a decade, Josh has also worked with academic technology transfer companies, small businesses, and investors across the medical device and pharma industries as well as lecturing and assisting team projects in Hebrew University’s Biodesign program.

Earlier in his career, Josh worked in both large and small pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including regulatory affairs at Omrix Biopharmaceuticals. 

Josh’s scientific and management training began with a PhD in neuroscience which used magnetoencephalography to study the impact of different brain activity modes on normal and disease states.  Following a postdoc on brain biomarker development, he worked with government agencies on science strategy and program management. 

Sources of Joy: Any activity with family

Ruthi Aladjem, Ph.D. Chief Product Strategist
Chief Product Strategist Ruthi Aladjem, Ph.D.

Ruthi joined Joy as the Chief Product Strategist in 2022. 

In her previous role, she was an EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) at Joy, where she explored new product directions in untapped areas of wellbeing. 

Prior to Joy, Ruthi co-founded Knowsome, an EdTech startup that promotes lifelong learning through fully automated, contextual, and personalized learning journeys. Before that, she was the Director of Learning Design at the University of the People, a nonprofit, tuition-free online university, committed to the global advancement and democratization of higher education. 

Ruthi is also a research and teaching fellow at Tel Aviv University. She holds a PhD in Learning Technologies and a BA in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, both from Tel Aviv University. 

Sources of Joy: Animals (specifically dogs), movies (the older the better), tech gadgets (#earlyadopter)

Sara Shnider, Ph.D. US Academic Innovation Lead
US Academic Innovation Lead Sara Shnider, Ph.D.

Sara is the US Academic Innovation Lead at Joy Ventures, where she is responsible for creating research partnerships between Joy and academic institutions in the US. She brings over a decade of experience managing diverse aspects of industry-academia partnerships across pharma, academia and the nonprofit sector.

Prior to Joy, Sara directed a portfolio of global academic collaborations at Teva Pharmaceuticals, designed to enhance the company’s drug development efforts from discovery through Phase I. In this capacity, she was responsible for technology scouting and evaluation, scientific project management, and international public-private consortia. She was also an active mentor in Teva’s entrepreneurship and educational programs for graduate students across Israel.  

Previously, Sara was executive director of the non-profit organization Prize4Life. She led scientific programs that engaged startup companies, universities, and nonprofits to identify and validate new drug candidates for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Earlier in her career, she negotiated industry research agreements in the technology transfer office of University of California, San Francisco, and was a science policy fellow at the National Academies in Washington, DC. 

Sara completed her PhD at Harvard University investigating the molecular controls over development of neuronal subpopulations in the neocortex. Earlier, she completed her MSc in bioinformatics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and a BSc in biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Sources of Joy: long hikes, getting lost in a book, and quality time with friends and family. 

JoJo Platt US Partnerships Lead
US Partnerships Lead JoJo Platt

JoJo Platt is a US Partnerships Lead at Joy Ventures, where she focuses on sourcing promising early-stage neuroscience companies and research in the United States.

With over 15 years in the field of neurotechnology, JoJo has built a unique and powerful network within the neurotech community.  Her role in the launch of the field of bioelectronic medicine, the peer-reviewed journal of the same name, and the Feinstein Institute's Center for Bioelectronic Medicine, has afforded her the opportunity to create meaningful relationships with researchers and business leaders at all levels in neuroscience and neurophysiology, molecular biology, engineering, data science, microfabrication, materials science, signal processing, imaging, and more.  She has staffed multiple labs from postdocs to PIs. JoJo's network is over 5,000 strong and includes engagement with some of the field's most influential and respected leaders. 

JoJo works with a variety of clients including academic and research institutions, start-ups, industry leaders, and venture firms to accelerate business and create opportunities. She travels the world to stay connected and up-to-date, and she serves on the organizing committees of some of the field's most important conferences including the Cleveland NeuroDesign Entrepreneurs Workshop, IEEE's Neural Engineering Conference and Brain Initiative, EMBC, Rice University’s InterfaceRice, the Feinstein Institutes’ Bioelectronic Medicine Summit, and Neurotech Leaders Forum and Bioelectronic Medicine Forum.

Dori Zimner Investment Associate
Investment Associate Dori Zimner

Dori Zimner

As Investment Associate at Joy Ventures, Dori focuses primarily on Joy Ventures’ startups investment activities.

Dori has over a decade of experience in cross-border business development and financing. Prior to Joy Ventures, Dori spearheaded numerous successful investment and cooperation deals between Israeli startups and foreign corporations at, international investment banking firm, Asia Direct Capital. 

Dori won a Thesis Award for Excellence from Beijing University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics. 

Sources of Joy: Dori volunteers as an actor in the Beit Ekstein theater initiative, which brings actors and people with disabilities together on stage in effort to provide them with higher quality of life and social inclusion.

Cilla Zack Academic Program Manager
Academic Program Manager Cilla Zack

Cilla is a social psychologist managing the Joy Academic Grant Program focusing on innovative technologies, interventions and novel approaches in the field of neuro-wellness.

Since 2018, Cilla has also managed her own business, Simple Habits, where she studies and conducts research in social psychology to offer consumer-friendly, science backed tools for wellbeing.  

Cilla holds a Master of Arts in Social Psychology, with a concentration in Judgment and Decision Making,  from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Philosophy and the History of Art and Architecture from University of California Santa-Barbara. Recently, she completed her MBSR training and is currently working on her BECK CBT certificate. 

Sources of Joy: Cilla enjoys exploring the application of interdisciplinary scientific insights from the field of neuro-wellness and leads a Lean in circle in Tel Aviv.

Sabrina Kestenbaum Director of Marketing
Director of Marketing Sabrina Kestenbaum

Sabrina is the Marketing Director at Joy Ventures. She leads Joy’s marketing and communication strategy and ecosystem programs, and works with portfolio companies across key areas to support their growth. 

Before joining Joy Ventures, Sabrina was the Government & Cities Program Manager at SOSA, where she oversaw innovation partnerships with countries and cities such as Australia, Cologne and the Basque Country, and led the business development of the program. Prior to this role, she served as SOSA's Innovation Ecosystem Manager and was responsible for growing SOSA’s presence in the tech ecosystem, overseeing weekly industry events and programming, and working directly with SOSA's 50+ VC clients on their marketing and ecosystem outreach strategy.

Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Communications and Film & Media Studies, from Northwestern University.

Sources of Joy: Sabrina spends much of her time out of the office chasing her dog Luli on the Tel Aviv beaches, listening and dancing to music (in classes and around the house) and scavenging for sweets.

Yhonatan Shemesh Research Analyst
Research Analyst Yhonatan Shemesh

As Research Analyst at Joy Ventures, Yhonatan is responsible for maintaining an up-to-date picture of the scientific literature in the neuro-wellness space.

Prior to joining Joy, Yhonatan was employed at the Israel Gerontological Data Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he conducted research on the psychological and social predictors of healthy aging, and was involved in producing evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. In 2017, he co-published an academic book on public understanding of economics.

Yhonatan holds a Masters degree in brain and cognitive science, and is currently pursuing a PhD in psychological data science. He has served in several research capacities in the military and in academia.

Sources of Joy: Yhonatan is an avid cook, percussionist, and gardener.

Michael Valitsky, Ph.D.  Research Analyst
Research Analyst Michael Valitsky, Ph.D. 

Michael joined Joy Ventures as a Research Analyst in 2023. Michael is an experienced researcher in the pharmaceutical and medical device field with a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences. He has a strong track record in identifying and evaluating new assets and partnership opportunities, building and implementing candidate evaluation strategies, as well as in end-to-end pre-clinical research strategic planning and execution. 

Previously, Michael held a position at CLEXIO biosciences, where he was responsible for scientific assessment and sourcing of new assets and partnership opportunities in the CNS therapeutic area.  Michael has also held positions as a pre-clinical project manager and a principal scientist in various organizations. 

Michael is passionate about problem solving, scientific innovations and technological development opportunities.

Sources of joy: Petting cats and any quality time with my family.

Nofar Shemen Technical Analyst
Technical Analyst Nofar Shemen

Nofar is a Technical Analyst at Joy Ventures, where she leverages the expertise acquired during her academic and research pursuits. Before joining Joy, Nofar earned her master’s degree from Weizmann Institute of science in computational and cognitive neuroscience. She led an independent research project focusing on the effect of internal body states on decision-making and brain activity, practicing statistical and predictive methods, signal processing and building reinforcement learning models.

Prior to her master's degree, Nofar graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and biology. During this time, she conducted a two-year research project on clinical neuroscience, investigating the effects of chronic hypertension on the outcome of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Nofar participated in an Honors Mentorship Program, in addition to a year of voluntary work as a personal tutor for children in need from a domestic violence shelter.

Sources of Joy: great food, preferably accompanied by an outstanding TV show.

Karinna Inyse Moreno Investment Analyst
Investment Analyst Karinna Inyse Moreno

Karinna is an Investment Analyst at Joy Ventures where she is chiefly responsible for screening and identifying new investment opporutnities for the firm.

Previously, Kari worked at SOSA in Tel Aviv and New York City as an Innovation Associate and Program Manager. In her role as an Innovation Associate, Kari identified partnership, investment, and/or acquisition opportunities for SOSA's corporate clients and venture capital firms. During her time in New York City, Kari led accelerator programs to expand tech companies into the US market, and also nurtured relationships to expand SOSA's cross-border visibility in international markets.

Kari holds a Master of Arts in Security and Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University, and a Double Masters in International Relations and Islamic Studies from Connecticut College. 

Sources of Joy: Aside from cooking and baking with citrus, Kari also enjoys reading anything surrealistic or magical as well as running long distances and sailing along the Mediterranean.