Yael Elad was Born and raised in Herzelia.
After her service in the army, she traveled to the US to study – where she completed her BA in Economics from UCLA and MA in Economics from Brown University.
Yael returned to Israel after being away for 12 years and began working in finance in debt structure deals at Clal Insurance. Eventually she moved on to build and manage the private equity portfolio of Clal.
Yael joined Aleph right after the fund closed in the Summer of 2013 following a breakfast meeting I had with Eden (to which I had arrived late).
What are you working on these days?
I love meeting with the fund’s founders and supporting their growth efforts wherever I can.
It gives me wide exposure to the challenges, hardship, and exhilaration that come with running a growing company.
What was your first position In the Startup-Nation?
Aleph is my first step in the industry. I could not have asked for a better place to be.
What was your first job ever?
I always worked.
I use to babysit as an adolescent and cleaned homes as a newly released soldier.
I was the accountant for small companies as a student in Los Angeles and was an entry level consultant in Boston after finishing my degree at Brown.
I always loved getting up in the morning and going to work, even if work was sometimes frustrating, overwhelming or less fun than I would have liked it to be.
I love the people, the energy, responsibility and the sense of accomplishment.
What life event or moment affected your life the most?
Meeting professor Ken Sokoloff during my first year at UCLA.
His work on historic patent data and patent registration as a driver of innovation was a real eye-opener.
He, later on, invited me to take a small part in his research team and was a true supporter of me throughout my career, until he passed away.
I learned a lot from him on the importance of connecting people and supporting personal growth of others.
Responding to Eden’s e-mail in May 2013 was monumental, or else, with high likelihood, we would not be having this conversation.
Best advice you received or would like to share?
“What you keep to yourself, you lose; what you give others, stays yours forever.”
Word of wisdom shared with me by a soldier my father gave a ride to when I was in 6th grade.
He wrote it for me in a scrapbook I had with me then and I regret not keeping it.
But the words remain with me.