Smart Capital. Driving Innovation & Excellence. 

Avi Libman BASc (Eng)

Technology & Operations 

​​Responsible for review of Fund technologies, investor relations, and internal operations.

Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Toronto. Specialized in Mechatronics Engineering, which involves the integration of computer, electrical and mechanical systems.

Itai Rotem MBA

Finance Manager

​​Responsible for the monitoring of budgets and finances for the New Awz Initiative. Former Financial Officer at the IDF and Ministry of Defense. BA in Actuarial Science and Commerce from The Australian National University, and an MBA from Bar-Ilan University. 

Gary Barnea MA

Strategic Advisor
Integrated Security

Former Director of ISA Protection & Security Division. Former Deputy Director of Mossad Special Operations Division. Served for more than 30 years in Mossad and ISA. M.A. in National Security.

Josh Gutenberg BA

​Finance & Compliance

Responsible for the monitoring of Fund and portfolio companies’ budgets, finances and performance.

Graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Mathematics from Yeshiva University. CFA Level III Candidate.

professional team

Eli Alony LL.B.

Director, Investor Relations

Former Senior Director of Strategic Development in large non-profit entity. Former VP Acquisitions, in New York real estate company. Registered lawyer in New York state.

West Jackson BSEE, MBA

Senior Director 
Business Development 

Responsible for leading OEM and channel partner development and customer introductions for Awz portfolio companies. 30+ years sales and business development experience in diverse technology verticals. Former Air Force officer and graduate of the US Air Force Academy and Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business.

Howard Tanenbaum LL.B.


Lawyer, financier, domestic & international real estate developer and art collector. Former director and officer of Warren Paving and Materials Group Ltd. Currently a director of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada; also serves on several community and charitable organizations’ boards.

Kenny Finkelstein CA


​President & CEO of Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners, a diversified venture capital and private equity manager. Has extensive history of investing in, providing ongoing management, guiding and mentoring of portfolio entities, and delivering effective exit strategies.

Ofer Simchony MBA

Director, Strategic Partnerships

20+ years senior management experience in the fundraising and financial sectors. Led the fundraising arm of Israel's Technion University. Former Spokesperson of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and headed the marketing teams at the TASE and Bank Leumi Group’s leading managed funds company.

Yaron Ashkenazi LL.B.

Founder & Managing Partner

30 years of senior management experience in the fundraising and high-tech sectors, with extensive understanding of the HLS arena. 
In 2016, launched Awz Ventures Inc. Serves as a Corporate Director for 16 start-up technology companies.

Served for a decade in the Israel Security Agency (ISA) VIP Protection Division, leading teams that protected several Israeli prime ministers.

LL.B. in England; registered lawyer in Israel.

Andrew Goldman MA

Strategic Advisor

Has strategic interests in petro-chemicals, HLS, AI, and cyber security sectors. Recruited and assembled teams comprised of world-renowned intelligence & law-enforcement leaders. Visionary who repeatedly foresees ideal nexuses between technologies, applications and people.

Ross Johnson BMASc., CPP

Strategic Advisor Infrastructure Security

Critical infrastructure security and contingency planning professional. Served for 24 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as an infantry and intelligence officer (rank of Major).


Edward Sonshine O.Ont., Q.C.

Founding Partner
​Chairman of the Board

Founder & CEO of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, one of Canada’s largest REITs. 
Oversaw RioCan’s growth from an enterprise value of less than CA$100 million when it went public in January of 1994, to approx. CA$14 billion, currently.

Invested into the Order of Ontario in 2011; named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year in 2013.


venture partners

Rick Ekstein 


President & CEO - Phaze 3 Management. Real Estate, Venture Capital and Private Equity expertise; founded The Together We Stand Foundation to support Canadian military families. Conducted business in over 40 countries, informing participation on various boards, including the C.D. Howe Institute.

Nadine Miller MBA, P.Eng.

Strategic Advisor

Over 17 years in engineering design & project management in mining and transportation industries. Led business development in Toronto for two leading engineering consulting firms. MIT M.Eng. Oxford MBA.

Awz management & advisors include successful venture capital professionals, former directors and senior executives from Israeli and global security and intelligence agencies (Mossad, ISA, CIA, FBI, MI5, CSIS, CAF), and industry experts from our portfolio companies’ targeted sectors.

business & industry advisory committee

Buck Revell MA

Former FBI Associate Deputy Director

Former FBI Associate Deputy Director, in charge of the investigative, intelligence, counter-terrorism and international programs of the Bureau. Retired Captain in U.S. Marine Corps. Holds director and advisory roles with several prominent public and private organizations. 

Lt. Gen. (Ret) Michael Day
C.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Strategic Advisor
Law Enforcement Agencies

Former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Special Operations Forces Commander, CAF senior Military Officer in the Defense Policy Group, and Chief Strategic Planner for the future of the CAF.

Joshua Goldman MSc(Eng), MBA

Strategic Advisor 

Managing Director of The Goldman Group, a diversified real estate development and investment company. Advises early-stage companies, public and private, in areas of finance, bus. dev., marketing, strategy, and go-public transactions. 

David Amsalem LL.B.

Strategic Advisor

Served as VP Business Development at ADAMA Holding, a leading international development company, and founded DeHabitat and Amalthea Real Estate, German real estate investment companies. Former commercial lawyer and IDF Special Operations intelligence officer (Captain, Res.).

Nadav Katzir LL.B., MBA

Project Lead, New Awz Initiative

10 years’ experience as a team leader and lawyer representing leading corporations, insurance and re-insurance companies both in Israel and abroad. Rich experience in litigation, negotiation, deal closing and complex contracts. Member of the Israeli Bar. 

Daniel Mak Hon. B.A.

General Partner, Strategic Growth

Active investor in the technology sector, with a focus on semiconductors, SaaS and AI enterprise solutions.

Early-stage investor in AI, IoT, AR and Robotics. Advisor to multiple start-up entrepreneurs. Experience increasing value of small & mid-size enterprise service organizations.

University of Toronto Honours graduate, Economics and Geography.

Erez Kreiner MA, B.Eng.

Fund Representative - Israel
Cyber Security Domain Expert

Former Director of National Cyber Security Authority, under the Israel Security Agency (ISA), defending critical entities and assets, and developing Israel’s cyber defense capabilities. Degree in computer engineering from Technion University, and a Master’s degree in National Security. Served in the IDF as a Navy SEAL.

Richard Fadden O.C.

Former CSIS Director

​​Former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, former Deputy Minister of National Defence and former Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

Nigel Meir MD, MA

Venture Partner

Successful private equity and venture capital fund manager across the healthcare, financial services, artificial intelligence / cyber, fintech, cleantech, digital assets and ecommerce sectors and has been a Chairman, Board Director, and Investment Committee Member of many entities.

Haim Tomer MA

Venture Partner 
Intelligence Domain Expert

Former Head of Mossad Intelligence Division, Mossad Counter-Terrorism Division and Mossad International Division. Served for more than 30 years in Mossad. M.A. in National Security.

security & intelligence advisory committee

Dr. Eli David PhD

Venture Partner
Artificial Intelligence Expert

International Artificial Intelligence expert, specializing in Deep Learning (neural networks). Selected as one of “Top 10 AI Leaders in Israel”. Successful AI technology entrepreneur.

Patrice E. Merrin 

Strategic Advisor 

Former President and CEO of Luscar Ltd. International business executive and corporate director who currently serves as a director for Glencore PLC and other leading multinational corporations.

Ilan Azouri LL.B., MBA

Venture Partner 

25 years of direct investment experience in Private Equity, Venture Capital and Real Estate. Founding Partner & Director of HIN Global Limited, a London-based Cyber Security Advisory company. Formerly Managing Partner of an international law firm.

Hon. Stockwell Day P.C.

Strategic Advisor
Public Safety 

Has held several Canadian federal offices, including Minister of Public Safety, International Trade Minister, President of the Treasury Board, and Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.

Ilana Schwartz BA

Sr. Copywriter & Content Creator

Creator of sales & marketing collateral and digital content for Awz and its portfolio companies. Over 25 years of experience writing for media, businesses, and brands.

Journalism and Communications graduate of Concordia University, Montreal.


Howard Smith LL.B.

Vice President 
Business Development 

Responsible for channel development in North America for the portfolio companies and supporting them throughout their sales cycles.

Over 25 years’ experience in business development and sales. Graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. Licensed lawyer in the province of Ontario.

James Woolsey MA, LLB

Former CIA Director​ 

Former Director of the CIA. Former litigator, venture capitalist and Partner at Booz Allen. Has chaired major boards and commissions in the fields of energy and national security. Rhodes Scholar and former managing editor of The Yale Law Journal.

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper

Partner, President of the Advisory Committee

Mr. Harper served as Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister for nearly ten years, winning three successive national elections.
Mr. Harper is Chairman and CEO of Harper & Associates, a global strategic advisory firm. 

Mr. Harper chairs the International Democrat Union, the global alliance of conservative political parties, and the Friends of Israel Initiative.

David Posluns MBA


​Chairman and Managing Director of Cedarpoint Investments Inc., a private equity and alternative investments management firm​. Co-Founder and Chairman of T4G Limited, an IT professional services firm.

Dame Stella Rimington DCB

Former MI5 Director General 

Former MI5 Director General. Served in counter-espionage, counter-subversion, and counter-terrorism divisions. Made a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB) in 1996.
Is an accomplished author and has served as a non-executive director for several multinational corporations.

Isoken Akpata BBE, MFE

Financial Analyst

Responsible for analysis of portfolio company financials and applicable markets. Experience at multinational firms in portfolio administration for institutional markets and transfer pricing. Master’s of financial economics from University of Western Ontario. CFA Level II Candidate.