Research, teaching and impact on business
Zoller concentrates largely on the formation of new companies. In his classes, he teaches students the fundamentals of dreaming up, designing and developing business models for new ventures.
As part of Zoller's "Launching the Venture" course, students actually start ventures that contribute to their field and their community. Students from across the university, including UNC scientists, with ideas for new ventures learn how to write business plans. They also mix with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other experts with the skills to make things happen.
Program participants have launched a wide range of new ventures. These range from leading-edge business ventures to transformative social ventures. Zoller cites the example of Asklepios, a firm that's the brain child of the director of the UNC Gene Therapy Center. The new firm is now developing the only known therapy for a type of muscular dystrophy.
What makes the UNC Kenan-Flagler student experience special
Zoller believes that UNC "exposes students to an inventive and pioneering climate" that encourages them to follow their dreams. He says "horizons are opened in new ways by the entrepreneurial culture of UNC Kenan-Flagler." This is true whether they want to start a company, finance a new firm or play a creative role in an existing company.
Zoller and his spouse are advocates for education for the developmentally disabled. In his spare time, he is an avid UNC hoops fan. He also dabbles in renovation and real estate investment projects.