BGU and Monash University (Australia) have partnered to increase their impact in the areas of Sustainability, Social Inclusion and Entrepreneurship. The Monash Ben-Gurion Seed Fund has been established to support joint research and education programs within these areas.
The partnership will launch with the “Technological Entrepreneurship” course, an academic course integrating theoretical knowledge with practical business activities. The course will take place in both Israel and Australia, where participants will experience multicultural, multidisciplinary and team-oriented activities. Together, the teams will develop an idea for a joint venture and bring it to life. Such a unique program provides students of both institutions with a great chance to broaden their horizons, develop new skills and discover significant opportunities.
The program is comprised of three segments. The first is a week of activities to take place in Melbourne, Australia. During this time, Israeli and Monash students (from Australia, India and Poland) will meet and work in intermixed teams to create and develop a technological business concept. This includes conducting market analyses, preparing business plans and more. In the second segment, students will continue working separately on their business concepts, in their own countries, throughout the semester. The third and final segment of the program, led by the Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship & Hi-Tech Management at the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management of BGU, will bring the students together once again in Israel for a week to present their projects to potential investors. This segment will also include tours of main technology centers and meetings with key investors, entrepreneurs and additional figures of Israel’s hi-tech industry.
Assisting the students throughout the duration of the course are two mentors, one from each country. Prof. Michael Vitale, from the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, and Mr. Yossi Shavit from the Department of Business Administration at the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management at BGU. The two will provide guidance at all stages of the projects, from examining viable ventures to developing them. With their help, students will examine the various business facets of their start-ups, including marketing, competition, technological aspects and more. By working together, they will develop valuable insight into the high-tech industry and learn first-hand about its unique characteristics.
At BGU, the course is part of the Entrepreneurship & Hi-Tech Track within the Department of Business Administration, of the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management. Head of the track, Prof. Dafna Schwartz stated, “Israel is internationally recognized as the ‘Start-Up Nation.’ Characteristics of the high-tech and start-up industry include integration into global markets, teamwork and the ability to join forces with figures of various countries and cultures. The ‘Technological Entrepreneurship’ course, which is part of the Entrepreneurship & Hi-Tech Management track, provides students with a unique opportunity to receive hands-on experience, along with academic guidance, throughout the school year. The course provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge, giving them the tools that will no doubt be an important asset in the development of their careers.”
Prof. Abid Khan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Global Engagement) of Monash University stated ‘It gives me great pleasure to be part of this inaugural program, which is the fruition of a recent collaboration with BGU, one of Israel’s most dynamic universities. An international outlook and entrepreneurial spirit are fundamental parts of Monash’s DNA and this cross-border, cross-disciplinary initiative represents an innovative example of the joint applications of these approaches. The students taking part in this program bring a wide range of complementary skills and experiences together. I am confident this will underpin a rewarding program for them, with the potential for some exceptional outcomes. The program has been made possible through the support of BGU and Monash University, working in partnership with the Pratt Foundation.”
Altogether, there are eight promising students participating in the 2015 course, each one carefully selected. The students from BGU are Mr. Shahar Netanel, Mr. Ariel Cohen, Mr. Michael Silberg and Mr. Omri Segal. The Monash University students participating are Mr. Andrew Lewis, Mr. Bart Kołodziejczyk, Mr. Chris Bishop and Ms. Karla Kevin.