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BGU and Mercedes-Benz Launch Student Challenge

BGU and Mercedes-Benz Launch Student Challenge

December 26, 2017

Business & Management, Leadership, Awards & Events

The Times of Israel – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and car manufacturing giant Mercedes-Benz have launched a project for students, challenging them to find the path to the “Next 100 Million” idea. The next 100 million could be anything. It could be the next 100 million clicks, new customers, number of self-driving cars, or hours of charging.

“Defining just what constitutes the ‘100 million’ is part of the challenge,” says BGU’s Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Director Yossi Shavit. “All Israeli students from every field are invited to develop ideas over the next month.”

Mercedes Benz R&D Tel Aviv Head of Innovation Eyal Mayer (left) and BGU’s Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Director Yossi Shavit

This is the first challenge launched by BGU’s Bengis Center in the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management. The project will be run together with Mercedes-Benz in what is one of Mercedes-Benz’s first collaborations with a university since the German giant inaugurated its new R&D center in Tel Aviv last month.

The idea is to connect the student competitors to real-world opportunities and offer global organizations, like Mercedes-Benz, a way to present their problems and gain access to the new and innovative thinking of students from a variety of fields and backgrounds, Shavit explains.

The students will get practical experience tackling real-world challenges, which they can use as tools and experience for future jobs.

“In a data-driven world, it is hard to imagine that one person or a single research facility has all the solutions to the challenges a global organization faces,” says Shavit. “Sometimes the solution may originate with the customer, other times from management, but more often than not, a fresh perspective is required. That is the challenge competition’s guiding principle.”

Eyal Mayer, head of Innovation at Mercedes-Benz R&D Tel Aviv, says that the challenge seeks to uncover new and groundbreaking ideas. “We will consider integrating these ideas into our future technologies and business models,” he says. The collaboration with BGU is part of the global corporation’s strategy of creating an ecosystem of innovative and creative concepts.

Read the full story on The Times of Israel >>