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BGU Puts a Focus on Developing Entrepreneurs

BGU Puts a Focus on Developing Entrepreneurs

December 27, 2018

Negev Development & Community Programs

The Times of Israel – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has set up a new entrepreneurship program called Yazamut 360 to encourage students, faculty members and researchers to develop and hone their entrepreneurship skills.

Dana Gavish-Fridman, VP of Entrepreneurship at BGN

“We are creating a hype around entrepreneurship,” says Dana Gavish-Fridman, vice president for entrepreneurship at BGN Technologies, the BGU technology-transfer company, who is in charge of the program.

“It is not only about startups but about bringing entrepreneurship education to a variety of populations and study fields,” she says. “Today to succeed in the job market — whatever field you choose — you need to build your entrepreneurship skills.”

The new hub, which will be located at the center of the Marcus Family Campus, will become a work space for the University’s 20,000 students, researchers and 130,000 graduates, says Gavish-Fridman. The center will run courses, hackathons and initiatives that will connect the developers to the nation’s startup ecosystem, while also fostering the cross-fertilization of ideas by boosting cooperation between members of different faculties, like management, engineering and medicine.

The new program has also set up a $1 million venture capital fund, called Cactus Capital, that will be run by students who will invest in technologies developed by students and recent graduates, Gavish-Fridman explains.

Students will be able to pitch their technologies to the fund and get investments ranging from $5,000 for ideas to $20,000 for more developed startups. The fund will help student entrepreneurs get their startups off the ground and provide those students who are running the fund with valuable experience as they mull a variety of investments.

“We need to change the way we educate our students,” Gavish-Fridman says. “Employers today wish to see a lot of experience, not just academic achievements. We need to connect our students to the commercial world, and make sure they get that exposure.

“With its presence and its work, the University is a catalyst for social change locally,” says Gavish-Fridman adds. “Everyone at the University keeps that vision in mind. We see our role as becoming an anchor for the development of Israel’s Negev region.”

Read more on The Times of Israel website >>