Immersing International Students in the Israeli Startup Ecosystem
Sofaer Global MBA and TAU Ventures collaborate to immerse international students into the Israeli startup ecosystem.
A brand-new initiative from Sofaer Global MBA program at the Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University, gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Israeli startup ecosystem. In partnership with TAU Ventures, a venture capital fund supported in part by the University, the students can jump into an experience with startups working on cutting edge technologies right from the beginning of their MBA experience.
The Sofaer Global MBA has rethought the internship experience, and in lockstep with their learning by doing motto, incorporated it into the curriculum from Day 1.
Working along with entrepreneurs and co-founders, they are responsible to take on significant roles and make a difference over a 3-month period that can be extended based on mutual interest. Yifei Wei, a student from China, is applying his neuroscience background to exploring two potential proof-of-concept avenues in his immersion with XTEND, a startup bringing Virtual Reality technology to drones. Hailing from Brazil, Stephanie Saeta’s ten-year background in marketing is helping Cyabra, an AI-powered fake news prevention solution, strategically expand their market outreach efforts globally. Phil Shichman is leveraging his background as a research analyst in the United States with the new frameworks learned in the classroom to assist Castor, a software support system for utilizing industrial 3D printing, with their marketing, pricing and go-to-market strategy. Adam Chubak will bring his Project Management experience and CRM familiarity to TAU Ventures to facilitate the expansion of their partnership development and internal database of partner resources, as well as mapping the VC landscape in detail.
Students from all over the world, 21 countries in this year’s class, bring diverse experiences from finance, to strategy, to operations, and have the unique opportunity to apply their expertise to companies where that expertise will make a real difference.
For the participating startups, this is also a game-changer. They now have access to a highly qualified talent pool to help their ventures grow, and systematic guidance from university mentors, to push forward with critical work they seek to get done.
This innovative initiative at the Sofaer Global MBA program reflects the changing nature of education, the changing imperative for the MBA, and the requirements of the students to be trained conceptually as well as practically for the real world, so that their skills can make a difference.
Dr. Leslie Broudo-Mitts, Head of Sofaer Global MBA & Coller Institute of Venture –
“The idea of launching 1st year MBA programs right at the beginning into funded startups – and giving them real roles, and real responsibility – is highly unusual. We love it, and we are doing it, because it is a unique way to connect classroom learning to on-the-ground innovation. At the same time, it gives the startups themselves accessibility to talent they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. The range of startups – from drones to 3D printing – also makes this an unparalleled opportunity.”
Stephanie Saeta, Sofaer Student from Brazil –
“Through the Sofaer Immersion Program, I am gaining real experience in an Israeli cyber security start-up. I am part of the team, and have the opportunity to really make my 10 years of brand marketing & strategy experience come alive at a different level. I am working hands on in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Adam Chubak, Sofaer Student from USA –
“The TAU Ventures immersion program is an incredible opportunity to gain on-the-ground experience and perspective of life in the Israeli tech ecosystem. In my role with TAU Ventures itself I work with both the financiers and entrepreneurs. This immersion has allowed me to accumulate knowledge and experience exponentially faster than I could have anywhere else in the world.”