Technion USA - Winter 2016-2017 - page 16-17

ream It. Do It!” is a favorite motto at the Technion. But creativity
is not the sole determinant of entrepreneurial success. How, exactly, does
the university help its students act on the ideas they’ve scribbled on the
back of a napkin? The answer lies in part with the Bronica Entrepreneur-
ship Center (BEC)—the central point of contact for entrepreneurship at the
“When our students graduate, we want them to be not only great
engineers and scientists — we’re educating them to be great entrepreneurs
too,” says BEC head Rafi Nave.
The BEC does that through academic courses that are taught as part
of the curriculum within various faculties campus-wide, and centrally at
the BEC. Nearly half of the Technion’s engineering departments offer a
minor in entrepreneurship, culminating in a capstone project that allows
students to apply what they’ve learned in a practical way.
Entrepreneurship education at the BEC also includes experiential
learning to help students develop business skills and convert theory into
practice. Through competitions and workshops such as the 3-Day Startup
(3DS) and the BizTEC Challenge, a Technion initiative open to partici-
pants from across Israel, students get hands-on opportunities to transform
their ideas into reality. 3DS participants, for example, “build a company in
fast forward” around an idea or product, says Nave. Students receive vital
commercial and legal advice needed to make their projects successful.
Technion 3DS winners can then go on to compete in BizTEC. Final-
ists are trained for six to nine months, receiving more than 100 hours of
lectures and mentorship, and are accompanied from the raw idea stage to
prototype. BizTEC connects teams with patent offices, venture capitalists
and industry professionals, holding their hand along the way. The winning
team is awarded a $10,000 prize to jump-start their invention.
“We’re looking to infect them with the entrepreneurship bug,” says
Nave. That isn’t confined to establishing one’s own business. “We dem-
onstrate how to be entrepreneurial at work, large and small organizations,
banks, the army, anywhere.”
Nave knows something about seeing ideas come to fruition. Holding
Technion bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering, Nave
has more than 40 years of industry experience. He was one of Intel Israel’s
first employees and worked in senior R&D positions there, as well as at
the NDS Group (acquired by Cisco Videoscape), Tower Semiconductor,
and Given Imaging, which manufactures the intestinal diagnostic PillCam
(acquired by Medtronic).
at the Bronica Entrepreneurship Center
Rafi Nave,
head of the BEC
tors are funding Israeli cybersecurity firm
ironSource, and Alibaba Group Holding Lim-
ited has invested in Israeli QR technology.
Chinese investment led by Xiaomi, Baidu,
Tencent, Alibaba and Fosun is also pouring
into high-tech businesses in the U.S. This
money is finding a home in Silicon Valley-
based startups with specialized, leading-edge
technology that Chinese buyers can leverage.
These investments are clearly strategic, as
China is, in effect, paying tuition to partici-
pate in the world’s tech flows along a new
kind of Silk Road.
Just as American leaders IBM and Google
have established R&D centers in Israel,
Chinese companies Alibaba Group and Haier
Group Corporation are following their lead.
With the new Technion campuses in New
York City and in southern China’s Guang-
dong Province, look for the Tech Triangle to
strengthen with joint research and innova-
tion in such strongholds as computer science,
engineering, digital media, cleantech,
nanotechnology and biotech.
responsibility to ensure excellence. The
Technion will do that by recruiting top-flight
researchers and insisting that GTIIT
students and faculty spend time on the Haifa
campus. “If they don’t know the feel of our
home campus, it will not possess the famous
Technion DNA,” says Prof. Ciechanover.
The Technion is already collaborating
with medical scientists at GTIIT’s neighbor,
Shantou University, also supported by Li
Ka-Shing, an enthusiastic investor in Israel’s
high-tech industry. “We’re trying to infuse
the neighboring university with our spirit of
entrepreneurship—questioning and tackling
challenges,” Prof. Ciechanover adds.
Long-term, GTIIT will occupy two sophis-
ticated, environmentally-friendly campuses
covering more than 4.8 million square feet,
and will have both graduate and undergradu-
ate programs. All students will receive their
degrees from the Technion. Collaboration
with the Jacobs Technion Cornell Institute in
New York may also be in the offing. “We will
push for it. It will be good for America, for
Israel and the Technion, and for China.”
continued from page 6
continued from page 5
Assaf Zinger,
Researcher in Professor Avi Schroeder’s Laboratory for Targeted Drug Delivery and Personalized Medicine
Technologies; Technion B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering
It was October 2012. I was supposed to give the speech at my graduation ceremony, so I went to the
barbershop at the Technion to get a haircut. The barber was a friend of mine and I overheard her talking to
Professor Avi Schroeder about his research at the Technion. Avi described the merging of basic science and
engineering for solving major problems in the clinic. I was intrigued. I introduced myself, and Avi invited me
to visit the lab and chat over coffee. I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ Things happen, so now I’m a Ph.D. student
in his lab, starting to look for my postdoc position. He was at my wedding and I asked him to sign my
. It was a great honor for me. I took my future and put it in his hands.
Students, faculty and alumni tell us how they first got interested in
the Technion and how the university changed their lives
1,2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11,12-13,14-15 18-19,20-21,22-23,24-25,26-27,28
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