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Tel Aviv University will establish an innovative national Entrepreneurship Centre

The Centre will be the first of its kind and combine social, business and tech entrepreneurship

As could be expected of an institution that champions the pursuit of the unknown, entrepreneurship is an inseparable part of the culture and work of Tel Aviv University. Just recently, the university ranked eighth in the world in the number of graduates who successfully raised capital for their start-up companies. Numerous entrepreneurial activities are held regularly in the fields of management, engineering, neuroscience and more, along with activities at the TAU Online and TAU Ventures, the University’s capital venture fund for students and alumni.

Tel Aviv University has now won a bid to establish a new, first-of-its-kind centre for entrepreneurship and innovation in Israel. Of the 13 proposals submitted to the Israeli Council of Higher Education, the joint proposal of Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College of Design was in second place, with funding of NIS 15 million (about $4 million) for four years. This will enable the establishment of a leading, world-class entrepreneurship centre.

“Curiosity, relentlessness and the desire to discover new things are in the DNA of the entire TAU community, headed by our researchers. These traits also characterize our students. The new Centre will strive to ignite in them the spark of entrepreneurship and the desire to make the impossible possible. We are excited about the journey, during which many of our graduates will contribute to a better and stronger society and economy that will have an impact on the world,” said university president Prof. Yossi Klafter.

Entrepreneurship is in all of us

The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will take the university to the next step: the students will become the focus of action. “We intend to expose them to the entrepreneurial world, in the hope that a large part of the students will want to take an active part in it from participation in courses and workshops to taking on roles in startups. We will offer faculty members workshops to familiarize themselves with the world and the entrepreneurial tools out there,” said Prof. Klafter.

TAU will strive to achieve greater diversity and representation in the entrepreneurship sector of women, Arab Israelis, Orthodox communities and residents of the periphery in Israel.

The Centre will create an entrepreneurial environment which will:

 Connect all the academic disciplines (including the design world of Shenkar) and encourage activities across faculties.

 Will promote business entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, and will help establish new start-ups and organizations.

 Will include graduates who will serve as mentors and faculty members who will serve as consultants, along with companies and organizations that will raise issues from the real world that need solutions.

Four lines in the metro of entrepreneurship – what line would you like to travel?

The centre’s operational model is presented as a four-line metro system, where each student will decide where they want to go and which stations to go through:

  Business Line

 Social Line

 Creative Line (design)

  Basics Line

The winning proposal of Tel Aviv University was the result of cooperation between many units on the TAU campus, including the Coller School of Management, the Unit for Social Involvement at the Ruth and Allen Ziegler Student Services Division, the Student Union, TAU Online, the Alumni Organization, Ramot and TAU Ventures. Space for the new centre’s activities has been allocated at TAU’s Miles S. Nadal Home for Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Centre will be led by Prof. Yuval Ebenstein of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry who will be charged with the academic supervision, and Yair Sakov, who will operate the centre. Yair is a TAU graduate with 25 years of experience in senior management positions in high-tech and non-profit organizations, and in initiating and managing a venture capital fund, as well as many years of volunteering experience in the social sector.

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