The Council for Higher Education has awarded a NIS 6 million grant to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev for the establishment of Yazamut 360°, an interdisciplinary center for entrepreneurship that will host activities in a new facility. The Center will be chaired by Prof. Carmel Sofer of the Departments of Cognition and Brain Sciences and Industrial Engineering Management, who was a hi-tech investor for 25 years, and led by Dana Gavish-Fridman, the University's Head of Entrepreneurship.
The Center is located at the heart of BGU's long-term plan to enhance the University's innovation ecosystem. It is also surrounded by a wealth of applied-oriented academic departments and will act as a facilitator of various new initiatives such as Cactus Capital, the University's student-run venture capital investment fund, and Forum 80-20, a voluntary organization led by student entrepreneurs from BGU's Industrial and Management Engineering Faculty and dedicated to expanding students' connection to the business world and to providing first-hand business experience to complement academic studies.
Yazamut 360° will serve as a regional center for excellence for a broad range of target audiences: Students, researchers, entrepreneurs from the Negev region and even IDF soldiers and officers, who will have the opportunity to attend its activities and use the center as a place to build and advance their initiatives.
The center will also offer training and courses, as well as interact with academic disciplines. Together with BGN Technologies, the University's technology transfer company, the Center will enhance business relationships and will further strengthen the BGU-private sector innovation ecosystem.
BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz : This grant is a gratifying vote of confidence in BGU's future and our ability to guide energetic, intelligent students, faculty members and residents of the Negev region as they turn their ideas into solid businesses.
Entrepreneurship and creativity, together with community outreach and a commitment to participate in the social, business and economic life of the Negev region has been a critical part of BGU's raison d'être since the University was founded. These processes are driven by the groundbreaking research published by our researchers, which in turn attracts international and local technology giants looking for fertile ground to conduct research and development.
Prof. Carmel Sofer: "The establishment of this Center as an empowering meeting place will provide students and researchers alike with a wide variety of tools and skills to connect with the business community. In addition, the Center's activities will facilitate the creation of many start-ups every year, as well as a broad range of activities and the astounding motivation of our students, researchers and the Negev community in general."