Apr. 03, 2017
“Speed-Date” Opens Israel’s First Interdisciplinary Competition for Entrepreneurship: Smart Technologies – Innovation for Better Life

Yest​erday, April 2, marked the opening of Israel’s first interdisciplinary competition in entrepreneurship with an ingenious “speed-date” event. The competition, Smart Technology Innovation for Better Life, is the joint initiative two BGU Faculties: the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management (GGFBM) and its Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and The Faculty of Engineering Sciences.

Over 80 students from all fields of the above Faculties and from other Faculties as well, gathered to share their ideas and knowledge.

Crucial to this opening event and its detailed explanations about all phases of this 4-month competition, was the speed-date set up to allow students to find suitable partners who would complete their teams in what each may be lacking.
Dean Prof. Oded Lowengard addressing competition participants

After warm opening remarks of the two Faculty Deans Prof. Oded Lowengart (GGFBM) and Prof. Yossi Kost (Engineering Sciences), the students were allotted a few minutes to present to the entire crowd their ideas, or the lack thereof. For example, on student of physics presented himself, “I do not have an idea! But I can offer you my knowhow for the success of your initiative.”  Another engineering student presented her idea of an internet social platform, requesting the help of management students with business sense to promote her plan as a business. Two MBA students, separately, requested to match up with engineering students to create software that would promote tourism and the hotel industry.

The speed-dating part of this event went on for much longer than expected. The students’ keen interest in entrepreneurship in general, and specifically in this competition was compelling evidence of the persisting success of the Bengis Center, the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, and the University’s pro-activity, encouragement and education in real entrepreneurship.  “After all,” flashed Prof. Lowengart, “if universities continue to produce multitudes of highly qualified employees into the market, who will be the employers who hire them?”  He had also explained in his opening remarks that the GGFBM teaches “how to think a bit differently, in varying dimensions, creatively. And it is, above all, important for you as students, to have all options open to, to develop your potentials here and now, and know where you are headed. Entrepreneurship and innovation are not just for the innately gifted, but for those who choose to study it. We at BGU an especially in the GGFBM, choose to teach it.”
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"Speed-dating" with students and mentors

The speed-dating process included two stations for students to “match up” their knowledge and skills, and two mentoring stations to help orient students into the right direction. The experienced mentors were stunned with the innovative ideas the students had come up with, and realized the potential here was beyond expectations. The students were hungering for extended explanations about how to protect their ideas, how to promote them no matter what the outcome of the competition, how the University and particularly the Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will continue to assist them.

Till now 110 students have registered for the competition, and twelve teams have formed (each team must have at least one management student and engineering students).  These numbers are expected to grow in the coming weeks. 

Registration for the competition is open. The website for the competition (in Hebrew) is here www.bgusmart.com.