The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, globally recognized for driving Israel’s high-tech industry, offers two prestigious start-up/entrepreneurial summer programs to give talented high school students, ages 15-18, the unique opportunity to experience the start-up nation first-hand. In both programs, tailored to the needs of different types of students, the goal is to help students develop their ideas into a start-up business plan on site at Technion, the birthplace of many of Israel’s most exciting tech innovations, which inspires hundreds of start-up enterprises in Israel and around the world.
One program is the STEP Technology & Startup Summer Program, which is designed for modern Orthodox students (int.technion.ac.il/academic-programs/pre-university-programs/step-a-technology-startup-summer-program); and the other is the Start-up Program, which is open to all high school students from around the globe from diverse backgrounds (int.technion.ac.il/academic-programs/pre-university-programs/start-up-camp/). The STEP Program will run this summer from June 30—July 30, and the Start-Up Summer Program will run from July 26-August 18. The programs are taught entirely in English. Working in small teams, students gain experience in inventive thinking and benefit from cross-cultural exchange.
Livingston resident and student at Cornell Engineering Noa Bendory participated in the Start-up Program while still a student at Kushner High School in 2013. “I knew I was applying to study engineering in college, but I wanted to explore real-world applications,” she said. “I knew that this program at Technion was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the extensive travelling on the weekends made it that much more amazing.” She described her experience: “We were broken up into groups and each picked a real-world problem to solve with advisors. We acted like a company, and listened to lectures on relevant topics like how to get a patent. It was so exciting, like starting your own company!”
Both programs are coordinated by the Jewish Journey and Technion International, and consist of academic workshops, site visits to Israeli tech firms, and meetings with leaders and innovators in technology. Students explore high-tech business development and experiment with entrepreneurship and innovation. Program highlights include taking part in science seminars, workshops and cutting-edge lab work; meeting with Israeli entrepreneurs; participating in stimulating business and technology sessions and panels; exploring the processes of business creativity, and learning how to turn ideas into product or service. At the end of the program, participants present their business model to a panel of Israeli CEOs and to learn how to sell the product they create at an Israeli mall.
As part of the program, students enjoy exciting trips around Israel, and are engaged in meaningful experiences with the people and land of Israel, from its biblical roots to its modern start-up-driven economy. Participants live on campus at Technion’s well-appointed youth village and are invited to make use of Technion’s excellent sports facilities.
Students learn about entrepreneurship at specially designed workshops on product definition and development, industrial design, company planning, patents and business law, participate in stimulating business and technology sessions and panels, and come up with a business start-up plan that would compete in today’s high-tech global market.
Nearly a quarter of Technion graduates start at least one new company during their careers and 85% of Israel’s technological workforce is employed by companies led by Technion graduates. The institute was recently counted among the top-10 universities for educating CEOs of American technology companies worth over $1 billion by Bloomberg Financial, and ranked in sixth place worldwide for innovation and entrepreneurship by the MIT/Skoltech Initiative.
Nowhere else do technology, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit meet as they do in Israel, which holds the world’s highest per capita number of scientists and engineers, and attracts more per capita venture capital than any other nation on the planet. “It gave me such an edge to see how companies start from the ground up,” said Bendory. I would highly recommend these programs to anyone interested in science, technology, business or engineering.”
Visit the website at: http://int.technion.ac.il/academic-programs/pre-university-programs/start-up-camp
By Lisa Matkowsky