IDC Herzliya offers program with startup accelerator

Nava Swersky-Sofer, photo:PR
Nava Swersky-Sofer, photo:PR

A select group of student-entrepreneurs will participate in the IDCBeyond program.

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya is offering a unique entrepreneurship program named IDCBeyond. Participants in the program will be a select group of several dozen student-entrepreneurs, with at least a first degree, who seek to establish ventures to address 21 st century global challenges. The entrepreneurs will be mentored by experienced entrepreneurs while participating in a study program equivalent to one academic year in fields such as technology, biomedicine, globalization and sustainability, concept development and more.

This program is inspired by projects combining an accelerator and enrichment lectures, such as the Singularity University and Y Combinator.

Nava Swersky-Sofer, former president and CEO of Yissum, the technology commercialization company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was appointed managing director of the program, which will be part of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship. Swersky-Sofer is a former partner in several venture capital funds and even established a venture capital fund herself. Yair Tauman, dean of the School of Entrepreneurship, will be the program's academic director.

Program participants have diverse backgrounds, in fields such as science and medicine, engineering, computer sciences, business management, design and architecture, and are from Israel and abroad. Swersky-Sofer: "It is exciting to work with such entrepreneurs, Israeli and foreign, from diverse backgrounds in terms of education, age and business experience. We received applications from 500 people and have interviewed about 100 of them so far, including a filmmaker who has shot films for HBO, a graduate of NASA's Space School, a pilot with a senior position in the Israel Air Force with a computers degree from the Technion and a brain sciences degree from the Weizmann Institute, as well as an American guy who already started an education venture in New Orleans.

"An Austrian young man came to us with an idea for shifting sick infants from tube feeding to regular eating, a technology invented by his parents, who are both pediatricians. The variety is, as I said, astounding.

"But not everyone comes with a ready project. On the contrary, in principle everyone starts from the same point. During the first three months they undergo intensive studies on 21 st century challenges. Afterwards, they choose which challenges to work on, split into teams and move to six months of venture creation, in parallel to their studies. After these six months, they undergo ten weeks of accelerator, with no studies."

After the program is completed, outstanding ventures, will continue, if they so wish, to participate in a 'classic' accelerator, with the IDC helping raise funds for their project, with the support of the mentors participating in the program.

The first cohort of the program will begin studying in October 2016. The program was developed at initiative of Prof. Uriel Reichman, president and founder of IDC Herzliya.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 11, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Nava Swersky-Sofer, photo:PR
Nava Swersky-Sofer, photo:PR
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