JPost – January 1, 2013 – By Danielle Ziri
As part of their studies, students will be exposed to the start-up scene in Israel through regular meetings with professionals from various hi-tech companies. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is set to launch a new MBA program, which will focus on start-ups and entrepreneurship and be taught entirely in English, for the next academic year starting in October 2013.
The full-time one-year program, which will run at the Technion’s new Sarona campus near Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center, aims to provide “essential training in management functions, underscoring the skills needed for entrepreneurs who are interested in launching their start-up company or promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in their organizations,” as the mission statement states on the programs’ website.
As part of their studies, students will be exposed to the start-up scene in Israel through regular meetings with professionals from various hi-tech companies. The program will incorporate hands-on projects, including an internship that students will undertake toward the end of their studies. “Theory is good, but it’s also very different from what happens in the field itself,” the managing director of the Technion’s MBA programs, Dr. Avital Regev Siman-Tov, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Siman-Tov explained that while she deals with all MBA programs, this new one is her “baby.”
“It’s very different from the other comparable programs you can find in Israel, and it’s different from what the rest of the world offers too,” she said. “We come from the country people call the ‘Start-Up Nation,’ we think we can take international and Israeli students and teach them to build a start-up from the beginning,” she continued.
“The Technion is renowned for its strong link to the industry and for all the big hi-tech companies that its graduates founded.” Siman-Tov noted that the track is “quite exclusive” and that with only 40 spots available in the class, students will be carefully picked and only “very high quality candidates” will be chosen.
Among the admission criteria are letters of recommendation; a personal interview; an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 from an accredited university; a GMAT score of at least 550; as well as a minimum of two years of professional postgraduate experience.
The curriculum, which Siman-Tov and her team have been constructing for the past six months, is divided between core theoretical courses, industry seminars and weekly corporate visits to start-up firms and technological incubators, where students will attend presentations by entrepreneurs and senior managers. Each visit will also feature a guided tour of nearby sites in Israel.
Siman-Tov said the Technion targets international students, both Jewish and non- Jewish, from all over the world. “A lot of them go study these things in the US, for example, but we can give them something else that the US can’t. We may not be Wharton or Kellogg business schools, but we are the ‘Start-Up Nation,’ and we are even cheaper that these top schools.”
Tuition for the program is set at $35,000. In addition, international students receive full assistance from the school’s social coordinators in everything else surrounding their move to the country, such as help in opening a bank account or obtaining medical insurance Siman-Tov also sees the new program as a way to advocate for Israel, in that students “can be great ambassadors of Israel if they go back home and say they learned how to create a start-up from the best in Israel.”
“If these students can take the great education that we offer them and do something with it back in their homelands, we are doing a service to this country,” she added.