The Asper Center assists in developing the tools and courses that will help raise the next generation of entrepreneurs of Israel: interdisciplinary courses connected to entrepreneurship, and the Biodesign seminar that exposes students to business, computer science, and medicine.
Established in 2013, Biodesign is a unique program wherein students from the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering, and the Business School work together in order to identify needs in the field of medical devices. Every group of students works to design and develop an answer for an unmet medical need, and drafts a business plan to test the financial feasibility of their medical device.
TIP (Transdisciplinary Innovation Program) is an international summer program, wherein undergraduate students (who are currently in the last two years of their degree) and graduate students learn about entrepreneurship through tours and guest lectures. The program is geared toward English-speaking students who have a strong interest and drive to learn and grow as entrepreneurs through first-hand experience and intensive workshops. TIP enrollees are motivated, driven, and focused.
TIP has been running since 2014. Participants learn about the typical steps in establishing a start-up, undergo preparation for raising funds from investors in Israel and abroad, and learn and practice tools, as well as acquire skills, for solving common problems. TIP lecturers include researchers, executives, entrepreneurs, and investors from academia and industry.
The heart of TIP is the team project; therefore, participants need to be team players who can also be independent and take the lead in various aspects of their projects. At the culmination of the program, participants present the projects they have worked on at a closing event in front of potential investors.
3The Asper Center features courses on entrepreneurship taught by prominent guest lecturers
2020/21: Visiting professors were Professor Aharon Cohen-Mohliver of the London Business School (LBS), who taught the course “Business Models”; and Professor Marco Da Rin of Tilburg University, who taught the course “Entrepreneurial Finance”.
- Business Models - Professor Aharon Cohen-Mohliver
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the concept of a “business model”. In the first half of the course, students will learn the basic building blocks of a business model based on the “who, what, how” framework. In the second half of the course, students will revisit two famous cases – Ryanair Vs. EasyJet, and The Cola Wars, and analyze them from a business model perspective. The course will conclude with a discussion of Patagonia and the use of business models to analyze corporate socially responsible strategies.
- Advanced Entrepreneurial Finance – Prof. Marco Darin
The goal of the course is to provide students with a deep understanding of the financing of entrepreneurial firms, building on the professor’s ‘Introduction to the venture capital world’ course, and will cover a selection of topics in entrepreneurial finance. The course is analytical and aims to teach you how to apply economics, finance, and corporate strategy concepts to solve practical business situations.
The course approach is grounded in the economics and finance of entrepreneurial firms and of providers of entrepreneurial finance. The course has an analytical nature more than an institutional or descriptive one. It also involves some practical exercises.
4Technological Entrepreneurship - Dr. Dan Marom
The goal of this course is to impart knowledge in business plan development, marketing, entrepreneurship, and how to turn a technological feature into a product or service. Over the course of the seminar, students will gain hands-on experience in entrepreneurship through group work and establishing a business, with the first stage beginning as an idea and the final stage as a product ready to market.
Each group in the seminar is comprised of four students, with clear roles assigned to each, emphasizing effective and collaborative group work, and significant personal contribution. At the end of the course, the students will have their first experience in the “real world” as they present the business model that they cultivated over the course of the year in front of a panel of experts, entrepreneurs, and investors. In addition, the course also features guest lecturers, various hands-on seminars such as a “storytelling” seminar, and more.
The goals of the course are practical experience in the entrepreneurial process of establishing a company, practical experience in integrating what each student learned over the course of their degree, understanding entrepreneurship and investing, experience in group work and collaborative project management, and experience in presenting a technological initiative in front of venture capital investors.
5Introduction to Impact Investing— Dr. Dan Marom
The goal of this course is to provide students with a thorough overview of impact investing by way of introduction to key concepts and the practical knowledge necessary to engage in impact investing. The course has three primary objectives: students will learn the language, terminology, and tools necessary for applying impact investing strategies; students will be able to understand, analyze, and apply impact investing as an investment strategy that integrates the business and financial world and a global social impact agenda; students will have an opportunity to learn about and engage with real-life case studies from Israel and abroad.
6Impact Investments Seminar (MIINT) - Dr. Dan Marom
The goal of the Impact Investments yearlong seminar is to provide students with practical experience in various investing and funding approaches used by impact investors. During the seminar, students explore the entire process of impact investing, from deal sourcing and due diligence to proposals to investment committees. The seminar is built through a combination of theoretical, practical, and experimental learning; and is conducted in collaboration with MIINT, the leading global impact investing MBA program. Students will work in groups and will be involved with MIINT in addition to mentoring and teaching by HUJI staff.
MIINT gives students a wholistic understanding of the rapidly growing impact investment sector, which primarily focuses on investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. In 2020, the GIIN (Global Impact Investors Network) estimated the current market size of impact investing at $715 billion, an increase of 42% over the previous year.
This growing impact investment market provides capital to address the world’s most pressing challenges. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon investors’ strategic goals.
7BioMed MBA Program
The Asper Center supported the BioMed MBA program, which is for industry professionals with entrepreneurial aspirations, for a number of years. BioMed is currently funded directly by the university.
8Competition in the field of Entrepreneurship
The Asper Center encourages students to enter competitions related to entrepreneurship, both national and international, for example:
The Informs competition is an Operations Research and analytics competition for students from all over the world. Working in teams, undergraduate and graduate students compete in real-world workplace simulations as they attempt to solve business challenges using an O.R. or an analytics approach.
The MIINT competition, held annually by Wharton, is a global impact investment competition. The competition is a hands-on learning experience, where students are competing for a $50,000 investment in the company that they are researching.