A New Venture at Tel Aviv University, Part #2
Coller Ignite- The main source for TAU’s young entrepreneurs
We envision Coller Ignite becoming the main source for young entrepreneurs.
Between the Coller $100,000 Startup Competition, activities to help and train entrepreneurs, and the network of academics, students and graduates, there is an infinite amount of resources we can leverage to benefit TAU entrepreneurs.
Being an entrepreneur is about knowing how to ask for help, having access to the right leaders in your field, and giving back to other entrepreneurs whenever possible. Our network offers expertise in each of these areas.
For example, two days ago I approached by a TAU professor on behalf of a student to explore a possible collaboration and he was happy to help. The collaboration between entrepreneurs and faculty staff is known to yield great results and make a lasting impact.
We are lean (it’s true, we started with zero budget) and we fail fast.
We don’t presume to have all the answers. On the contrary, we assume we know nothing and that our assumptions are likely wrong. Time and again, this proved to be the right approach for success.
When we first started this journey we asked ourselves, “What is our target audience? Who is our ‘client’? Where can we offer the most value?” Needless to say, we are still learning the answers to these questions every day.
We focus on producing value
Coller Ignite makes the startup world more accessible to students from a non-academic point-of-view. The university offers a variety of entrepreneurial academic opportunities, while we focus on the world outside the classroom, ensuring full access to other successful entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.
On average, TAU students only pursue an entrepreneurial path three years post graduation. Today, we know this is our primary target group. We help our graduates leverage what the university has to offer and reconnect with the resources available here.
2017-2018 has been a productive and insightful year
During the past year, we were instrumental in bringing entrepreneurs together, learning from each other and even partnering up. We introduced mentors to mentees, and we now work to tighten the relationships between our entrepreneurs and the investors in our network.
June 2017 - Planting the seed: the idea to form the club comes to life
August 2017- Building a strong team of six enthusiasts from the Coller School of Management
Fall Semester 2017 - Starting to build our community and establishing our vision and teamwork strategy
October 2017 - Coller Ignite launches on social media
December 2017 - Coller Ignite’s kickoff event
Spring Semester 2018 - Preparing for the Coller $100,000 Startup Competition and working with teams applying to the competition
What are we planning for the short term & what’s the long term vision?
Like true entrepreneurs, we are now raising funds and forming strategic partnerships.
Next, we plan to launch our mentorship program and host a large “hackathon” event to encourage students from all disciplines to collaborate and create cross-discipline innovation.
Our team is now reaching the end of our term and we are currently recruiting the next round of leadership. Send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org (TAU students and graduates are all eligible to apply).
A friend of mine, who is also an entrepreneur, first identified my potential. He was the first person to give me an “entrepreneurial nudge.” In 2014, I lived in the Silicon Beach area in LA and, with his guidance, I started attending events and connecting with other local entrepreneurs. Before I could spread my wings and fly solo, he joined me in those events, setting a path I am still walking today. Even now, those first baby steps are ones I look back on with a smile and gratitude.
I became an entrepreneur because (1) I had a strong role model who truly inspired me, and (2) by doing so, I ensure I am always challenging myself to learn new skills.
Today, I am working to find more female role models to help me continue learning to be a strong female leader - not a “wanna be” male leader.
Fun facts about me
1. Between 2014 and 2018, I lived in Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Manchester (UK), Sweden and San Francisco.
2. My very first PR piece with my startup was for a major Korean newspaper. It was written in Korean, so I only know what is says based on what I was told. Coincidentally, Koreans are huge fans of our technology, so all’s well that ends well.
3. When I was 15, I went undercover and put a drug dealer behind bars. It was my 15 minutes of fame as a detective.
4. While in Los Angeles, I passed all the tests to become a translator for the FBI, and then took a startup job instead. I think this little point in time, marks my transition from the “old world” to the “new world”.