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Friday, January 24, 2014

YOF Israel STEM Trip 2014/5774 - Day 7

This is the final day of our STEM trip to Israel.  Waking up was a little difficult and our first stop was to the Tel Aviv University to visit their Gevahim center. This program helps Olim Chadashim with all aspects of making a Start Up in Israel. The job market is very difficult, with the average Israeli taking over 8 months to find a job. Asaf Luxembourg, an extraordinary motivator and marketer,  stepped up and with his high intensity and winning personality woke everyone up with his formula for the successful pitch.
Each group worked on their Start Up idea which they brainstormed at Presentense, building websites for at Wix and now, with Asaf's guidance, worked on their 'pitch.' Each group then presented, and Asaf's great advice helped each group perfect their presentation.

After lunch on the campus, we traveled to IDC, a beautiful college in Herziliya, which features the Zell Entrepreneurial Program. This is a year- long project based program for students to produce and launch their own Start Ups. We were treated to two student teams who pitched their Start Ups to us who then listened to our own presentations. The energy in the room was palpable and everyone came away with new ideas and goals for the future. 

We went to Mazeh 9, another social start-up where we gave advice to help a non-profit Jewish Heritage group with their project. 
We were regretfully at the end of our trip - and went to the beautiful Papagaio restaurant for our final dinner. We each expressed how we were changed by this experience. We know that we each can make a difference in the world, that we have abilities, drive and, now, a new network of mentors to guide us on our path. 

Shalom U'Lahitraot!