• Fuad Abu Hamed Social Entrepreneurship Award presentation

  • Fuad Abu Hamed Social Entrepreneurship Award presentation

  • Fuad Abu Hamed Social Entrepreneurship Award presentation

  • Fuad Abu Hamed Social Entrepreneurship Award presentation

  • Fuad Abu Hamed Social Entrepreneurship Award presentation

  • Fuad Abu Hamed Social Entrepreneurship Award presentation

  • Fuad Abu Hamed Social Entrepreneurship Award presentation

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“The Asper Centre is intended to be the focal point of entrepreneurship. The activities of the Business School will include research, undergraduate and post graduate MBA teaching, and outreach programs for the benefit of Israel, economy in general and the economy and development of Jerusalem in particular.”

Asper Center for Entrepreneurship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Through a donation of $5 million from The Asper Foundation, the Asper Center for Entrepreneurship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was established in 2001. The center enhances the academic program of the School of Business at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is modelled on the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Manitoba (now called the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship).

The Asper Center for Entrepreneurship, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been supporting the development on a robust environment of entrepreneurship for the past decade and a half. Spurring innovation and entrepreneurship, the Center has reached well beyond the boundaries of the Faculty of Business to provide the entire university community with the tools to succeed in today’s start-up environment. The Center supports academic research, high-level conferences, innovation hubs, academic and non-academic courses, several accelerator programs, BioMed MBA program, BioDesign Program, Start-Up Science Program, lectures, workshops and outreach to the Jerusalem community.

Two major endeavors are the creation of Hebrew University of Jerusalem International (HUJI)-Innovate and the BioDesign Program.

Asper HUJI-Innovate

In January 2021, The Asper Foundation made a transformative gift of $5 million to the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel that will name Asper HUJI Innovate at the Hebrew University (originally named HUJI Innovate) . This gift will allow Asper HUJI Innovate to expand its footprint and professional led start-up accelerators to develop significant external partnerships.  Asper HUJI Innovate is dedicated to the education and development of entrepreneurial capabilities for the entire HUJI (Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel) community – students, faculty, staff and alumni. It was created to ensure that graduates are better prepared for the challenges brought about by the disruption that is coming to the workplace in the coming decades.

Big Win – Asper HUJI Innovate put together a consortium that includes the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and the Azrieli College of Engineering under the name JLM-IMPACT to compete for a grant from the Council of Higher Education (CHE). The vision was to create a city-wide consortium that can take the innovation that exists in higher education and interface it with the needs and challenges that exist on the ground in Jerusalem. They developed a program that sees the city as an ecosystem that includes technology-based innovation, entrepreneurship, liberal arts, humanities, law and social entrepreneurship. The model won first place and consortium is being granted 20M NIS ($5.5M US). With the matching that the members of the consortium have committed they will have a total budget of around 29M NIS ($8M US) to further develop the vision.

Activities Going Forward:

  • Expansion: Asper HUJI Innovate is relocating to the expansive France House Building on Safra Campus.
  • Developing a set of academic (for credit) courses open to all students.
  • Developing a minor degree in Entrepreneurship that will be offered to students of most disciplines.
  • Replicating the BioDesign course model into additional disciplines.
  • Cooperating with the Hebrew University for Youth to offer a credit-based Entrepreneurship course for high school students.
  • Launching a number of non-academic courses, workshops and pre-accelerators in the form of three new “Venture Creation Studios.” These include one in Rehovot (Agri/Food), one in Safra (Digital) and one in Mount Scopus (Social).
  • Siftech, the HUJI Student Union-launched accelerator and Consul, the student launched Management Consultants program, are joining Asper HUJI Innovate.
  • StartJLM, in collaboration with Siftech and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brought a group of 18 international startup companies in the area of Digital Health for a week of workshops and lectures.
  • SheCodes, the Women teach Women to code group and BioDesign are both being run out of Asper HUJI Innovate
  • Startups: Asper HUJI Innovate hosts six startups, some of which grew out of the previous HU-Start pre-accelerators.
BioDesign Program

The Bio-Design Interdisciplinary Program brings together fellows from the Faculty of Medicine, graduate students from the School of Engineering and Computer Science as well as the Business School. They join forces to identify unmet needs for medical devices, to design and develop solutions for these unmet needs (up to the prototype level), and to prepare a business plan which explores the financial potential for these devices.

In 2019, there were four groups of students and fellows. Each group was composed of two MBA students, an engineering student and a fellow from the Faculty of Medicine. The MBA students went through a rigorous screening procedure at the end of which only eight outstanding students were selected. The four groups weekly throughout the academic year and gradually went through a systematic process of need identification, design and development of a prototype and strategic, marketing, and financial appraisal.

The four projects are:

  • SubQuser – a semi-automatic device for subcutaneous injections.
  • iCough – an efficient, convenient, cost-effective and accessible way to produce an effective cough among spinal cord injury patients that can be operated solely by the patient.
  • Tempace – a better way to implant a temporary pacemaker in order to protect patients developing conduction abnormalities. Temporary pacing is used until the arrhythmia or conduction abnormality is resolved or until a permanent pacemaker is implanted.
  • UFree – an internal catheter enabling near natural urination in neurogenic bladder patients.

The BioDesign program remains truly interdisciplinary in terms of the involvement of faculty as well, where, in addition to a course leader from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, there are mentors from the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Business Administration. In addition to these faculty members who mentor all projects on an on-going basis, other faculty members from various departments and industry experts join the meetings. In addition to the cooperation between the different faculties, the Hadassah Hospital, Yissum, and Hadasit (the commercialization company of Hadassah) are closely involved in all projects.

Contact: Dr. Micki Eisenman, Executive Director
Asper Center for Entrepreneurship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
E-mail: micki.eisenman@mail.huji.ac.il