Impact of Asper-HUJI Innovate (January 2022)
- Asper-HUJI Innovate – The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Article: ASPER-HUJI Innovate: Inspire, Learn, Build (Haaretz, 5/2/22)
- Video: Asper-HUJI Innovate – NEXUS: ISRAEL Dealmakers 2021: The Hebrew University Innovation Ecosystem Trailblazing Founders (YouTube, 03/25/21)
- Article: Asper Foundation’s gift to boost innovation at Hebrew University(Canadian Jewish News, 1/29/21)
- Article: Asper Donation to Hebrew University(Jewish Independent, 1/29/21)
- Article: Canadian Friends of Hebrew University announces $5,000,000 gift from the Asper Foundation(Jewish Post and News, 1/20/21)
- Article: Canadian Friends of Hebrew University Announces $5M Gift From The Asper Foundation(Winnipeg Jewish Review, 1/14/21)
- Article: Canadian Friends of Hebrew University Announces $5M Gift From The Asper Foundation(EIN Presswire, 1/13/21)
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Asper-HUJI Innovate – The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
In 2001, when the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) was first conceived, the concept of teaching Entrepreneurship was in its infancy and the entire program was initially designed to serve the Business School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. However, over the last two decades the academic community has come to understand that entrepreneurship needs to span across all the disciplines – from computer science to engineering, and from law to business. Thus, over the past few years, the emphasis has moved from the Business School to the broader campus with a particular focus on the sciences in Hebrew University’s Givat Ram Campus.
The main engine pushing this forward is an initiative that initially arose out of ACE, in 2015, and was renamed Asper-HUJI Innovate in January 2021, on receipt from The Asper Foundation of a transformative gift of $5 million to the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. This gift enables 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.
Under the leadership of its Executive Director Dr. Amnon Dekel, Asper-HUJI Innovate operates in four parallel tracks – promoting entrepreneurial culture and community, developing and running academic courses and programs, creating experience opportunities such as hackathons and competitions, and managing acceleration programs for new ventures. These activities create a nexus point between academia and the world of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In 2019, Asper-HUJI Innovate joined forces with the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and the Azrieli College of Engineering under the name JLM-IMPACT. They competed for and won from the Council of Higher Education a 20M NIS grant ($5.5 million US) and provided matching funds 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.
Asper-HUJI Innovate is currently expanding its capacity to deliver more university-wide workshops and boot camps relevant to the vast student body on all campuses through:
- Building significant external partnerships as well as professional-led venture creation accelerators and product discovery workshops;
- Providing seed funding to fledgling innovators and entrepreneurs and supporting Open Fund, an investment pool that provides pre-seed financing for the most promising ventures, developed within their OPEN Venture Creation Programs, helping them transform knowledge into real world companies; and
- Remodeling an expansive space on the Givat Ram Campus to house the Asper-HUJI Innovate Hub, planned as a central incubator for young start-ups in Jerusalem offering opportunities for networking and providing the professional tools and services needed to launch a business.
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