Monash University and Ben-Gurion University established the Monash-BenGurion Seed Fund in 2014 with support from the Pratt Foundation and both universities. The Seed Fund supports promising joint research and education programs within the thematic areas of Sustainability, Social Inclusion and Entrepreneurship. The Student Entrepreneurship Program is one of five projects supported by this fund.
The objectives of the Student Entrepreneurship Program are to:
- offer a select group of students from each university the opportunity to learn about another country and culture, through experience working closely with students from that culture and visiting that country
- promote and support entrepreneurship in Israel and Australia; and
- provide a platform for further collaboration between Monash and Ben-Gurion Universities
The program will run from February to August 2016, with student participation fully funded. Participants will be selected before the end of 2015.
- Until 18 November 2015: Applications accepted
- 12 - 16 December 2015: Finalist interviews held
- 28 February - 5 March 2016: Initiation - Ben-Gurion University students visit Monash University, Melbourne
- 21 February - 9 July 2016: Teams meet electronically with program mentors every two weeks, and with fellow team members every alternate week. (Weekly workload is expected to be 3-5 hours on average.)
- 14 - 19 August 2016: Conclusion - Monash University students visit Ben-Gurion University, Be’er Sheva, Israel
Four students from each university will be selected by their institution to participate. The students will organise themselves into two teams, each team having two students from each university. One or more academic mentors will be chosen by each university to work with the student teams during the project. The participating universities have reached an understanding about covering the costs of the project.
During the project, each student team will find an entrepreneurial opportunity and develop and test a business model for a company that would bring the opportunity to market. The opportunity could be a completely new product; a new business model; a new version of an existing product that is faster, cheaper, or better than what is already on the market; an introduction of an existing product into a new market; or a combination of these.
The project will formally begin with a visit to Monash by the Ben-Gurion students and mentor(s) from 28 February - 5 March 2016. The students will organise themselves into teams and begin searching for attractive opportunities. They will also meet local entrepreneurs and investors, and visit various sites in Melbourne and the vicinity.
The project will formally conclude with a visit to Ben-Gurion by the Monash students and mentor(s), proposed to be 14 - 19 August 2016. The student teams will make formal presentations of their results to a panel of academics, entrepreneurs, and investors. The students will also meet with local entrepreneurs and investors, attend a series of lectures on topics related to entrepreneurship, and visit various sites in Israel.
In between, the student teams will develop their opportunity, including customer segments, value propositions, customer relationships, channels, cost and revenue streams, key partnerships, and key activities. They will test their ideas by meeting face to face or electronically with prospective customers and understanding their problems and needs. Teams will meet electronically with their mentors every other week and in the alternate weeks will meet electronically on their own. Formal progress presentations will be given approximately monthly. Each team will log its progress in a blog that is accessible to their mentors.
After the final presentations in Israel, the mentors will write a brief project summary with recommendations for the following year and present the summary to their university.
Your program mentor will be Dr Buzz Palmer. Logistical details will be provided during a project briefing session tin December 2015 (date TBC). Attendance at this session is compulsory.
Participants will be fully supported financially for return economy-class airfare, accommodation and travel insurance.
Applications will close on Friday 18 November 2015, with finalists' interviews to be held in early December 2015.
To apply, please email your CV and a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are passionate about the world of entrepreneurship and commercialising important innovations, you are encouraged to apply.
You will also need to fit into one of the following categories across any discipline:
- A second or third year undergraduate student in February 2016
- A PhD candidate with at least 8 months until completion
- A Masters student with at least 8 months until completion
In review of your application, selectors will look for evidence of the following:
- Commitment to pursuing entrepreneurship
- Personal references
- Flexibility and the drive to participate fully
- Good understanding of, and the need for, innovation
- Business and/or technical knowledge
- Personal attributes including:
- resourcefulness, business judgement and ability to work in a team
- Strong work ethic
- Creative, dynamic and positive mind-set
- Good communication skills
- A strong need to achieve
- Passion for success
10 Monash applicants will be invited to an interview in December with four selected to participate and notified soon after.
This program ran successfully during its inaugural run in 2015, with four students from Monash and four from Ben-Gurion forming two teams. One team explored sustainable cooling solutions for residential/commercial properties and the other team focused on developing a system for user-driven delivery scheduling.
Refer to the following articles for more details:
- 18 March 2015: Launch of Monash-Ben Gurion Student Entrepreneurship Program
- 22 July 2015: Entrepreneurial exchange