Israel has the largest venture-capital industry per capita in the world and is known for its high-tech startups in cities like Tel Aviv. On Thursday, 10 of those startups came to Old Union Hall at Binghamton University’s first Start-Up Nation Technology Fair.
Start-Up Nation Technology Fair, a national campaign organized by the Hasbara Fellowship and Israel Ideas, works with student groups to organize events at college campuses across the country. According to Haley Silverstein, program coordinator for the Start-Up Nation Technology Fair, the campaign aims to exhibit technologies and innovations coming from Israel and helps connect students with these companies, giving them a platform to network to explore internship opportunities. At the University, the fair was co-sponsored by several campus groups, including the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships, the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development and Hillel at Binghamton.
The campaign’s spring 2018 tour has made stops at several schools in the Northeast, including Stony Brook University, New York University and Cornell University, and is scheduled to visit many more, according to the organization’s website. At BU’s fair, students networked with companies like Pruvo, a business that monitors hotel price drops after reservations are made, and Vikki Academy, which takes academic papers and transforms them into two-minute animated videos.
Nofar Sinai, a co-founder of Vikki Academy, said she came to the University to find talented students to work with her.
“There are many options for bright, brilliant students from here to help us as a startup,” Sinai said. “I want to use the students’ ambition and brain to collaborate with us.”
Entrepreneurs Yisrael Gross, co-founder of L7 Defense; Itzik Yushuvaev, business developer for HelloRented; and Doron Nadivi, the chief marketing officer of Pruvo, participated in the event’s innovation panel discussion, where students were able to ask questions about starting a business and working at a startup.
During the panel, Yeshuvaev said startups often offer unique opportunities and responsibilities for young employees because of their small size, which differentiates them from established companies. Additionally, startups are more likely to offer opportunities to younger students who lack experience.
“With an internship at a startup, there’s a chance for much more responsibilities and experience, something you just don’t get with the big corporations,” Yeshuvaev said.
For students like Julia Leavitt, a freshman majoring in business administration, the fair was a chance to network directly with potential employers in hopes of finding an international summer internship.
“I attended the fair because I thought it would be a great networking opportunity and to help me find an internship over the summer,” Leavitt wrote in an email.