A ‘start-up school’ for the Start-Up Nation

The Adelson School of Entrepreneurship will train students from Israel and the diaspora on the fine points of business success

Sheldon and Miriam Adelson at the opening event for the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship, 2013 (Courtesy)
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson at the opening event for the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship, 2013 (Courtesy)

The Start-Up Nation needs a “start-up school,” a place where young entrepreneurs can learn the business and technical skills – and now it has one, in the form of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship, located at the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya (IDC). A self-made man, Adelson decided to “give back” to the community in the form of a school that will teach students to “always challenge the status quo,” as he put it during the inauguration of the new school Sunday.

To celebrate, about 1,000 Birthright Israel (Taglit) participants joined with Adelson, his wife Miriam, and selected friends at a special inauguration party in Tel Aviv. Among the guests were Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel, Nir Zohar, President of Israeli start-up Wix, former US ambassador Michael Oren, and others.

The event included a panel on innovation and entrepreneurship by Adelson, who discussed how he started over 50 successful companies over the course of his life. Known for his casino businesses (he is chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation), Adelson has started about 50 other businesses, among them a mortgage brokerage firm, financial consultant office, a charter bus tour business, and a chemical de-icer manufacturing company. Wix president Zohar, discussed his company, which was recently listed on the Nasdaq, valued at close to $800 million.

The school itself will include courses relevant to building a business, including how to strategize, management skills, investment basics, technology trends, and much more. Students from all divisions of the IDC will be able to take courses at the entrepreneurship school. Heading the school will be Professor Yair Tauman, who besides starting five start-ups himself, is former Dean of the Arison School of Business at the IDC and director of the Center for Game Theory in Economics at the state University of New York at Stony Brook.

The Birthright Israel group is a prime audience for the Adelson School’s message. Addressing the group, Adelson discussed Israel’s high-tech prowess, and the Start-Up Nation’s role in developing world-changing technology. Welcoming the students to Israel, Adelson told them “we want you to experience Israel today, while you are still young and full of health.”

Birthright CEO Mark said that the school would be an important asset for both students both in Israel and abroad. Like the Adelson school, he said, “Birthright’s goals are to build bridges between Israel and the Jewish communities around the world, to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Diaspora and to contribute to business collaborations in all fields.”

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