Mirel Vansovski enrolled in the Global MBA (GMBA) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Track program at IDC Herzliya in order to make a positive change in her career path. Previously a financial consultant at Deloitte Consulting, at 29 years old Mirel was interested in meeting people who were at similar stages in their careers.
“I was very interested in the possibility of making a positive impact through the combination of business and technology. Through my practicum I was given the chance to work with 8200 Impact – which is the first acceleration program in Israel for social technology (impact-tech) startups founded by the 8200 Alumni Association.”
The Early Stage Startup Practicum, which forms a part of IDC’s Global MBA (GMBA) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Track, is a collaboration between leading tech companies, startup acceleration programs, independent startups and investment firms. Participation in the practicum program provides a unique opportunity for students to be exposed to startups, accelerators and investors. In addition, many of the students value the opportunity to implement in practice the tools and knowledge acquired during their MBA studies.
After several months of her practicum, Mirel was offered the unique opportunity of a permanent position as the Accelerator’s manager of Value Creation and Community. The opportunity for Mirel was a perfect match as she had previously served in the IDF’s Unit 8200 – the Israeli army’s cybersecurity unit.
“The practicum was a great opportunity for me to get to know a field that really interested me, and at the same time created an opportunity for both my colleagues from the accelerator and for me to make a decision based on a previous acquaintance.”
Maayan Ekstein, a former officer in an elite Air Force unit, joined the GMBA at IDC as it provided him with the tools he needed upon release from his service. “I received the knowledge I needed to make a smooth transition from a military corporate-like career, to the hi-tech world. During my practicum at Konnect – VW Group Innovation Hub, where I joined the business development team, I got the opportunity for a hands-on experience which eventually turned into a job offer.”
Maayan traveled with Konnect to Germany twice for a conference and workshop and is now head of Technical Projects at Konnect, starting his third year as a full-time employee.
According to Michal Olmert Naishtein, executive director of the GMBA at the Arison School of Business, a big part of the success of the GMBA lies in the practicum, where students are given the chance to intern within a broad range of the tech industry. “We put a great emphasis on a ‘learning by doing’ approach to education. As part of this, we encourage the students to experience the Israeli ecosystem by performing real professional projects.”
The accelerators include Microsoft Ventures, SigmaLabs and 8200 Impact. Startups include Datumate, Eyeron, CyberHat, Lagoon, Atera, Wibbitz, Alcobra and Sisense. There are also big tech companies such as Microsoft and VCs such as Glilot Capital and Our Crowd.
Natalie Milstein, originally from LA, was hungry to gain a deeper understanding of business and entrepreneurship. She made the jump from the nonprofit world to the world of startups when she started her GMBA at IDC. During Natalie’s academic practicum at Israel’s largest and most active VC, OurCrowd, she was hired as an investment analyst. “It is not common for a student with a nonprofit background to be hired for these positions. By means of the GMBA practicum program, I was able to get to know OurCrowd (albeit virtually during a pandemic) and understand whether it was a good fit for me, and whether I was a good fit for the company. Today, I am fully immersed in the Israeli startup ecosystem, and I have the GMBA at IDC to thank.”