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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > June 2021 Newsletter > New Center Kickstarts Innovation on Campus

New Center Kickstarts Innovation on Campus

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is up and running just months after new Beit Berl President Prof. Yuli Tamir prioritized an ethic of innovation and social entrepreneurship throughout the College.

The new Center is already a hub of exciting activities aimed at nurturing a spirit of entrepreneurship at Beit Berl and honing skills that are necessary for succeeding in the 21st century. "Our vision is that Beit Berl graduates will be entrepreneurs in their future places of employment. We expect them to be active leaders in Israel's educational system and to promote innovative initiatives, as well as imparting these values of innovation and entrepreneurship to their own students," explains Daniel Kovler, the dynamic director of the new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Beit Berl College.

The Center was established thanks to the generous support of the Gottesman Fund and the Feldman Foundation CA. "The Center entails a huge investment in people, facilities and projects. We have many long-term plans and ideas for promoting values of innovation and entrepreneurship at Beit Berl and throughout Israeli society," says Kovler.

In addition to encouraging an innovative mindset among students, the Beit Berl Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship also aims to boost innovative practices and pedagogies throughout Beit Berl itself. To this end, faculty members will receive professional advice on the subject and will be offered resources to help implement new initiatives. They will also be urged to join a community of lecturers who advise and assist each other with creative projects.

The Center's new director is himself a successful social and business entrepreneur who recently sold his educational technology start-up to a large company. Daniel Kovler was also the founder of the Atid Plus NGO, which promotes STEM learning and project based learning in Israeli youth villages with the goal of advancing high-potential youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Kovler and his team are brimming with ideas to make President Tamir's vision a reality. They wasted no time bringing the Center to life and have already launched an intensive Accelerator in which ten groups of entrepreneurs from the Beit Berl community are developing their social and educational initiatives. When the Accelerator was announced, no fewer than 50 groups applied to participate – students, alumni and faculty members from across all Beit Berl departments. The first cohort was selected according to criteria such as the project's innovativeness and scalability, and the applicants' motivation and skills. The first Accelerator round is currently taking place over a two-month period and involves one-on-one meetings with mentors and meetings of the entire group. A second round planned for next winter will last four months.

On June 28nd, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host a hackathon in partnership with the Training Division of the IDF's elite Intelligence and Cyber Operations. The hackathon's theme will be "Joining Forces," and its goals include exploring ways to implement innovative and digital teaching methods and alternative evaluation techniques.  

The first Beit Berl TEDx event is planned for September 2021. Students and faculty members will be selected to take part in a six-day workshop over the summer to help them prepare their TED-style talks at a campus-wide event to kick off the 2021-22 academic year.

Next year, the Beit Berl Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will move into its permanent home in the cutting-edge Simulation, Innovation and Makerspace ("SIM") Center currently under construction. In the meantime, it is located in beautifully renovated premises which were opened last month.

Stay tuned! In upcoming newsletters, we will continue to report on the new Center's plans and accomplishments, as well as the impact of its groundbreaking efforts throughout the Beit Berl community.

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