In the past 20 years, innovations across science, technology and engineering have propelled the Israeli economy to new heights. Thanks to these breakthroughs, the nation’s economy has more than doubled since the turn of the century. Now, Israel is third in the world for its high-tech industry, ranking only behind the United States and France.

Rafi Nave recognizes the value that high-tech has brought to his homeland, which is why he and his colleagues at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology are training tomorrow’s engineers on valuable entrepreneurship skills.

Earlier this year, before at-home orders were put in place, Nave spoke at the Boston Marriott Newton to community members about the renowned university’s entrepreneurship programs, highlighting why they’re critical to the success of the start-up nation.

“The entrepreneurship education programs at the Technion are aimed at teaching the students, and engineers-in-the-making, how to translate their technical excellence into business results, to the benefit of their future customers,” said Nave, who is a senior researcher at the Samuel Neaman Institute, an independent national policy research center based at the Technion.

A Technion alum himself, Nave knows a thing or two about what it takes to bring high-tech innovations to the masses. As senior vice president of research and development at the Technion alumnus-founded Given Imaging, he headed up the development of the PillCam, the world’s first ingestible camera for imaging the digestive tract. He also led the Bronica Entrepreneurship Center, where he oversaw entrepreneurial courses and competitions.

The Technion, a top-ranked global university, offers 45 academic courses on entrepreneurship, sets up mentorships and holds Technion 3Ds—an intense, hands-on, three-day workshop that helps students transform their ideas into compelling pitches for investors.

The university’s commitment to fostering talented young entrepreneurs has dramatically impacted the Israeli tech industry; over 50% of Israeli high-tech companies were founded and/or are led by Technion alumni. “The Technion is, by far, the most influential and effective contributor to Israel’s economic growth and stellar performance,” said Nave.

Companies that have come out of the Technion include LifeBond, which develops and manufactures bio-surgical medical devices for tissue repair, BreezoMeter, which provides air quality, pollen data and fire alerts in real time, and PolyTouch Medical, a company that creates hernia mesh placement technologies.

Looking ahead, Nave spoke about the world-changing impact that Technion students will continue to have on Israel and the world, following their education at the university through state-of-the-art programs.

“We’ve generated many hundreds of young entrepreneurs who will lead Israel’s future,” said Nave.

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