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Always Innovating: A TAMID Accelerator

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By: Zanir Habib, Johns Hopkins University

 

I had the opportunity to visit and work in Israel this summer as a TAMID Fellow.

 

As part of the fellowship, I visited and spoke with multiple movers and shakers in the Israeli startup economy: Venture Capitalists and entrepreneurs, who transformed small startups into multi-billion dollar companies.

 

From these various sessions, I learned that for a startup all you need (aside from the exorbitant amount of blood, sweat, and tears that come with it) is an idea, mentors to help along the way, and a splash of crazy.

 

There’s this notion in Israel that once you visit and become exposed to the startup environment – you catch ‘startup fever’, an entrepreneurial spirit if you will. During the summer, it percolated conversations and prompted questions such as: What do you think about this product? How can we improve this? How do you monetize this? What’s the technology behind it? How much would you evaluate this company at?

 

I’m still sick with startup fever and as someone who would potentially like to start a startup; there are few resources to assist students like myself.

 

TAMID empowers its members and further promotes entrepreneurship within its ranks by encouraging and assisting in the formation of startups from its members. Across the different TAMID chapters all over the world, the brightest minds are consulting and working for startups already. Why not direct some of that energy and work inwards and foster some of the members’ ideas?

 

TAMID is the perfect conduit to serve as an accelerator of sorts: it has connections with startup founders and industry professionals to serve as mentors and has motivated and knowledgeable college students to serve as co-founders.

 

I propose to start a national decentralized accelerator program that connects willing startup founders to mentors and other motivated founders to further promote entrepreneurship.

 

The first step would be bringing this ‘startup fever’ across all TAMID chapters. Two such events the Johns Hopkins chapter does to promote this entrepreneurial spirit is to host startup pitch competitions and allow member-run startups to present and recruit at TAMID meetings.

 

Eventually, TAMID members would have access to an international network of mentors and co-founders for all those with an entrepreneurial mindset to benefit from. Hopefully with a little help and personal perseverance, I will be able to get this accelerator program off the floor.