TAMID at Northeastern: A Night of Entrepreneurship

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At 6 pm on Thursday, February 18th students at Northeastern University piled into the student center. They sat down in the main quad and talked excitedly about what the night entailed—five Northeastern IDEA Ventures pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges, 12 Israeli technology startups sharing their business and offering internships.

The Startup Nation Technology Fair is a new program that brings Israeli startups to schools throughout the country. As a one-year-old organization at Northeastern, this was the biggest event that our TAMID chapter has organized yet. We thought that this fair would be perfect for our campus because of the entrepreneurial and professional spirit that exists on our campus. We have a very unique situation at Northeastern because of our co-op program. By the time that students are in they are in their second year, they start looking for their first co-op—a six month long experience that puts them out into the workforce. Because of this, we really wanted to shape this event to meet the needs and interests of students on our campus. In order to do so, we partnered with our school’s Entrepreneurs Club, venture accelerator, IDEA, and the D’Amore McKim School of Business.

After months of planning, marketing, meetings and countless sleepless nights, the night had finally come. Our President, Tammy Eydelman, and VP of Operations, David Iken, were in a frenzy directing volunteers to their stations, welcoming the startups and taking care of last minute details, including scouting out a large marker for the giant check that needed to be signed later in the night. The room was filled with excitement, energy and, of course, innovation.

Because of the high level of entrepreneurship at Northeastern and the countless startups that our partner, IDEA, has helped launch, we thought it would be appropriate to incorporate some of Northeastern’s very own startups into the event. At six o’clock, we kicked off the night with “Minute to Pitch It”. During this hour-long event, 5 Northeastern IDEA ventures pitched their businesses to a panel of judges that comprised of Israeli entrepreneurs and Northeastern alumni for the chance to win $1,000. From the beginning it was obvious that the competition would be tight as Blurr, LivCollege, Knightly, Idyoma and Mealtime shared their businesses with the judges and an audience of nearly 100 students. In the end (and this is where the big check comes in), the $1,000 prize was awarded to Knightly, a safety device for college students to ensure their safety when walking home from a late night at the library or a night out at a party.

Following “Minute to Pitch It”, students flocked to the 12 Israeli startups that had set up tables throughout the indoor quad. There were companies there to peak all interests—cyber security, 3D printing, online dating, fashion and education. Zeekit, an application that allows you to try on and order clothing through a virtual fitting room, was a favorite among students. They had set up a professional photo station where students could be photographed and then appear on screen donning several different outfits that Zeekit had put together—they even had Northeastern apparel! Students were also extremely excited for FormLabs, a Boston-based company that produces personal 3-D printers that we brought to the fair through our own connections. Students were also amazed by how many ties the Israeli startups had to Boston, especially Cybereason, a cyber security company that has an office right in Back Bay.

Overall, our efforts were rewarded with an extremely successful night, thanks to our hardworking executive board, co-hosts and sponsors, Israel Ideas and Hasbara Fellowships. We felt that students that attended were able to learn more about the entrepreneurial atmosphere in Israel and co-op or internship opportunities that they could pursue there. We are very excited to continue our relationships with the companies that attended and look forward to more great events throughout the semester.