About Yeshiva Ventures

BS”D

Yeshiva Ventures is a dynamic program that combines Torah study with practical startup experience.  We think o ourselves as a dimanod field, with the raw youth talent being an incredibly valuable diamond field.  

Through this unique educational experience we identify the “best diamonds” for each space, focusing on create arts, programming, and community building.  We teach structured project management and basic business analysis skills (market research, competitive analysis, as well as sales and marketing techniques).  The practical project work also encourages the development of team building, with different students taking turns leading teams and developing their management skills.

Objectives

Our original plan was inspired by the US Military Academy at West Point.  Yeshiva Ventures is hoping to be for startup incubators what the military academy was to colleges.

Our objective is to produce the finest future business leaders for the technology and media space.  We draw on a talent pool of “free thinking” youth, selecting the best candidates for leadership, and then giving the candidates the best tools and instructors to bring their potential to actuality.

Startups are an ideal space, considering the relatively low capital and time needed to launch a company, and in our existing pool of local youth talent there is no shortage of good ideas, critical thinkers, and energy.

Program Structure

Yeshiva Ventures includes three parallel programs, each intrinsically intwined with the other.  The first program is a general yeshiva program offering open classes on Kabbalah and the esoteric aspects of the Torah, along with basic Jewish law and Talmudic traditions.  Classes as offered throughout the day and are open to the general public.  Open students are offered small cash prizes for attending and excelling in these courses.

Those students selected to participated in the Yeshiva Ventures startup accelerator program attend a second curriculum of courses on business, management, and productivity.  The curriculums leverage existing curriculums and web resources, specifically regarding current developments in the venture capital and tech/media markets.  Students read Fred Wilson’s “MBA Mondays”, and TechCrunch, Mashable, and other tech blogs daily.  Students also have a subscription to Lynda.com – an online on-demand course warehouse for technology and media skills.

The best students in the second program are selected to work on real projects, such as LifeDashboard and Jewish Education Networks.  Student teams are lead by Yeshiva Ventures instructors who are technology and business ventures, to research, define, and build the next startups destined to disrupt their respective spaces.

Here are some pictures and short videos of Yeshiva Ventures students in class, study hall, and work environments.

On the left are three students working on competitive analysis for LifeDashboard.  They collectively came up with a list of 27 products in the fields of CRM, project management, and todo lists on the cloud and iOS/Andoid.  Next they installed and discussed their experience, gaps, and ideas for the ideal product to combine all three in a personal productivity tool for the social/mobile age.

On the right are high school age students attending a class on Chumash along with the commentaries of chassidic philosophy.

Below right is the same team in an open discussion that was part of the formation of the business and marketing plans for LifeDashboard:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s