The University’s chapter of the Israel-focused consulting club TAMID hosted the organization’s first regional conference on Friday, bringing over 130 college students from across the Northeast to campus to discuss topics related to women in the workplace and to Israel’s startup culture.
“The goal is to spread our entrepreneurial and startup interests in the Israeli ecosystem through bringing together like-minded students,” TAMID co-president and College junior Sigal Spitzer said.
TAMID has been popular at Penn and on college campuses throughout the country. Founded in 2008, it has over 2,500 students involved in chapters on 53 campuses in the United States and abroad. In recent years, Israel has become known for being a startup-friendly environment and is home to many successful entrepreneurship ventures, which is described in the best-selling 2009 book, "Start-Up Nation."
In the past, TAMID has connected Penn students with Israeli internships and hosted Startup Pitch Competitions. TAMID also co-hosted the Wharton Israel Conference earlier this year, which had more than 80 people attend discussions surrounding Israeli business practices and innovations.
Keynote speaker Nathan Low, founder and president of the Sunrise Financial Group, kicked off the conference, which also featured speakers ranging from Wharton professors to Israeli MBA students.
At a panel focused on women in startups, three speakers from Israel discussed their experiences with gender disparities. One speaker said she was one of three women out of 250 people in a graduating college class.
The conference included undergraduates from Brown University, Yale University, Princeton University, Columbia University, and Lehigh University. In total, the conference represented 15 universities across the Northeast, Spitzer said.
Lehigh sophomore Mikayla Zion said she found the discussions on women in Israeli startups particularly interesting.
“It was more interesting to hear about Israeli women in startups in America and Israel versus just random people in startups in Israel," she said.
TAMID is a national student organization that participates in Israel-based consulting, investment, and education, according to the organization’s website. Penn’s chapter of the group additionally provides “experimental business opportunities” to students on campus, Spitzer said.