Last name: Maaravi
First names: Yossi
Academic title: Dr.
Host department at TU Darmstadt: Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsinformatik | Software Business & Information Management (Prof. Buxmann)
Period of stay: January 2017
Focus in teaching: Entrepreneurship
Focus in research: Innovation, decision-making, negotiation
Home university: IDC Herzliya (Israel)
Course offerings at TU Darmstadt: Venture Creation Crash Course (or CAWS – Creating a Web Startup)
What can students expect in your course?
Throughout the course, students:
- Learn to identify, analyze and test the feasibility of new ventures
- Practice the processes and steps in developing a new venture
- Experience the customer discovery process using the „Lean Startup“ methodology
- Develop viable business models
- Gain insight into their own entrepreneurial abilities
- Communicate their venture in an investor pitch and an elevator pitch
What do you consider most important in teaching?
„Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I will learn“ (Benjamin Franklin, 1750).
This quote by Benjamin Franklin summarizes nicely what I consider to be the most important part in teaching. It was long argued that experiential learning – and more specifically project-based learning – should be a key component in effective education. I believe that this was always true, but in recent years it becomes essential due to 3 main reasons: (1) the fact that information and knowledge are no longer only at the hands (and heads) of lecturers and scholars, but rather available to everyone on the web. This makes ordinary teaching that is mainly based on theory and case-studies outdated; (2) the fact that the environment changes very rapidly, hence learning should be more focused on innovation and venture creation; (3) the fact that students nowadays are using smartphones and computers within the classroom and consequently are not engaged with the teaching, which learning-by-doing actually solves as it lets students be more active.
Taking a glimpse into the future: in which country or region would you like to spend some time teaching and/or researching? Why?
Spain and Greece. I am fascinated by the fact that although these two countries resemble Israel in many aspects, still they could not establish a high-tech industry and an entrepreneurial ecosystem similar to the ones in Israel. I believe that this can contribute a great deal to research on innovation and culture. Also, I think that integrating both academia scholars and students as well as industry experts from these countries with their Israeli counterparts can assist these countries to develop such industries and maybe also to improve their economies and to Israel to find additional partners and markets apart from the traditional ones that are most often approached.
What do you expect to take home to Israel with you from TU Darmstadt?
Three main things: (1) the ties and relationships with both faculty and students of TU Darmstadt; (2) the serious and professional attitude of students that will serve me as an example, model and reference point to which I would like to push my own students back in IDC, Israel; (3) the warm hospitality I encountered from all people I met in Germany from the airport and hotel through the students and faculty that fills me with optimism that Israel has a true friend in Europe and also that relationships between peoples and nations can change for the best.