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Club Spotlight: Israel Business Club

The Queens College Israel Business Club is a unique club seeking to engage students with the Israeli start-up economy.

It was founded in January, by Max Fruchter and Leeora Margelovitch, freshman and sophomore, respectively.

The club engages students in three specific ways: educating students about the Israeli economy, offering hands-on lectures by professionals in the field and for the purpose of engaging them hands-on with business opportunities.

“We found that many clubs had some but not all of the QC IBC. Some clubs were pro-Israel and politically active and other clubs just focused on the general concept of ‘the economy,’” Fruchter said.

This micro-macro combined strategy allows them to engage with both students who wish to become active with Israel and those who are just generally business oriented. The strategy paid off, as the club hosted several events this semester alone, ranging from lectures by young professionals and bankers to sponsoring career-building events with other groups.

This approach ensured the club never competes and only collaborates, which made it popular.

The ultimate goal of the club is to grow large enough as to be incorporated with the TAMID Group, a non-for-profit with chapters in colleges all across America that provides hands-on exposure to the Israel start-up scene. By joining, it would receive benefits including internships, consulting opportunities, and free fellowships in Israel. “Bringing TAMID in would basically turbo-charge what we are already doing and give us the chance to give students an experience that cannot be duplicated in the classroom,” Fruchter said.

Not everyone at the IBC is business-oriented. David Gutenmacher, currently the head of social media/communication with the club, joined because he saw the IBC’s online work and wanted to get more involved.

“I always loved communications and because the IBC makes heavy use of their Facebook page, I knew that it was a natural fit for me to join,” Gutenmacher said.

The club is anticipating an event on May 13 titled “Shark-Tank Invitational,” and, just like the hit ABC show, would-be entrepreneurs can present their business idea and hear immediate feedback from the “sharks,” or the panel members, which includes bankers, venture capitalists and investors – all of whom deal in the Israeli economy.

“When we came up with the idea for the shark-tank invitational, we wanted an event that engages business and Israel-minded student with professionals,” Fruchter said.

This also is of interest to business student who otherwise are not engaged with the club or Israel because of the feedback it provides.

“What most people don’t realize is that the opportunity to have professionals giving immediate constructive criticism is quite literally a golden opportunity,” Margelovitch said.

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