On March 7th, Hillel Ryerson hosted an outstanding networking event focused on showcasing Israel’s advancements in the field of biomedical engineering. About 45 students, 10 professors and employers as well as many other guests attended the event at the MAC Alumni Lounge. I planned this event as part of my Israel engaged campus internship this year.

Collaborating with the Ryerson Career Centre, the purpose of the event was to expose students studying biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, and medical physics to the numerous opportunities they have as undergraduate students. In addition, the event was tailored to promote and educate students on the monumental impact Israeli biomedical innovation has on the world. The featured guest was Eliav Shaked, an Israeli-Canadian entrepreneur and biomedical engineer. He gave an incredible keynote presentation starting off with his journey as an army medic in the IDF and why he chose to study biomedical engineering and not medicine. His answer was, “As a doctor, you can only save one life at a time, while as a biomedical engineer, you can affect the lives of millions”. After getting his undergrad and master’s of biomedical engineering at Tel Aviv University and working for various Israeli start-ups, he was motivated to do more. In 2016, he received an invitation by Singularity University to participate in a program with 50 other entrepreneurs around the globe. The goal of the program was to motivate entrepreneurs to help 1 billion people in 10 years. He was coached day in and day out by global innovation leaders such as executives from Google and Microsoft. Motivated by the program, Eliav set out to launch his own revolutionary start-up company called Retispec. Located in the Ryerson biomedical zone at St. Michael’s Hospital, Retispec is currently developing an optical scanner that will diagnose Alzheimer’s years before symptoms emerge! Topping off his presentation, Eliav compared Israel’s and Canada’s biomedical industries. By outlining the chutzpa of Israeli entrepreneurs, he explained how Israel, although so small, attracts 1.5x more venture capital funding yearly than all of Canada!

Research, summer internship, biomedical graduate programs, and many more opportunities were showcased at the event. The presentations were followed by a professional networking fair that provided students the opportunity to connect with the professors and employers they were interested in.

Overall, the event was a successful night of discussing Israeli biomedical innovation, discovering new opportunities, and networking with industry and academia professionals. Because of all the positive feedback received, I plan to create a committee to host a similar Hillel event next year!

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