In a day filled with inspiration, innovation and passion, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator, with financial support and participation from Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, hosted the Accelerating Michigan-Israeli Business Innovations Conference on Nov. 13 at the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion.

Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta was a featured speaker at the event, alongside entrepreneurs and business, government and education leaders from Israel and across the state of Michigan, to build innovation and economic development opportunities between Michigan and Israel.

“MSU is committed to significantly enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus, especially for our nearly 700 students in the Entrepreneurship & Innovation minor in the Broad College of Business that is available to all undergraduate students on campus,” Gupta said.

The conference also featured Lansing’s Mayor Andy Schor and a panel of Michigan-Israeli industry experts, who brought talks about innovation development opportunities through Michigan-Israeli business partnerships.

“We see immense potential for collaboration between Lansing industry and Israel’s impressive innovation ecosystem and technology companies, particularly in the realms of MedTech, FoodTech and InsurTech, where our region has truly unique economic assets,” said Keith Lambert, vice president of business attraction at LEAP. “This event was a great opportunity to connect stakeholders and build a path forward together, and we thank MIBA and MSU for their foundational roles in making it happen.”

Attendees also learned firsthand about the talent, markets and opportunities that make Michigan and Israel a natural fit for economic development.

“Israel’s start-up community is exciting, and when you consider the potential impact to Michigan’s innovation ecosystem and economy, the opportunities are significant,” said Scott Hiipakka, CEO of the MIBA. “Developing meaningful connections between the mutually innovative ecosystems is key.”

Dean Gupta echoed these statements and emphasized the benefits of connecting students with the entrepreneurship mindset that is present in Israel.

“We believe that the most impactful educational opportunities for our students are fostered through firsthand experiences in the locations where entrepreneurship activities are sprouting constantly,” he said. “Israel has entrepreneurship built into its DNA, and we are excited that MSU’s partnerships with MIBA and other Israel-focused organizations will accelerate our efforts to meet our students’ objectives.”

Outside of the Broad College’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation minor, MSU also has the Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel, which offers an undergraduate minor in Jewish Studies. This program allows students to explore, in interdisciplinary and flexible ways, Jewish history, culture and identity, to learn Hebrew and to study Judaism and Jewish thought.