Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Gesher Group is a student-run bridge to Silicon Valley

By Hannah Rekoon
Gesher Group

The Consulting and Investing groups within Gesher (contributed)

The Consulting and Investing groups within Gesher (contributed)

A bridge for students to Silicon Valley

Gesher Group was founded by UCSC students Omer Levy, Daniel Kipnes, and Amit Kidron in the summer of 2013. Gesher is a Hebrew word meaning bridge. Their initial reasoning behind the founding of the group was to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and UCSC. They were tired of UCSC not being recognized by recruiters of large tech companies who were located just over the hill. The organization was established in order to give students an opportunity to get hands on experience working with successful businesses while still in college and they succeeded.

Consulting and investing

Gesher Group is a non-profit, student-run business group on campus, comprised of UCSC students. The group is divided into two segments, consulting and investing. Within the investing group, students get a chance to discuss with other like-minded students about changes in the market. They take part in a fantasy stock league, and give weekly presentations on market trends with analysis. This year, Gesher is integrating the knowledge of the investing group in with the consulting group projects in order to give companies a more informed opinion.

In the consulting group, students work in teams of 4-5 and are given hands-on projects by companies based not only in Santa Cruz, but also internationally. Each quarter, students are given projects with focus areas in Market Research, Business Strategy, Market Analysis/Segmentation- Industry Overview, Target Market/Market Entry/SWOT Evaluation, Product/Service Assessment, Promotional Strategies, and Financial/Cost-Benefit/Budget Analysis. In the past year, the consulting group worked with CloudPay, New Leaf Community Markets, Samba, Habitat for Humanity, Santa Cruz Brewing Company, and has most recently closed a project with The Ritz Carlton branch out of Los Angeles.

CloudPay: “beyond impressed”

To fully conceptualize Gesher’s role in the Santa Cruz technology market, let’s touch on the work they did with a local start-up, CloudPay. Gesher Group developed a comprehensive marketing plan for a new startup launching its cloud-based platform. They delineated 3 target market segments and outlined specific outreach strategies based on demographics, psychographics, and market potential. Gesher also created an in depth social media plan for engaging user base and increasing product usage. Lastly, they developed potential internship positions and intern outreach strategies in order to accelerate company operations and ensure that suggestions could be implemented. CloudPay, among the other clients Gesher has coordinated with, was beyond impressed with Gesher’s continuous work ethic and consistently exceeded initial expectations.

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