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  • Locations: Hong Kong, China
  • Program Terms: March Break
  • Restrictions: Babson applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Class Status: Graduate Program Type: Elective Abroad
Language(s) of Instruction: English Eligible Populations: See Eligibility Link Below
Housing Options: Hotel/Hostel Academic Highlights: Cultural Studies, Entrepreneurial Studies
Program Advisor: Renee Graham
Program Description:

MOB7553 Hong-Kong Startup Strategy


Peter Cohan, Professor

Spring Semester 2020

Hong Kong

Important Dates

Information Session

Course and Application Information

Watch for online and email announcements, Summer/Fall 2019


Application Deadlines

Application Opens

Monday, October 7, 2019, 1:00 PM ET

Initial Application Deadline

Sunday, October 27, 2019, 11:59 PM ET

Rolling Application Opens

Thursday, October 31, 2019, 1:00 PM ET

Rolling Application 'Pull' Dates (to fill open slots)

November 4, 11 and 18, 2019

Mandatory Course Dates

No partial participation is allowed.
Admitted students must participate in ALL program activities.


Pre-Travel Class #1

Class #1
Saturday, February 15, 2020
9:00 AM - 2:30 PM 
Wellesley Campus (Blank Televideo Room) - WebEx available for BL students

Class #2
Saturday, February 22, 2020
9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Wellesley Campus (Blank Televideo Room) - WebEx available for BL students


In Country Arrival Date: Saturday, March 14, 2020
End of Course Departure Date: Saturday, March 21, 2020
Course Dates: Saturday, March 14-Friday, March 20, 2020


Consulting project due 6 weeks following return from Hong Kong

Academic Overview

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem (EE) in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a vital hub for finance and trade in Asia.  Its government has taken affirmative steps to try to encourage entrepreneurship within its borders to avoid the economic stagnation that often results from being too dependent on the largest companies.  Yet there is still a strong cultural bias for the graduates of elite schools in Hong Kong to work for large companies. Hence one of the goals of the course is to explore how the tension between strong cultural values vie for the attention with the countries’ need to encourage entrepreneurship.

Hong Kong has significant intellectual capital but very small local markets for its products.  Through direct interaction with entrepreneurs, capital providers, educators, and government officials in Hong Kong, students should come away with a new perspective on startup opportunities and challenges, and gain experience consulting to local startups, while applying concepts learned from course readings: Capital Rising: How Capital Flows Are Changing Business Systems All Over the World, co-authored with Srini Rangan, Startup Cities: Why Only a Few Cities Dominate the Global Startup Scene and What the Rest Should Do About It; and Hungry Start-up Strategy: Creating New Ventures with Limited Resources and Unlimited Vision.

Faculty Video


Course Information

Course Type



3 credits


Open to eligible students who have completed pre-requisite requirements.

For specific eligibility information, by program, visit the Eligibility page.

Student must be, and remain, in good academic standing with the college for duration of the course.

Student must be in good standing with the Office of Community Standards at time of travel.



Course Documents

Course Syllabus  |  Sample Schedule

Academic Accommodations

Students requesting accommodations due to a disability should visit the students with disabilities abroad page for more information.

Course Logistics


Hong Kong, China
Shenzhen, China 


  • Students will stay in 4 star hotels during the course. The program fee covers the cost of a double occupancy room.
  • Students will have the opportunity to choose single room accommodations prior to departure for an additional fee. Single Supplement Fee: $1,050 (est).
  • Students interested in requesting housing accommodations on an Elective Abroad, should visit the students with disabilities abroad page for more information.


International Flight (Not Included in Program Fee)

Students will be responsible for booking their own international flight to and from Hong Kong (HKG). A recommended international flight itinerary will be provided to students registered for the course. Students are responsible for booking their own flight AFTER the course has been confirmed to run (i.e. participant minimum number is reached). The international flight cost is not included in the program fee. 

  • Arrival Airport Code: HKG
  • Departure Airport Code: HKG

Local Transportation

The program fee includes the following transportation: charter bus, high speed train, local train, and subway. Students should also expect to pay for additional individual transportation in their free time.


Students should also expect to pay for additional individual transportation around the city, and to do significant walking.


  • Breakfast will be provided at the hotel.
  • The following meals are also included in the program fee: welcome dinner, alumni event and final dinner.
  • Students are responsible for paying for most lunches and dinners on their own.
  • Students with food allergies, intolerances, or other dietary restrictions are encouraged to contact their Program Manager prior to committing to the course to discuss any questions or concerns.
Electives Abroad Cost Elements

Estimated Total Cost:  $5,425 + Tuition (3 credits)

Program Fee: $3,325

  • Included: Accommodations, breakfast, ground transportation, program planned meals and cultural excursions. 
  • Not included: Tuition, international flight, single supplement (optional - $1,050-est), visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses.
  • Payment: The program fee is paid to the Glavin Office.
  • Cancellation Policy: All students who confirm their placement and later withdraw from the course are subject to the Elective Abroad cancellation policy. Please review this policy to understand any additional financial obligations.

Babson Tuition: 3-Credits

  • Tuition is paid directly to SFS and is billed at the 2019-20 credit rate. Elective Abroad course is 3 credits.
  • To discuss tuition or your financial situation or to learn about grant opportunities, visit Student Financial Services.

Travel & Meals (estimated): $2,100

  • Airfare (Individual estimated to/from BOS): $1,300
  • Estimated Additional Meals: $600
  • Estimated Incidentals: $200
    • Incidentals and additional meals (lunches and dinners) are based on expenses from previous courses to Hong Kong.
    • Expenses may be higher or lower depending on student's meal preferences.
  • Visa (if applicable)
    • All students are asked to research the visa requirements for their nationality to travel to Hong Kong and China (including countries transited through) before committing to the course.
    • Students are responsible for securing visas (as needed) before travel.

Grants & Scholarships

Contact Information

Lead Faculty

Peter Cohan  

Professor Peter Cohan 

Peter Cohan teaches strategy to undergraduate and MBA students including the courses Strategic Problem Solving, Strategic Decision Making, and Foundations of Entrepreneurial Management. He has created electives abroad to Hong Kong/Singapore, Paris, Israel, and Spain/Portugal. His Babson X courses include Digital Strategy and Action and Rise To Leadership: Become A CEO. He is the author of 13 books and a columnist for Forbes and Inc. He appeared in the 2016 documentary film, We The People: The Market Basket Effect. He has also served as a visiting professor at Barcelona's EADA.

In 1994, Cohan started Peter S. Cohan & Associates, a management consulting and venture capital firm. His management consulting unit helps managers with strategy, best practices, operational improvement, and litigation support. Since 1981, Cohan has completed over 150 consulting projects.

His venture capital business has invested in seven companies including Andromedia, an Internet software company, which Macromedia purchased in 1999 for $440 million;, an online marketplace for industrial supplies, which Ariba purchased in 2000 for $930 million; and Lexar Media, a digital media company that was sold in 2006 to Micron Technology (MU) for $690 million. He is also an investor in San Francisco-based fintech service, SoFi, which was valued in March 2017 at $4.3 billion.


Program Manager

Renee Graham  

Renée Graham 
Renée Graham, Assistant Director of the Short-Term Programs Team, manages the programming for Electives Abroad & Away, the International Consulting Experience, and the Global Entrepreneurship Experience. She manages the 2019/20 undergraduate Electives Abroad courses to the UAE, Thailand/Malaysia and England, as well as the graduate Electives Abroad courses in Hong Kong, Brazil and Sweden. Renée's MSEL Global Entrepreneurship Experience program responsibilites this year are in Chile and China. In the Fall you will also see Renee court side as an assistant coach for the Babson women’s volleyball team.


Course Administrator

Margaret Jones  

Margaret Jones 

Margaret Jones brings an especially broad range of staffing and career management experience to Babson, specifically in the corporate accounting and financial services industries. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she left her native Chicago roots to work as an auditor in the Boston office of Grant Thornton, a top public accounting firm. She later gained recruitment experience at Positions Inc., a boutique staffing firm and subsequently returned to public accounting as Director of Recruiting for Management Consulting at Ernst & Young.

As the Director of the Graduate School of Professional Accounting at Northeastern University, Margaret leveraged her combination of accounting and recruiting background. In this role, she truly enjoyed her interactions with the graduate students and building relationships with organizations. Most recently, Margaret was a Director at Fenway Search Group, a staffing firm specializing in the recruitment and placement of Accounting and Finance professionals.



Student Videos


Student Quotes & Testimonials

"The Hong Kong/Shenzhen Elective Abroad was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only visit two economically vital cities, but also meet with inspiring founders, investors, and officials. Professor Peter Cohan’s ability to identify and network with startup entrepreneurs is the secret sauce that made this elective so valuable to me, as an early-stage startup joiner myself. Our conversations with founders like Steven Lam of Go Go Van, a billion dollar startup in Hong Kong, yielded insights that I immediately presented to my team and incorporated into my everyday work upon return. Being able to experience Shenzhen, one of the fastest-growing cities in human history and a mecca of electronics manufacturing, also made the trip supremely worthwhile — I would especially recommend the course to any budding hardware entrepreneurs. Beyond our academic mission, the elective offered us all the opportunity to explore two fascinating yet wildly different cultures, separated by only 20 miles and a fascinating border crossing. There was ample time to venture out at night and experience Hong Kong’s unique blend of Chinese and British culture, along with the bright lights and bustling markets of Shenzhen. I am so grateful for the Glavin Office, whose support made this trip possible for me. ​" - John Lockwood (Hong Kong Elective Abroad - January 2019)

"When I was younger, I read a book called Tai Pan by James Clavell. This fictional story focused on a capitalist’s journey to riches in colonial Hong Kong around the late 1800’s after the First Opium War. Aside from being an exciting page turner, the book instilled in me a deep passion to one day visit Hong Kong. That passion was what made my selection for the Hong Kong study abroad course an easy selection for me. My major takeaways from the experience were the amazing people we met and the businesses they were a part of in Hong Kong. I felt the access we had to senior level executives was an unprecedented educational experience for me and one that will leave a positive impression for many years to come. 
I expected Hong Kong to be a bastion of Western ideology and business practices and found that although there was a significant amount of this type of “thought” I was surprised to find that there were many people that spoke highly of mainland China. Our overnight trip to Shenzhen was an extremely important aspect of the course that provided such a wonderful contrast to Hong Kong. It was eye opening to see the manufacturing capabilities of China up close and instilled in me a belief that the future of IOT will be more influenced by Chinese manufacturing capabilities than American. Their ability to manufacture small scale quality products at low cost allows the Chinese to iterate significantly more quickly than American capabilities currently allow. This fact resulted in many of the individuals we interacted with to believe China will be an integral part of the IOT revolution. Overall, I found the course to be a worthy experience and one that added significant value to my Babson experience. Although, there were certainly other study abroad experiences I felt would have been enjoyable, I am very glad I chose the Hong Kong experience." - Douglas Antin (Hong Kong Elective Abroad - January 2019)

This program is currently not accepting applications.