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  • Locations: Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Program Terms: Summer 1st Session
  • 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: Undergraduate Program Type: Elective Abroad
Eligible Populations: First Year, Junior, Sophomore Housing Options: Hotel/Hostel
Academic Highlights: Cultural Studies, Entrepreneurial Studies, Management Program Advisor: Alexandra Nesbeda
Program Description:

MOB 3540 Israel Start-up Strategy

UG Israel 2020 - Beach

Peter Cohan, Lecturer

Summer 1st Session 2020


Important Dates

Information Session

Information Session Dates

Monday, September 16, 2019
5:00 PM
Location: Olin 101

NOTE: The information session will be recorded via WebEx and posted on the course brochure page for students who are unable to attend in person.

Application Deadlines

Application Opens

Thursday, September 5, 2019; 12:00 PM ET

Initial Application Deadline

Sunday, September 29, 2019; 11:59 PM ET

Rolling Application Opens

Monday, October 7, 2019; 9:00 AM ET

Rolling Application Deadline (to fill open slots)

Sunday, February 2, 2020; 11:59 PM ET

Mandatory Course Dates

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



Pre-Departure Class #1

Friday, April 3, 2020
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: TBD

Pre-Departure Class #2 & Orientation

Friday, April 17, 2020
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: TBD
NOTE: Pre-Departure Orientation: Friday, April 17 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM


Travel Dates: Wednesday, May 20 - Friday, May 29, 2020
Course Dates: Thursday, May 21 - Thursday, May 28, 2020


Consulting project due roughly 6 weeks following return from Israel

Academic Overview

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem (EE) of Israel – a country of about seven million people with the highest rate of NASDAQ listings per capita of any nation. 
Through direct interaction with entrepreneurs, capital providers, educators, and government officials in Israel, the students should come away with a new perspective on startup’s opportunities and challenges and get experience consulting to local startups while applying concepts from two books – Capital Rising: How Capital Flows Are Changing Business Systems All Over the World, co-authored by Peter S. Cohan with Srini Rangan, and Hungry Startup Strategy: Creating New Ventures with Limited Resources and Unlimited Vision (November 2012), by Peter S. Cohan.
Israel’s ability to spur entrepreneurial innovation vastly exceeds its size. Israel has 7.1 million people but the number of Israeli companies listed on the NASDAQ far exceeds its relative population.  For example, India has three companies listed. Japan has six, Canada has 48, while Israel has 63.  Israel has received as much foreign venture capital as the much larger Britain -- $2 billion in foreign venture capital invested there in 2008 alone.  And Israel has the highest density of startups in the world 3,850 – the equivalent of one startup for every 1,844 Israelis. Moreover, during the last few decades, Israel’s high-tech innovations have spread around the world.[i]
How did Israel accomplish this feat? Israel has historically been geo-politically isolated from its direct neighbors, limiting trade and cooperation. An Arab nation boycott made regional trade impossible and it has very few natural resources. In addition, it has borne the impact of multiple military conflicts, putting pressure on its economy.  As a consequence, Israel looks to the spirit of its people to overcome its many limitations. The way Israel has managed its human capital – a critical element of its EE – has allowed Israel to become an innovation hub.
Israel’s entrepreneurial success depends on the people it attracts and how it harnesses their skills.  Since Israel remains under constant political threat, all its citizens serve in the military which creates social networks and leadership training. Furthermore, Israel’s culture of critique, fostered by centuries of Jewish tradition, encourages a spirit of relentless improvement.  Moreover, the Right of Return immigration policy for Jews augments Israel's population with people motivated to build new lives and livelihoods.  The result is a business climate that embraces risk and spurs the growth of good ideas.
Many examples of Israel’s most successful start-ups spring from the application of its human capital to the gap between demand and supply.  For example, drip irrigation was invented when a farmer in the Negev desert noticed one of his trees flourishing despite drought conditions. When he discovered a leaky underwater pipe, he had a moment of creative inspiration, developing a technology that spread around the world.
Many of Israel’s greatest innovations were in the area of information technology.  They include PC anti-virus software, to AOL Instant Messenger, and the Intel Pentium microprocessor chip.  Israelis also created medical devices such as radiation-free breast cancer diagnostics and the “Gut Cam,” an ingestible pill video camera that diagnoses abnormalities.
Hence one of the goals of the course is to explore how Israel has created such a vital EE and to give students a first-hand look at the Israelis who put the concept of entrepreneurship into practice.
The Israel Startup Strategy Elective Abroad is intended to provide students with the following benefits:

  • To understand how Israel spurs startups
  • To get a deeper understanding of Israel’s business culture
  • To meet entrepreneurs, business educators, government officials, and capital providers in Israel

Faculty Articles

Cohan, Peter. "Can Israel Become A Nation Of Startup Marathoners?" Forbes, 26 May 2019.
Cohan, Peter. "The Unexpected Reason That Wix Stock Is A Buy." Forbes, 20 May 2019.
Cohan, Peter. "mPrest Taking Share in $10B Industry from Siemens, ABB, GE." Forbes, 30 Jul. 2018.
Cohan, Peter. "3 Dramatic Changes Propelling Startup Nation To Challenge Silicon Valley." Inc., 26 Mar. 2018.

Course Information

Course Type

Advanced Elective


4 credits


Sophomore, junior, or senior.

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 by time of travel.



Course Documents

Draft Syllabus  |  Sample Schedule  |  Information Session Slides

Academic Accommodations

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

Course Logistics


Tel Aviv, Israel


  • Students will be staying in 3-4 star hotels during the course in double occupancy rooms.
  • Students are housed in double rooms based on the same gender/gender identity.
  • 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/from Tel Aviv (TLV). 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. For security reasons, students will be required to travel with the group to/from the airport. 

  • Arrival Airport Code: TLV
  • Departure Airport Code: TLV

Local Transportation

The program fee includes the following transportation: charter bus.


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: three group dinners.
  • 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:  $4,450 + Tuition (4 credits)

Program Fee: $2,550

  • Included: Accommodations, breakfast, bus transportation in Israel, program planned meals, and cultural excursions.
  • Not included: Tuition, international flight, 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: 4-Credits

  • Tuition is paid directly to SFS and is billed at the 2019-2020 credit rate ($1,644 per credit). Each Elective Abroad is 4 credits. Summer tuition is separate from fall and spring tuition charges, however, you may qualify for a tuition adjustment in a future year.
  • To discuss tuition or your financial situation or to learn about grant opportunities, visit Student Financial Services.

Travel & Meals: $1,900

  • Airfare (Individual estimated to/from BOS): $1,300
  • Estimated Additional Meals: $450
  • Estimated Incidentals: $150
    • Incidentals and additional meals (lunches and dinners) are based on estimated expenses from a previous year's course.
    • 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 Israel (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

Alex Nesbeda  

Alex Nesbeda 

Alex Nesbeda manages the programming for Electives Abroad & Away, International Consulting Experience, and the Global Entrepreneurship Experience for the undergraduate and graduate student populations. She is the program manager for undergraduate Electives Abroad in Japan, the United Kingdom, Uruguay/Argentina, and Israel; graduate Electives Abroad in Italy and Japan; and the MSEL Global Entrepreneurship Experience in Tanzania.


Course Administrator






Student Quotes

This program is currently not accepting applications.