** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
First Year, Junior, Sophomore
Cultural Studies, Entrepreneurial Studies, Management
Monday, September 16, 2019
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.
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
Pre-Departure Class #2 & Orientation
Friday, April 17, 2020
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
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
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
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
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.
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.
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; SupplierMarket.com, 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.
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.