Today was a long but very interesting and productive day. It was our first day of business meetings and tours. We had the opportunity to meet with four notable companies.
We began the morning at Teva Pharmaceuticals where we learned more about the current issues facing the industry as well as learn more about the specific company. Teva is the largest private employer in Israel and employees over 46,000 people globally. We learned that they are really a global company with less than 5% of their sales in Israel. They also focus on long term planning, which was mentioned as being a weakness for many Israeli companies.
We learned about their new strategy called New Therapeutic Entry, which combines innovation with generic drugs both Teva does well. This is the delivery of old drugs; more common drugs in new ways that benefit people in different ways.
After our visit to Teva, we went to Google. The building was absolutely amazing with a lot of creative interior designs. We got a tour, which made several people decide they wanted a future career with Google. We learned about the search tools that were developed at Google Israel. These include the knowledge card, which shows up in on the right hand side of a search and compiles basic information about your search whether it is a person or a city among many others.
They have this rule where twenty percent of an employee’s time is spent on projects of their own choosing whether it is a personal idea or a part of Google they really enjoy. I think it’s really cool and allows for a lot of innovation to give employees such freedom.
We then went to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, which was nothing like I was expecting since it has all long since been computerized. It was silent in there unlike the crazy commotion I was expecting. I guess I’m thinking about Gordon Gecko from the 1980s. We learned a lot about the statistics of the stock exchange. It was an interesting visit.
Next, we had time on Rothschild’s street where we ate the most amazing chocolate deserts at Dean Malter’s favorite place.
Finally, we went to Wibbitz and talked to the founders about their company. This company takes text, summarizes it and creates a video about it. They use natural language programing and target many publishers and bloggers. Their technology has made over seventeen million videos.
We talked about entrepreneurship in general and the program that these guys had participated in at the IDC where the company started. In addition, We talked about their military experience and their backgrounds and interests. Also, we discussed their funding and how they went about getting it. Though the meeting was short, it was very educational and in my opinion, the most interesting meeting of the day.
We had dinner with IDC students; I talked to this woman about her start-up, which had to do with apps and customer reviews. The dinner was very interesting as were all the people I interacted with. Overall, throughout the day I learned a lot about several industries and had a lot of fun even though it was a very long and busy day. I’m really enjoying this trip.
Class of 2016