Tag: IDC

During a recent trip to Israel, Greg Hutchings, senior advisor in the Weston Career Center visited with four of Olin’s Global Masters of Finance (GMF) students who are working on their Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel.

At the end of their 11 month program, they will also receive a Masters of Science in Finance degree.  At IDC, the students are focused on venture creation and are interning with financial services and venture capital firms. IDC’s Zell Entrepreneurship Program has evolved into an acclaimed venture creation program, providing students with an opportunity to apply advanced entrepreneurial studies to the creation of real business ventures.

Israel is well-known as “the Startup Nation.” In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. Also, there are a lot of accelerators and venture capital companies in the Israeli market to invest in those potential startups. We took a visit to two accelerators, “StartupEast” and “Samurai House-Israel,” located in Tel Aviv.

Guest blogger: Kaibo Xue is currently in Israel as part of the Global Master of Finance program. GMF students will earn a certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship from Olin’s partner school, IDC Herzliya. During their immersion at IDC, students learn first-hand from entrepreneurs in Israel.

StartupEast is an Israeli-pan-Asian startup accelerator and microfund. “With more and more Asian investors being active in Israeli startups, our main goal is to create and nurture successful joint startups across the continent,” said Amos Avner, one of the founding partners, during a brief introduction about StartupEast.

IDC Herzila IsraelFounded in Tokyo, Samurai House is the largest startup accelerator in Japan. It shares the same goal with StartupEast to connect the startup and innovation ecosystems of Asia and Israel.

In order to retain enterprise culture, the office was decorated fully in Japanese style, which gives workers a casual and relaxing working environment.




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