Tag: spring semester

It was spring break here at Olin these past two weeks, and we said goodbye to the Mini A term, which means it is time to be back in school and enjoy some spring spirit. My mind is reeling with all the things that are coming up in the next few weeks. The job search process is continual and we are springing forward with our efforts. In the meanwhile, the SMP’s are also gearing up for some major events all in March. Interestingly, as the snow melts off the ground, there is a sudden excitement in the air at Olin. New committees are being formed, new leadership is taking charge of various clubs and new plans are concocted for the upcoming year. And some of us had the chance to order regalia, which also means we can almost see the finish line!

hands holding earthAlright coming back to the events that are lined up in the next few weeks, the SMP students are going to revel in two main events for the year – One World and SMP Follies. One World will bring out the best of Olin, weaving in the spirit of diversity this spring. This is one event where everyone basks in culture, food and festivity from all over the world. Without fail, you will get a glimpse of it in this space soon.

Humor is an essential part of life and it goes without saying that life at Olin does have its moments of laughter. This spring we are gearing up for the SMP Follies to be held on April 10th. We will get together for an evening filled with laughter, food and fun! The background work for the Follies is in full force, you will find students excitedly chattering about things or planning the evening out at the tables in Knight Hall.

Of course, there is more! The Olin Supply Chain & Operations Association (SCOPA) is working to bring to us the first Olin Supply Chain Symposium on March 23rd. The symposium will focus on building sustainable and ethical supply chains. With participants from BJC Healthcare, Emerson and Monsanto, the event will be a learning experience for supply chain buffs. As always, watch this space for more after the event.

If you are thinking that is the end of my list, you are wrong. The GBSA Spring Formal is coming up in March too! On March 27, we put our best foot forward at the formal event involving dinner and dancing, at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, Crystal Ballroom. The night will see many Olin graduate students regardless of their program come together and enjoy the evening. So bring out those dancing shoes!

You must be wondering if that is the end of my list and this time you will be right! Spring at Olin will be spectacular this year and we will shine through the various events. Interestingly, the supply chain students are also gearing up for a Supply Chain Risk Management class this March and I think the learning will help us through the many events.

Campus image courtesy of WUSTL Photo Services.

The spring semester is well underway and that means the Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Israel course has started. We are asking the undergrad students in this class to reflect on their takeaways while they prepare for their immersion trip to Israel during spring break. Keep up with the students’ thoughts by clicking the “Business in Israel” feature tag in the right hand column of the Olin Blog.


Reflections from Samuel Blumkin, Arts & Sciences, Class of 2016

After talking about Israeli history and culture for the past two classes, today, we discussed the fundamentals behind Israel’s booming startup sector.  We learned the possible routes a company can take to become a startup, each involving large amounts of capital.  A startup can receive funding from “Angel” Investors (individuals lending money), banks, self-funding (a.k.a. Boot Strapping), or from Venture Capitalists.

Since it is rare for individuals to fund risky companies, and by the same token, it is risky for a bank to lend out that much capital to a potentially risky investment, startups look mostly to Venture Capitalist (VC) firms to receive funding.  VC’s are made up of individuals looking to find companies in need of funding, providing that funding, and then receiving a piece of each company’s equity once it is either bought or goes public.

However, given the statistic that most startups fail, VC’s invest in multiple companies, and calculate the risk that out of 10-20 companies, two or three will fail, and two or three will be the VC’s jackpot, while the remaining companies don’t experience nearly as extreme an outcome.

Israeli startups receive a lot of funding from private VC’s, but it wasn’t always that way.  Israel’s economy hasn’t been the strongest since its founding, experiencing the effects of widespread boycotts over the past few decades.  Arab nations would make companies choose between trading with them and trading with Israel, and many would choose the former.  France led another boycott against Israel in the 1970’s, and Israel really wasn’t able to fully recover until the very end of the century.

Israel has always had the brainpower to begin startups, but they really haven’t had the money or the manpower.  In 1996, the Israeli government set out to change this, and established its own VC, Yozma.  Its goal was to energize the startup industry and it did just that.  By 2001, Yozma ceased being a government-owned VC and went private, still in operation today.  Despite the fact that there have been failed projects since started by the government, Yozma laid the foundations for an economy with a booming startup sector.  It successfully took Israel’s military and human capital as well as its population’s education and translated it into enormous sources of income for the country, and some might say, a culture.

Yozma’s success truly interested me because we seldom hear of a government stimulus to the economy that experiences the results that Yozma did.  I believe it is one of the factors responsible for not only restoring Israel’s economy, but also inspiring a country of innovators.  A unique characteristic that Israelis have is that they are not afraid of failure.  This characteristic is essential as an entrepreneur, so that one day, he or she might be successful.  This is truly a trait that separates Israel from any other country.