Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 12am

Harvard MBAs Connect Fellow Students with Israeli Startups: MBA News

Harvard MBAs Connect Fellow Students with Israeli Startups: MBA News main image

MBA students at Harvard Business School are launching an online platform this week named InsideIL, a summer internship service aimed at matching up MBA students in the US with Israeli startups, venture capital firms (VCs) as well as multinational companies based in Israel.

The two MBAs, first-year student Sara Greenberg and second-year student Della Heiman, want the program to create new opportunities for business school students to forge global relationships with dynamic companies, entrepreneurs and executives, while gaining invaluable business experience within a different culture. Greenberg and Heiman’s aim is to be able to send 15 students to Israel this year for summer internships, piloting the initiative for Harvard Business School students.

Israel in recent years has seen a dramatic surge in the amount of startup companies and entrepreneurial ventures experiencing success. The country, just 60 years old has been labeled the ‘Startup Nation’ by research economists, with 65 Israeli startups and established companies listed on the American stock exchange NASDAC in 2009. According to a survey conducted by Shiboleth, 2013 was a record year for Israeli startups and young companies within the technology industry in terms of investment and acquisitions from the likes of Google and Facebook. Tel Aviv, the country’s financial center, is now contending with the likes of London, Berlin and New York to become second to San Francisco’s Silicon Valley in technology and innovation.

The ‘Startup Nation’ is an appealing prospect for Harvard Business School MBAs

“A country of only eight million people, Israel is the world’s third-largest source of listings on New York’s NASDAQ, after North America and China,” Greenberg and Heiman explain to Harvard Business School’s online publication The Harbus. “Why is it, that such a tiny country has been able to produce such an extraordinary amount of startups and innovation? Different people have different theories and we believe that entrepreneurially-minded HBSers will benefit from time in the country to come up with their own takeaways. Hopefully, the lessons about how to create a culture and environment that values innovation can then be applied by the MBAs in their respective home countries and to the companies they will eventually start.”

The website is hoped to provide a mutually valuable experience for both employer and intern. While students will enjoy obvious benefits from gaining work experience in the Startup Nation, Israeli employers will gain students from an elite talent pool with insight and knowledge of American and Western target markets.

SodaStream, crowdfunding website OurCrowd, and Abe’s Market are just three of the Israeli startups and established businesses that are already affiliated with the program.

 Learn more about Harvard Business School >

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