Israeli Start-up-Culture „Reloaded“Aalen University visiting Silicon Wadi in Tel Aviv
At the close of the winter semester, 16 students from Aalen took an excursion to the start-up metropolis Tel Aviv. Visiting start-up firms, listening to lectures from successful founders, and participating in a pitch event as the highlight – the students had a colourful program, last but not least including cultural exchange.
Every semester, the master program Business Development at Aalen University offers a trip to an internationally acclaimed start-up metropolis. Students can then experience the different cultures of start-ups and exchange ideas with successful business founders. This year, the students travelled to Tel Aviv in Israel for the second time, where a special attitude towards start-ups exists: failing and then starting fresh is seen as part of start-up culture and valuable experience. Investors often do not see it as something negative, but rather as part of the learning curve.
Guests of Successful Founders
To begin, the CEO of the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry and Commerce presented an overview of the key characteristics of the dynamic country and its constantly growing start-up scene. One highlight followed another in the program, for example a visit to BEYONDVERBAL, a start-up that works with speech recognition, as well as medical and psychological diagnosis. The CEO of ClearCut, a company in the field of medical technology that produces compact MRI machines for quick diagnoses of cancer during operations, spoke about his own personal impression of start-up careers and showed the differences between Israeli and German basic conditions for founding a start-up. Participating in a pitch event in the coworking space “Urban Place” was also a special experience for the group. At the “StartupBattle133”, six selected start-ups attempted to persuade investors to support their business ideas.
Informal conversations played a natural role in the intercultural exchange – for example sharing a hostel with travellers from all over the world. During a guided tour of Jerusalem, the group was able to experience the complexity of the city with their own religions, cultures and political conflicts.
A Unique Combination
The Israeli ecosystem for start-ups is based on three factors: first, there are many immigrants in Israel. For example in the 90’s, a million immigrants among them many highly educated academics from the former Soviet Union. Additionally, the government launched a program (YOZMA) to promote infrastructure for start-ups by supporting business start-ups with federally funded starting capital. Furthermore, young Israelis in the Special Forces of the Israeli military are educated in economics, in order to be prepared professionally for the time after their military service.
At the end of the trip, academic dean Professor Dr. Harry Bauer and both colleagues from stAArt-Up!de, Christian Kling and Nicole Gentner, were happy that all participants returned home safe and sound with positive impressions.
Further information regarding the master program Business Development can be found here.
Photo Credits: © Hochschule Aalen/Gavriella Harel