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Israel: The Land of Technology and Innovation: Through visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, this IFS will focus on Israel’s high tech and innovative business environment and historical culture. Students will visit with start-up, venture capital and multinational companies and government agencies to gain first-hand knowledge of the Israeli economy and business acumen. We will also explore cultural and historical sites in and around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel is recognized as a world leader in high technology and innovation. Israel’s Silicon Wadi, located primarily in Tel Aviv but covering a 125 mile strip from Haifa in the north to the Negev desert in the south, is second only to the United States in the creation of the most number of high tech start-ups (Kandell, 2016). Israel is nicknamed “Start-Up Nation” because of its high concentration of start-ups per capita. For a country the size of New Jersey, there are 94 Israeli companies listed on NASDAQ, substantially more than any European country, and The World Bank rates Israel second in the world for venture capital availability. The Bloomberg Innovation Index for 2018 (BII) and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 rank Israel in the top 10 most innovative nations in the world, #10 and #3, respectively. The BII notes that Israel leads the world in the number of researchers per capita and in research and development, and is fifth in high-tech density.

Areas of Interest

Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, is the business and diplomatic capital of Israel. In 2017, Compass ranked Tel Aviv sixth in the world for starting a business. Tel Aviv University is renowned for its interdisciplinary research on nanotech, neuroscience, bioinformatics and renewable energies. The cosmopolitan city, located on the Mediterranean Sea, is home to the White City, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of 1930s Bauhaus/International style buildings. Tel Aviv is a major center of culture and entertainment with many performing arts centers, theaters, lively nightlife and picturesque beaches. North of Tel Aviv are remnants of Roman, Druze and Medieval European cultures providing opportunities for historical, cultural visits.

Recognized as an ancient city holy to billions around the world, Jerusalem combines an exceptional combination of history and modernity. The city is a thriving center for biomedical engineering, clean environmental technology, accelerators, and mobile start-ups, leading Entrepreneur magazine to rank Jerusalem as the number one emerging technology hub in the world. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a leading research university, supports medical, cyber security, nanotech and entrepreneurship among other fields of research and development and provides top talent to area businesses. Coexisting with Jerusalem’s vibrant tech environment are its numerous historical sites, including the Old City with its Armenian, Muslim, Christian and Jewish Quarters, Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In addition to business visits, we will likely have the opportunity to see these historical sites.

Course Description

Students will be exposed to a variety of technologically advanced and innovative businesses along with historical cultural visits in and around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. While in Israel, students will attend lectures by leading business executives and government officials and business visits to start-up, venture capital and multinational firms. The overall objective of the course is to learn about ecosystem factors that enhance or deter Israel’s high tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship culture and to explore its future direction.

Format of Instruction

The class will meet monthly before departure. Popular press materials and a case study will be read to provide a foundation of the entrepreneurial, economic, political and cultural environments of Israel. Students will write a case analysis and student teams will present their recommendations on a promising sector or geographic market for Israeli entrepreneurs in the future.


Dr. Felicia Lassk, Associate Professor of Marketing, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Accommodations, Transportation & Meals

Participants will be housed in double rooms in high-quality tourist hotels during the program. Accommodations for spouses or friends are not available. Breakfasts, some lunches, and some dinners are included. Students are usually responsible for other meals. Students are responsible for securing passports and visa. Inter-country transportation is included.