Post written by Grace Ann Lagman, Master in Management student
30 October 2014
Tel-Aviv, Israel.- Today is our 4th day in Israel and also our last day for company visits. The first company we went to is Google and there we were welcomed to an office creatively and unconventionally designed, that it very much reflected the kind of company culture Google has. We were then warmly greeted by Michal, who explained to us why Google Campus opened in Tel Aviv. Through Campus, Google aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship by providing not only a workspace for startups, but also the opportunity to connect with experts from different industries. After going through a lot of mentoring sessions, the startup companies get to ask the right questions and improve their technological expertise, user experience, and product storytelling. Michal also informed us that Google Campus will be opening in Madrid next year!
After Google, we visited another company called Mobileye. It might not sound that familiar yet, but this company is traded at the NYSE and is now valued at over $10B. They developed an accident preventive system that is now adopted by 90% of the world’s auto manufacturers. Offering a safer driving experience, their sophisticated technology has the ability to detect objects and pedestrians before a possible collision with split-second warning signals that even activates a full brake. Everyone in the room was just downright impressed and suddenly attentive when videos were shown demonstrating how it works.
We then headed to Jerusalem, where we would be spending the last 2 days of our Global Immersion week. The bus ride lasted for about an hour. Jerusalem greeted us with a cold, breezy weather and a beautiful old city landscape, which is quite different from Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers and modern city vibe.
OurCrowd is the last company we visited. It is a venture capital type crowdfunding that invests in a lot of Israeli startup companies. By this time, we were already overwhelmed with Israel’s extraordinary talent, high technology resource, and innovativeness; but listening once again to the speaker, Prescott, talk about Israel as a progressive start up nation made me realize that Israel is the way it is now because of the problems that are unique to their country. Working in defense makes them very effective problem solvers. To quote his presentation, “Israelis maintain a strong sense of community because of their army and their small overall population.”
Finished with all company visits, we went for a tour in Bethlehem where we visited the Church of Nativity and also the spot believed by many as the exact same place where Jesus was born. After buying souvenirs and checking-in at our hotel, we ended the day with a nice long walk around the city to find a place to eat and just relax together.