Luc is a fresh graduate from the international MBA at IE Business School. Luc, a Swiss lawyer with professional experience in Investment Banking and Tax consulting, chose to visit Israel for short exchange in the Technion University. I met Luc to discuss about his experience in Israel.
Luc, it is interesting to know why you to choose Israel as your exchange country?
I have always been interested in Startups and Technology and if you are interested in these subjects there are two places you should visit: Silicon Valley and Israel. We had the option to visit Israel so that was my choice. Moreover, around the time of the decision where to do my exchange week, Google bought Waze for 1 Billion dollar which increased the interest in Israel even more.
Israel has a certain image and many times people are surprised to discover that Israel is such an innovative and leading tech society, what have you discovered about Israel that surprised you?
What I found interesting is the fact that in Israel people are not afraid to fail. They are risk takers and there is kind of a notion that you don’t have to be the smartest person on earth in order to try do things, so they try – if they have an idea they will go for it, and if it will be a success it is good and if not, that’s ok too. We had a few entrepreneurs who shared their failures stories with us and they spoke about it in a very open and honest way.
It is interesting to see that all the big companies in the world have a presence in Israel especially with R&D Centers. Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Ebay and many more. We visited Google campus in Tel-Aviv and they have a very cool atmosphere there, very relaxed and surprisingly it is very big in size. I never experienced something like this. The visit to google campus was very unique and interesting and its obvious that Google must be gaining from being there.
We also visited Microsoft R&D center and this as well was big in size and very professional. We had a conversation with the R&D manager in which he gave us insights to their work. Their employees fully committed to help startups to grow and it is not necessarily that they will benefit Microsoft directly. The atmosphere is impressive. It is a great opportunity for startups to be there and as for Microsoft too, I think they access to the new trends coming out of Israel through this way.
What I also liked about Israel is that no matter where you go there is a very informal atmosphere… Everyone is dressed casually – no formality.
Many people try to understand why Israel is such an entrepreneurial country. In your opinion, what drives the entrepreneurship spirit in Israel?
Well I believe that for Israeli entrepreneurs it’s not about the money; they get into entrepreneurship to change and to create new things and they like to do it while having fun and enjoying life. The people have a lot of energy and they put into creativity while working very hard at the same time.
What did you learn from your time in Israel?
I learned that in order to be a successful entrepreneur you don’t have to have a fancy office. I was Impressed to see that many startups have their office is in the streets of Tel-Aviv sitting outside in coffee shops and open spaces. You don’t need anything to become an entrepreneur and have your own company. You just need to do it. One can’t believe that he/she can start a company on a bench in the boulevard.
In your opinion, why should other people visit Israel?
I think that if you are interested in entrepreneurship you definitely should visit Israel. It will give you a close insight to one of the top places in the world for entrepreneurship; the spirit is everywhere. You get to see the whole eco-system for startup incubators, VC’s, entrepreneurs, investors and more.
You also get to know a very nice country; a place that normally you don’t know; unique culture, great life style, beach, blue sky. The people are friendly, lively, vibrant, and diverse – it’s not what you see on TV or read in the newspaper. It is a unique combination of business, fun life and history
Interviewed by Nir Hindi, IE Israel Club Madrid Chapter