travel to the land of start-ups

The Jewish state has an entrepreneurial dynamism that we should take inspiration from!

For the third consecutive year, students from HEC Montréal participated in Campus Israel, an experience rich in lessons and discoveries, both human and entrepreneurial.

For the past three years, students from HEC Montréal have been flying to Israel for a two-week trip, where they are encouraged to rekindle their entrepreneurial spirit. This stay precedes a week of preparation in Montreal. Why Israel? First of all, because this country has a lot in common with Quebec from a demographic point of view. In fact, its population is approximately 8 million, as in Belle Province and its GDP ($ 237 billion) is also comparable to Quebec ($ 231 billion).

However, what really makes Israel attractive is its entrepreneurial ecosystem. In fact, entrepreneurship is truly part of the DNA of those who live here. Named starting country according to the book by authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer on “Israeli economic miracle”, a true bible for entrepreneurs in this country, Israel has more than 3,800 start-ups and provides more than 6 % of its GDP in research and development.1. There are also five universities, two prestigious research centers and 24 technological colleges.

With its “Silicon Wadi”, new technologies should not be outdone, and giants like Google, Apple, Intel and Microsoft have settled in the country’s major cities. There are so many good reasons for HEC Montréal students to immerse themselves in this entrepreneurial environment.

Take a chance

During their stay, participants shared their time between cultural visits (Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Nazareth, Dead Sea, etc.), a tour of companies and start-ups, but also training provided in collaboration with professors from the College of Management Academic Studies. “These are short, interactive and dynamic workshops. Students are also encouraged to develop their own business project, to take their idea and define a typical client”, explains Marie-Claude Lacerte. , Israel Campus coordinator and project manager at Institut d’entrepreneurship Banque National-HEC Montreal.

Inspirational visits were made to the HP incubator area (software), Mobileye (intelligent detection system), OrCam (machine vision technology), MyHeritage (family tree), and Faran, among others. (cosmetics), to name a few. “The purpose of this campus is to let students know about business starts, to add a string to their bow, but to also give them an unforgettable human experience. Israel has a unique system of business.There’s something inspiring and compelling about immersing yourself in this environment, ”Marie-Claude Lacerte said.

Amandine Allain, a HEC Montreal business administration student who participated on campus in June, emphasizes for her part that she has been hit by the ability of Israeli businessmen to take risks. “People are not afraid to start, they are go-getters. At the age of 25, young people have already established three start-ups! Compared to them, in Quebec we are very careful…”, said he. So did Christophe Grimard, another 2016 campus participant. “The desire to perform and change is very strong. Creating a business is literally rooted in thoughts,” he said.

Because military service is compulsory before entering university – three years for men and two years for women – young Israelis often return with a desire to take initiatives and try business ventures. In the army, young people also develop a solid network of contacts. “Nothing seems impossible. This stay opened my mind and helped me become aware of the opportunities that come up, ”said Amandine Allain. Christophe Grimard agrees. “Campus Israel has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and broaden my perspectives. Classes and workshops are interactive and dynamic, and discussing entrepreneurship with people our age encourages the presentation of ideas, ”he said.

Another striking fact according to the students: in Israel, entrepreneurs have an international perspective on business from the beginning, a requirement not to be confined to their territory. A rich experience where they learned lessons they intended to apply in Quebec.


1. On the dynamism of Israeli Start-ups, read our article “The prevention strategy”.

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