Incubating innovation

Many frequent followers know that I travel to Israel relatively frequently, and I have written about the entrepreneurial spirit that seems to permeate throughout the country, helping it build an innovation-based economy.

In 2016, I observed, “The book [Startup Nation], by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, examines how Israel – a country with about 25% of Canada’s population, in a constant state of war since its founding in 1948, with no natural resources – produces more start-up companies than larger nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK.”

That came to mind as I was scanning PitchBook’s recently published annual university rankings, that “compare schools by tallying up the number of alumni entrepreneurs who have founded venture capital-backed companies.”

The overwhelming majority of schools are from the United States, with Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, MIT and Pennsylvania taking the top 5 spots. Cornell, Michigan, Texas and Yale take positions 6, 8, 9 and 10, but Tel Aviv University stands in position 7. Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is in 15th position, with these two Israeli schools standing among an otherwise all-American top 20.

Canada’s University of Waterloo is ranked 21. Other Canadian universities in the top 100 are: McGill (26), Toronto (27), UBC (44), Queen’s (55), Western (91), York (98), and Concordia (100).

Other Israeli schools in the PitchBook 100: Hebrew University of Jerusalem (31), Reichmann University (38), Ben Gurion (45), and Bar Ilan (71).

What can Canadian schools learn from Israeli counterparts?

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