College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering

Middle East 2012

May 27, 12

So Long!

Farewell & May 25-26th

First, I'd like to say its been a pleasure -- writing these blogs has been a great and, at times, frustrating experience. Thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, and sending emails of encouragement.

This trip would not have been possible without the support, guidance and leadership of Prof. Marshak. Also, I cannot thank enough all of our tour guides, bus drivers, CSE/CSOM Staff and all those who made this a productive global classroom.


May 27, 12

The Innovation of Déjà vu -- Petra

May 24th

Today, we ate a quick breakfast at the Jerusalem Hotel before we headed out for site tours. First we went to Oasis 500, a newly formed Jordanian early stage incubator and fund. We have learned much about the VC ecosystem in Israel through our meetings with Ed Mlavsky at Gemini Israel Funds, Eran Feldhay at Misgav Venture Accelerator and Jon Medved over the past two weeks. In Jordan, there is no ecosystem.


May 25, 12

Kings in The Kingdom -- Amman

NOTE: Internet upload speeds in Jordan are just as bad as they were in Israel. I will upload the pictures when I can find a better connection.
May 23rd

We woke up at 4:15am this morning because we wanted to watch the sunrise from on top of Masada. To clarify from my last post; Masada was an ancient city built on a mountain top next to the Dead Sea. The Masada Guest House, where we slept, is on the bottom of this mountain. We hiked up snake's trail, for one hour, to make it to Masada. The sun peaked up over the Jordanian mountains, across the Dead Sea, just as we arrive at the peak. Steve gave us a tour of Masada after we took pictures of the beautiful view. We could only imagine what the view looked like before the Dead Sea dried up (diversion of the stream to the Israeli Water carrier has reduced the Dead Sea's level 26m).


May 24, 12

Floating in Water -- Masada

May 22nd

Today, after our last night in Jerusalem, we drove south to Kiryat Gat. Our goal was to tour one of Intel's fabrication plants. Along they way, the terrain changed from arable mountains to hot deserts. Intel, Steve's former employer, choose to build a plant in Kiryat Gat because the government offered attractive tax breaks under the condition that the plant be placed in Kiryat Gat. This was in the Israeli government's interest because, at the time, Kiryat Gat had a high unemployment rate. History has proved the government correct since the first Intel fabrication plant - unemployment has become low and HP, Microsoft and Micron have opened offices in Kiryat Gat.


May 22, 12

Connecting the Dots -- Jerusalem

May 21th

We started our day by meeting with Saul Singer, a co-author of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. Nearly every meeting we have had on the trip manages to mention the book. Saul, and Daniel Senor, his co-author, have managed to write the magnum opus of Israeli start-ups. Start-up Nation made it onto the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 27 languages. Saul believes that this shows that people, around the world, are interested in figuring out the secrets behind Israel's success. The secrets, throughout this trip, have been repeated and realized - a culture that encourages risk taking, failure, questioning authority.


May 21, 12

Beyond The Wall -- Jerusalem

May 20, 2012

We started our day early with a trip to the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem. After descending via Warren's Shaft, we walked the length of Hezekiah's Tunnel. The water level, at its deepest point in the tunnel, reached my thighs. From an engineering standpoint, it was impressive to think that, after digging towards the other from each side, the workers met in the middle and had the correct grade.


May 19, 12

Chaos Theory -- Jerusalem

May 19th IDT 23:42

Waking up in Jerusalem during the Sabbath is like no other city I have visited. This morning, I pulled back the curtains and found that there were no cars in the streets. Shops, on the sides of the road, remained closed and locked.

Our first stop, after a cold breakfast, was the settlement of Gilo. The settlement received some media attention in 2009 because President Obama said that its continued construction did not make Israel safer. We could see the wall of separation and the Palestinian settlement of Beit Jala. Gilo sits beyond the Green L Read more...

May 19, 12

Live from the Old City

May 19th IDT12:58

We are eating lunch at Basti Restaurant right now!


May 18, 12

Comment, share and get involved

May 19th IDT 04:00

I hope you are enjoying my coverage of our trip. This is just a reminder that you should feel free to leave any comments below, share this blog with your friends, and google the sites we are visiting.

Cheers, and thanks to all the loyal followers!



May 18, 12

Politics & Religion -- Jerusalem

May 18th IDT 21:48

Yesterday, at Caesarea, we saw ancient innovations around water and at Emfecy, modern day alchemy, to make sewage into water. Today, our first stop, after leaving Haifa, was the Atar Sapir- Mekorot Pumping Sation. The site has high strategic importance to the state of Israel. Below is the only picture I was allowed to take. Armed guards met us at the front gate and escorted us. Throughout the tour, we realized why the security was tight - Atar Sapir is vital to the supply of water in Israel.


May 17, 12

It Takes A Village -- Haifa

May 17th IDT 23:29

We started our first full day based out of Haifa with breakfast at the Mount Carmel Hotel. After that, we hopped on the bus for a short ride up the hill to the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Technion Alumni make up more than 50% of the founders of Israeli startups on the NASDAQ. Read more...

May 17, 12

Changing The Frame -- Haifa

May 16th IDT 18:00

We started our day with breakfast at Ruth Daniel Residence before driving out to Emefcy(sounds like M.F.C.), a startup in Caesarea.

One of the themes throughout the trip, so far, is that in Israel adversity and challenges are framed as opportunities. Urban Aeronautics, from yesterday, did not come up with the idea for their aircraft from scratch. Actually, the United States Air Force had a program called the Air Jeep. Read more...

May 16, 12

First 2 Days

I am still having trouble finding a good internet connection. The funny thing is that download speeds here are just as fast as back home -- the speed of uploading data is the slow part. Below are the posts I wrote for the first two days. I will come back and update this post with the videos and photos when possible -- The places where"-pic" or "=video" is written are the places this media will be posted.

I will write the blog today of today after this post. That should come up in the next 6 hours. Thanks for your patience and thanks for reading!


May 15, 12

Safe but slow internet

Hello Readers,

We have made it safely to Israel! However, we have not found a good internet connection. Stay tuned-- I have 2 posts finished but cannot attach the photos and videos right now.



May 13, 12

Landed in New York!

We all made it safely to JFK! The flight went by quickly. The majority of us slept on the flight. Nearly everyone else, who stayed awake, was plugged into an iPod.

On take-off, we flew over TCF Bank Stadium.


May 13, 12

First Post!

Hello to all,

Daniel Worku here. I will be your blogger for the 2012 Management of Technology in the Middle East trip. This global enrichment experience is part of our 3 credit MOT/IBUS 4010 class. Read more...

Mar 20, 12

Management of Technology in the Middle East MOT/IBUS 4010

May 13 - May 26, 2012
Seminar Description

Marvin Marshak, professor of physics, and Alfred Marcus, professor of strategic management and organization, are leading this group that will visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberias, Amman and Petra.