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Israeli start-ups join a global online program to democratize the MBA education

When I first came across an online advertising banner – ThePowerMBA in Israel, my interest was sparked by the famous names I saw there. Uri Levine, the co-founder of Waze, was listed with other top executives at Airbnb, Netflix, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, Tesla, etc. 

An alternative MBA course

Sceptical about the price which was only 1000 USD for an MBA course involving big names, I wrote to the program administrators hoping to get a call from someone in Israel. To my surprise, I found out that the program was run from Spain. It is a place I do not associate with innovative start-ups. I decided to find out more about it.   

Well, no successful business program can do without a start-up unicorn! Israel is a start-up nation, so Israelis, of course, could be one of those unicorns. Though the program is not accredited, I thought: “not bad to hang out with such cool people”. So I enrolled.

Meeting world-renowned business leaders online

The program started in June with weekly Zoom meetings. The experts who will be teaching us from September, when the actual learning program starts, led the sessions. I joined each evening session to combat the feeling of isolation during the pandemic.

It was not another long Zoom meeting where everyone speaks at the same time with intolerable background noise. I had a different kind of experience. The moderators were positive and super engaging. They knew how to orchestrate a crowded online meeting. Plus, all the speakers were just amazing, inspiring, and so authentic. I immediately sensed the positivity that makes this program so unique. The speakers came to share the stories of their success and to inspire us to grow and strive.

Success in business is all about the right attitude

When it comes to business success, it’s easy to think that only people with a genius idea or high IQ can reach the top. But I notice that many established business leaders say the key to their success is the right attitude. It is all about having a growth mindset, a dream and sticking to the right people who will lift you, believe and say: “you can do it!” 

When I joined ThePowerMBA, I felt like finding my tribe. I met people with the same need for self-belief, desire to find ways to use their entrepreneurship energy. One of the most impressive Zoom nights was with Uri Levine, the co-founder of Waze and Moovit. I used the Moovit application a lot during my first days of navigating public transport in Israel. 

Uri Levine’s journey from a programmer who had a “crazy idea” to map out the whole world to a start-up double unicorn (start-uppers will understand) was mind-blowing. Uri said that he decided to support ThePowerMBA because of its mission: ThePowerMBA can help more people to learn new practices, increase their skill set, knowledge and their likelihood of being successful.

Finding an international tribe of entrepreneurs 

The other valuable aspect of this alternative MBA program is that it’s focused on community building. The program organizers assign ambassadors in each country and big cities represented by the participants. 

I spoke to Ori Fingerer, Co-Founder & VP Business Development at WeissBeerger, who is an Israeli ambassador for ThePowerMBA. WeissBeerger, a successful start-up specializing in helping beverage companies serve their customers, promote their brands and collect consumption behaviour insights using IoT and other data sources. Two years ago WeissBeerger was acquired by a beer giant AB InBev (BUD). 

Just like me, Ori was excited about ThePowerMBA’s manifesto. “It was super appealing to learn from the world-renowned tech leaders, get to know their experience and best practices. The idea to learn from up to date practices and not to study books written tens of years ago resonated with me. Plus the possibility to study 15 mins a day is relevant to my hectic work schedule”, said Ori Fingerer. 

As someone who lives and breathes the Israeli business world, Ori helps his fellow students at ThePowerMBA to connect with other people in business he knows or works with. 

At one of the Zoom evening sessions, Ori introduced us with his business connection – Omri Krigel. Omri is the founder of Homeward Ventures, a fund that invests in early-stage innovative start-ups to holistically support bold and ambitious entrepreneurs. 

 Omri shared a moving story of a life-changing event that did not stop him from becoming a successful businessman. Omri sees his mission in inspiring people to dream big and strive beyond any restrictions, something he learned after overcoming a severe accident that left him having to learn to walk again. 

“I will bring as many local and global leaders that I am close with to share insights from their significant experience that the ThePowerMBA students can learn from. I also intend to share as much as I can from my personal experience co-founding a successful start-up (WeissBeerger), and now working for the company which acquired it, AB InBev. It is the world’s top beer company, where I learn new things every day. I believe that the program can become a huge success, and as an ambassador, I would strive to help the program get there“, added Ori Fingerer. 

I felt so proud of my fellow Israelis not only for the successful businesses they built but for the values and inspiration they openly share with ThePowerMBA participants.  

Nadia Katzir