Czech Mates

Dr. Petr Suchy discusses the course he initiated at Masaryk University on Israeli innovation

By SHLOMO MAITAL
November 29, 2017 15:48
Dr. Petr Suchy and his children

Dr. Petr Suchy and his children. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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IN EARLY November, I traveled to Ma- saryk University, in Brno, Czech Repub- lic, to open a three-week course on Israeli innovation for some 30 graduate students. The course was designed to showcase, re- alistically, the Start-up Nation with a dozen speakers who lectured on start-up stories, team-based methodology, VC and angel investment, strategic planning and Israel’s lessons learned overall. Let’s face it. Israel is beleaguered ev- erywhere − on American campuses and throughout most of Europe. Even many Jewish students oppose Israel’s policies. The anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is well-organized, well-funded and gaining momentum.

Since Avigdor Liberman resigned as for - eign minister 30 months ago, this post has been empty, precisely when a vigorous ex- perienced top diplomat is vitally needed. If there is indeed a global tide of pro-Isra- el sentiment, as Prime Minister Netanyahu claims, I cannot detect it. This is why I welcomed the chance in Brno to help rebrand Israel as a nation where cre- ativity drives growth, jobs and wealth, rather than as an oppressive occupying power. The 2011 book “Start-up Nation” by Dan Senor and Saul Singer has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been translated into well over 30 languages. People everywhere, in- cluding the Czech Republic, read it and want to replicate Israel’s creative energy. Meanwhile, there is turmoil in Europe.

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