IDC Herzliya Inaugurates Adelson School of Entrepreneurship
by Noam Dvir and Ilan Gattegno, as published in Israel Hayom
Israel can achieve great things thanks to the spirit of entrepreneurship, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday at the inauguration ceremony of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
“Our future is changing because of entrepreneurship. To survive and prosper, we need to overcome a simple problem — there are not enough Jews in the world. Our numbers are small — history prefers big nations — and we have to compensate for the relative disadvantage.
“We have always been able to compensate for that with brain and our courage, but we can achieve anything we set our minds to, and that depends on one thing — entrepreneurship,” Netanyahu said.
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson attended the ceremony, as did IDC founder and President Professor Uriel Reichman, faculty members and dozens of students who participate in the school’s various programs.
Netanyahu thanked the Adelsons for their great contribution, saying, “What you do for Israel, the Jewish people, science and other causes — it’s a noble cause.”
Israel’s future, he said, “Depends on our ability to adopt and sustain entrepreneurship and technology. We have pursued many reforms to make Israel business- and investor-friendly, and we have to push forward. Without a booming economy, we have nothing.”
In a panel held at the IDC, Sheldon Adelson said that he has been asked many times in the past whether one is born or becomes an entrepreneur.
“I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a combination of both. You can’t learn how to take risks — you have to be willing to take a risk and be ready to fail. You have to have the passion to get up and try again,” he said.
Dr. Miriam Adelson stressed that “one of the most important characteristics you need is courage. As time went by, we understood that you’re not necessarily born an entrepreneur, but you can learn from others and take chances. We have to create more businesses so Israel prospers.”
Reichman presented the Adelsons with a personal token of his appreciation, in a gesture that moved all that were present.
Sunday will see hundreds of IDC students begin the new academic school year in the Adelson building. The School of Entrepreneurship, which is the first of its kind in Israel, seeks to provide young entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to realize their ambitions.
School founders Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson have made it their goal to educate future generations of entrepreneurs and lead Israel toward growth and prosperity, promote Israeli innovation and entrepreneurship internationally and instill an entrepreneurial mindset in Israel’s business and economic leadership.
Earlier Wednesday, speaking at a world tourism conference hosted by the Peres Center for Peace, Adelson noted how throughout his 60-year career, the majority of business ventures he pursued focused on tourism.
The conference was attended by leaders of the global tourism industry seeking to explore potential collaborations with Israeli tourism startup companies.
One of Adelson’s former employees interviewed him on his professional path from Boston, by way of Texas and Las Vegas to Macau.
Adelson advised Israelis startup entrepreneurs that whenever they are about to hold negotiations to be ready to back out of the deal: “This morning I told my people to do just that,” he shared, speaking of a construction deal of a sports stadium in Las Vegas. He noted that he was a technology entrepreneur as well, having founded the COMDEX computer expo.