Courses

January 9 – 20, 2017

A 2 Week Course on Hi-Tech Entrepreneurship and Investment at UC Berkeley and Silicon Valley
Haas School of Business || University of California, Berkeley
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About

The BIT-AMENA course on High-technology Entrepreneurship & Investment will engage promising entrepreneurs, business executives, and public sector administrators from Asia, Middle East and North Africa to support transformative impact, job creation and service as mentors and inspirational role models. The program will provide exposure to the concept and practice of entrepreneurship at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and at established companies and startups in Silicon Valley. Participants will be selected through a rigorous online application process, and provided with the opportunity to spend two weeks in the Bay Area, involving both conceptual and hands-on instruction at the Haas School of Business and Silicon Valley.

In the first week, at the Haas School of Business, program participants will hear and engage world-class experts as they discuss best practices on establishing, operating, and sustaining new businesses, including sessions on entrepreneurship, innovation, design thinking, structuring a company, building effective and socially responsible organizations, financing, legal issues, and other topics. In the second week, program participants will tour Silicon Valley, visiting entrepreneurs and their startups, incubators and accelerators, venture capitalists, angels, lawyers and business leaders at established companies. Participants will receive a certificate from the Haas School of Business upon completion of the program.

The detail and depth of the program is illustrated by the detailed course schedule of the July, 2016 program which can be viewed here.
For news coverage of the July 2016 session please click here.

If you have any questions about the program or application please send an e-mail to bit-amena@haas.berkeley.edu

Purpose and Objectives

The BIT-AMENA courses on entrepreneurship, investment, management, and governance are designed to help promote the entrepreneurial mindset at the individual, organizational, and national levels in Muslim majority countries in Asia, Middle East and North Africa and to help narrow the innovation divide from which the region suffers. It seeks to help AMENA escape the trap of low productivity, achieve technological and organizational upgrading (at both the public and private sectors), and lay the foundations for the establishment of dynamic and fast growing economies. It proposes to achieve the above objectives by providing tailored training to (aspiring) entrepreneurs, corporate executives, public administrators, and non-profit directors, who are exceptional in their potential, achievement, drive, and ability to influence their compatriots.

These courses will be provided onsite and online. This initiative is based on the notion that promising entrepreneurs, executives, and administrators from the AMENA region can substantially boost their prospects for success, transformative impact, as well as their capacity for job creation and serving as mentors and inspirational role models if they are exposed to the concept and practice of entrepreneurship as it is practiced in Silicon Valley. The proposed training programs, therefore, although tailored to the backgrounds of the participants, will endeavor to imbue all participants, regardless of background and profession, with the requisite skills, culture, and networks that encourage entrepreneurship at the individual and organizational levels. Participants will sharpen their skills at identifying problems and devising and implementing elegant and groundbreaking solutions. We recognize that the Silicon Valley model cannot be simply transplanted to the AMENA region, but believe that individuals from the region can nonetheless learn a great deal from the principles as well as the modus operandi operative in Silicon Valley.

Rationale and Urgency of the Program

With one of the most youthful populations in the world, where, depending upon the country, between 50 to 70 percent of the populace is under the age of 35, the Asia, Middle East and North Africa region (AMENA) also suffers from one of the largest global youth and female un- and under-employment rates. Moreover, in an ironic twist, in a number of countries, those with higher levels of education also tend disproportionately to compose the ranks of the unemployed. An increasing number of individuals with college education still live with their parents because they cannot afford to get married, start families, or rent, let alone buy, their own houses. Youth disillusionment, disaffection, and exclusion have already contributed to large-scale regional instability and supplied recruits for populists, demagogues, and exponents of violent extremism.
Nor is this all. Advancements in automation, which appear to be accelerating at an increasingly rapid pace, are poised to make not just many of today’s menial jobs, but an increasing array of skilled employment, redundant in the not too distant future. Now more than ever, therefore, the region should strive to transform its demographic liability into an asset by, among other things, laying the foundations for the emergence of vibrant, competitive, modern, diversified, and innovative economies, capable of promoting sustained and inclusive growth as well as job generation. Such a transition is bound to be difficult, however, since, apart from a few notable exceptions, the productive and innovative capacities of Muslim majority countries in the AMENA region remain limited at best. Most countries are incapable of iterating and improving on existing technology, let alone inventing new products, services, and applications. Instead, extractive and rentier economies as well as dependence on government-led infrastructural investments, heavy industry, and low-end and low value-added products and exports are the norm rather than the exception. Even Turkey, whose economic success remains unmatched in the region, is still in the incipient stages of building an innovation economy.
Nevertheless, establishment and entrenchment of innovation economies and their merger with entrepreneurship is indispensable if the region is to attain the type of growth, job creation, middle class development, youth, female, and civil society empowerment, as well as private sector expansion that would enable it to successfully compete and thrive in the 21st Century. Promotion of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset, strengthening the private sector, and improving management and governance are essential. Indeed, without flourishing entrepreneurship, robust private sectors, capable management, and effective governance, AMENA countries would not be able to escape the vicious cycle of un-and under-employment, nor the baleful attendant consequences associated with such unemployment, with which they are currently plagued. Encouragement of entrepreneurship in particular is indispensable, as it will enable young people to take advantage of their innovation and creativity to create jobs, improve economic performance, and contribute to the uplift of their societies while promoting more dignified modes of existence. Otherwise, given the number of young people now entering the workforce as a result of the youth bulge, the private sector in its current anemic form, hobbled by the burden of bureaucracy, will not be able to create the requisite jobs.

These courses will be provided onsite and online. This initiative is based on the notion that promising entrepreneurs, executives, and administrators from the AMENA region can substantially boost their prospects for success, transformative impact, as well as their capacity for job creation and serving as mentors and inspirational role models if they are exposed to the concept and practice of entrepreneurship as it is practiced in Silicon Valley. The proposed training programs, therefore, although tailored to the backgrounds of the participants, will endeavor to imbue all participants, regardless of background and profession, with the requisite skills, culture, and networks that encourage entrepreneurship at the individual and organizational levels. Participants will sharpen their skills at identifying problems and devising and implementing elegant and groundbreaking solutions. We recognize that the Silicon Valley model cannot be simply transplanted to the AMENA region, but believe that individuals from the region can nonetheless learn a great deal from the principles as well as the modus operandi operative in Silicon Valley.

Program Faculty

Faculty information can be found here.

Visitor & Lodging Information

For this session, attendees are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements.

For general visitor information for the campus, please click here.
For general visitor information for the city of Berkeley, please click here.

The most popular lodging for visitors to Berkeley are:

Bancroft Hotel (see map)
2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
510/549-1000
www.bancrofthotel.com

Claremont Resort & Spa (see map)
41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley
510/843-3000 (toll-free room reservations: 888/560-4455)
www.claremontresort.com

Hotel Durant (see map)
2600 Durant Avenue, Berkeley
800/2-DURANT (800/238-7268)
www.hoteldurant.com

Hotel Shattuck Plaza (see map)
2086 Allston Way
510/845-7300
www.hotelshattuckplaza.com

For additional lodging choices please click here.