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Global Immersion: Exploring Turkey's Start Up Culture

Fall 2014 MBA Course

B8722-001: Global Immersion: Exploring Turkey's Start Up Culture

T - B Term, 09:00AM to 10:30AM
Location: WJW 416
Previous Terms Offered: Spring

Instructor: Wei Jiang; Jack McGourty

Economic studies have demonstrated that entrepreneurship and new venture creation are critical components of economic growth, innovation, and human development in emerging markets. While various economic indicators and metrics show the correlation, how to create an enabling ecosystem that promotes a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation is not scientifically evident. However, if one reads articles from the popular media, business and economic journals, and anecdotes from entrepreneurs in these markets, there are common signposts that lead to a roadmap. While there are certainly differences across emerging markets, it is clear that governments, investment community members, academic institutions, and entrepreneurs themselves play a critical role in developing and enhancing a start up culture in a specific region. 
When it comes to investigating the development of a start up culture and the impact it can have in an emerging market, there is no place more exciting than Turkey. Turkey has it all…emerging youth population, political intrigue, transitioning industrial base, and competing social norms. In the midst of all this transition, entrepreneurship has been growing as evidenced by increased participation in venture creation. According to 2010 GEM Reports, 9 out of every 100 Turkish adults are involved in entrepreneurial activity. While this is an increase from 2008, Turkey still lags behind other high growth markets such as Brazil or China in level of entrepreneurial participation. As of the 2010 report, the reasons for this lagging performance included access to investment capital, tax and regulatory burdens, inadequate educational resources, and lack of cultural support.
We, as a class, will jump right into current times and assess the conditions for entrepreneurship in the region with a focus on the city of Istanbul. By reviewing current reports and media coverage, listening to domain experts, and surveying & interviewing representatives of all major stakeholder groups, we will come to our own conclusions as to the current culture for entrepreneurial activity in Istanbul and potential ripples throughout the Country and region. Working in teams, we will generate a report that provides an up-to-date view of the region from an economic, political, and cultural perspective while interweaving how these regional elements influence the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Istanbul. The report will outline specific recommendations to enhance the ecosystem in Istanbul.
The course will consist of six (6) classes in New York City introducing you to the applied study of entrepreneurial ecosystems, with a focus on Turkey and Istanbul. A week-long visit to Istanbul will include visits to stakeholders groups critical to ecosystem development and start up culture formation including government officials, members of the investment community, corporate leaders, and of course, entrepreneurs.  Students will undertake projects that focus on major ecosystem components and stakeholders, investigating recent activities and influence these groups have on the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem. This class will meet during the B-term on Tuesdays, 9-10:30am with one post trip meeting on Tuesday, February 3 from 6-7:30pm. Travel will take place to Istanbul, Turkey from Sunday, January 18, 2015 through Saturday, January 24, 2015.
Global Immersion Program classes bridge classroom lessons and business practices in another country. These three credit classes meet for half a term in New York prior to a one week visit to the country of focus where students will meet with business executives and government officials while working on team projects. Upon return from the travel portion of the class, students will have a wrap up meeting at Columbia Business School. The 2014-15 Global Immersion program fee for all 6 night courses is $1800 and provides students with double occupancy lodging, ground transportation and some meals. It does not cover roundtrip international airfare. Attendance both in New York and in-country and regular participation are a crucial part of the learning experience and as such attendance is mandatory. Students who miss the first class meeting may be removed from the course and will not have their program fee refunded to them. No program fee refunds will be given after the add/drop period has closed.