IEARS

Michael Goldberg

Michael GoldbergMichael Goldberg is an experienced venture capitalist and international business leader whose teaching is focused on the fields of entrepreneurship and early stage finance. Goldberg is an Associate Professor of Design and Innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Goldberg created a massive open online course (MOOC) called Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies, which has attracted over 175,000 students from 190 countries with subtitles in 16 languages (most on Coursera platform). He is also the author of Beyond Silicon Valley: How One Online Course Helped Support Global Entrepreneurs.

Goldberg co-founded the Bridge Investment Fund, a venture capital fund focused on investing in Israeli medical device companies that have synergies with the leading health care industries and institutions in Cleveland. Goldberg was the Director of International Business Development for America Online, responsible for structuring and negotiating international partnerships in Asia, including AOL’s joint venture with Lenovo to develop interactive services for the China market. Goldberg earned a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, MA in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Abstract

Beyond Silicon Valley: Sharing Ideas Through Online Learning to Support Entrepreneurship Between Cleveland and Syria

In 2001, Cleveland, Ohio was ranked dead last by Entrepreneur Magazine in terms of supporting the growth of entrepreneurship. Through a combination of government, donor and private-sector funding, the city managed to dig itself out of a hole to become a much better place for entrepreneurs to start a business. We found that people were intrigued with the Cleveland case study because it looked so much like communities in other parts of the world: We faced obstacles like a lack of funding, a shortage of mentors and an overall environment that was poor for innovation. I developed a massive open online course (MOOC) in 2014 for Case Western Reserve University on Coursera called Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies which used our experience in Cleveland as a case study for other communities looking to support the growth of startup companies.  The course has attracted over 175,000 students from 190 countries and has been translated into 16 languages. 

Beyond Silicon Valley helped foster a global conversation for our MOOC participants to share ideas about what was working in their communities to improve the entrepreneurial discovery process.  In May 2018, I published Beyond Silicon Valley:  How One Online Course Helped Support Global Entrepreneurs which profiles 20 of my MOOC students who have supported entrepreneurship in communities from around the world that face challenges unheard of in Silicon Valley—challenges like economic hardship, political strife, corruption or a cultural aversion to risk-taking. In the fall of 2018, we recruited a cohort of students from Syria to take Beyond Silicon Valley alongside a group of CWRU students. The students looked to make recommendations to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Damascus regarding how entrepreneurship might be supported after the conflict.  We look forward to sharing our experience from this collaboration and how it might be applied to other developing economies around the world.