From Start-up to Scale-up: Coping with Organizational Challenges in a Volatile Business Environment

Taking place 17-19 December 2018, in Tel Aviv, Israel, this conference was hosted by: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the following Divisions and Interest Groups of the Academy of Management:  Entrepreneurship (ENT), International Management (IM), Organizational Behavior (OB), Organization and Management Theory (OMT), Strategic Management (STR), and Technology and Innovation Management (TIM).

An online photo album with 425 pictures is available.

View the Conference Proceedings.

Conference Theme

From Start-up to Scale-up: Coping with Organizational Challenges in a Volatile Business Environment This specialized AOM conference featured research on the unique organizational challenges of start-up firms and entrepreneurial corporations that seek to grow within and beyond their established markets. Understanding the multifaceted, complex trajectory from start-up to scale-up is not only of relevance to management practitioners, but also an important frontier for management research. While start-ups are a critical source of economic growth and novelty in the way we work and organize, many start-ups fail to develop into larger organizations. Management research provides limited insight into the factors that enable successful transitions. This conference provides a platform for sharing knowledge from research and practice in a comprehensive program of paper presentations, active learning workshops, panel discussions, industry expert panels, company visits, and networking opportunities. The multidisciplinary conference encompassed 6 research perspectives, codeveloped with the following AOM Divisions & Interest Groups: ENT, IM, OB, OMT, STR, and TIM. We invited research associated with these divisions, as well as industry experts, strategists, entrepreneurs, venture capital experts, and policy makers to join us in what promises to be a stimulating meeting in “The Startup Nation”. This conference was distinct from other conferences given the unique theme and the unique match between the theme and local setting in Israel, the Start-up Nation, which is known for its dynamic start-up scene that boasts one of the largest number of start-up companies in the world.

Start-up 2 Scale-up 2018 Conference Stats

Over 350 attendees came together from more than 34 countries for 3 days of presentations, Professional Development Workshops, and Panel Discussions. Attendees were immersed in local culture during unique networking opportunities held at the conference hotel and offsite in Old Jaffa. Start-up to Scale-up was held in Tel Aviv, Israel from 17 – 19 December 2018.

View the Conference Program here.


Organizing Committee

  • Shiko Ben-Menahem, ETH Zurich
  • Ella Miron-Spektor, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
  • Uriel Stettner, Tel Aviv University

Conference Track Chairs

  • Costas Andriopoulos, Cass Business School
  • Dovev Lavie, Bocconi University
  • Nora Madjar, University of Connecticut
  • Chet Miller, University of Houston
  • Roni Reiter-Palmon, University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • Grazia Santangelo, University of Catania  

Advisory Board Members

  • Teresa Amabile, Harvard University
  • Linda Argote, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Peter Bamberger, Tel Aviv University
  • Joel Baum, University of Toronto
  • Aya S. Chacar, Florida International University
  • Gilad Chen, University of Maryland
  • Christina Guenther, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management
  • Niron Hashai, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Mike Hitt, Texas A&M University
  • Duane Ireland, Texas A&M University
  • Dovev Lavie, Bocconi University
  • Zur Shapira, New York University
  • Oded Shenkar, The Ohio State University
  • Brian Silverman, University of Toronto
  • Ithai Stern, Northwestern University
  • Gabriel Szulansky, INSEAD
  • Christopher Tucci, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Georg von Krogh, ETH Zurich

Sponsors, Contributors, and Supporters

Eli Hurvitz Institute of Strategic Management

The Eli Hurvitz Institute of Strategic Management (EHISM) was established in 2004 to develop cutting edge models in strategic management for practical application in the global business arena. Part of the Coller School of Business at Tel Aviv University, EHISM is an internationally respected thought leader that integrates an academic approach with corporate pragmatism to inform and disseminate the best practices of today, while simultaneously shaping the business leaders of tomorrow. The Institute is designed to support both academics and professionals in meeting the ongoing challenges in business strategy and management, furnishing managers with the tools and knowledge necessary to create and sustain a competitive advantage in their respective business and organizational environments.

Israel Science Foundation

The Israel Science Foundation (ISF) is Israel’s leading organization that provides public support for basic research in Israel. The ISF was established in 1972 by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities as the 'Branch for Basic Research'. In 1995 it became an independent non-profit organization, funded primarily by the Council of Higher Education (CHE), through its financial arm, namely, the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC or “Vatat”). The ISF's support is provided to a broad range of research topics within the institutions of higher education, research institutes and hospitals in Israel, including the exact sciences and technology, life sciences and medicine, humanities, and social sciences.

Its main mission is to promote Israeli basic research through a “bottom-up” approach initiated by talented, curiosity-driven individuals, and to nurture entrepreneurship among the scientific research community. Such initiatives inspire the establishment of a variety of ISF programs and funding opportunities. All grants awarded by the ISF are selected on the basis of scientific excellence and vetted through a competitive peer-review process, involving thousands of scientists in Israel and abroad every year, who carry out this essential mission on a voluntary basis. In 2016, the ISF received and reviewed 2,363 proposals from all scientific disciplines, out of which 831 were selected for funding. The evaluation process was carried out by 580 committee members, based on 6,692 evaluation letters, obtained from experts, world-wide.

The ISF’s main policy goals are: (1) Cultivating scientific excellence; (2) significantly increasing support for Israeli research, through our core and the dedicated programs and (3) ensuring stable and reasonable success rates of grant funding, for about a third of the proposals submitted. Essentially all the main ISFactivities are directed towards achieving these three goals.

Administrative Sciences

Are you looking for a professional journal to promote your research? Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387) is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal (free to all readers), which publishes original theoretical and empirical work on organization studies. Administrative Sciences aims to advance and communicate knowledge concerning management theory and practice both in public administration and in profit organizations; it encourages submissions that build on interdisciplinary research in related fields, such as business, economics, sociology, physiology, communication theory, or artificial intelligence, and their implications for management, organizations, and society. We are waiving the publishing fee for AOM conference attendees. We are currently looking for senior scholars with research interests in entrepreneurship, performance, management, leadership, etc.,to organize a committee for the Entrepreneurship Section and the Leadership Section of our journal. If you have a background in these fields and are passionate about open access, contact

Host Sponsors

Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University (TAU), Israel's largest and most comprehensive institution of higher learning, is home to over 30,000 students studying in nine faculties and over 125 schools and departments across the spectrum of sciences, humanities and the arts.

Situated in Israel's cultural, financial and technological capital, TAU shares Tel Aviv's unshakable spirit of openness and innovation and boasts a campus life as dynamic and pluralistic as the metropolis itself. Tel Aviv the city and Tel Aviv University are one in the same: a thriving Mediterranean center of diversity and discovery.

Consistently ranked in the top 20 in the world in terms of scientific citations and among the top 100 universities internationally, Tel Aviv University is also Israel's first choice for students, and its graduates are the most sought after by Israeli companies. Global in outlook and impact, TAU advances teaching and research that break down the walls between disciplines, striving to address the twenty-first century's most pressing challenges through bold, interdisciplinary solutions.

From its inception almost 50 years ago, the School of Management has been a hub for world-class research and teaching. Training generations of leaders who have helped define key areas in the Israeli private and public sectors, including business, government, and academia, the School is widely recognized as the foremost provider of management education in Israel.

The School’s outstanding reputation and global reach are the result of its steadfast commitment to advancing uncompromising excellence. Over the years, we have consistently worked to push our academic standards higher, while at the same time developing new programs and diversifying our teaching methodologies so as to provide our students with a rich, multidisciplinary learning experience. Nurturing our students and breaking new grounds in research have been our remarkable faculty, an extraordinary group of scholars, teachers and practitioners who boast a powerful combination of top academic training coupled with hands-on business experience.

Today, we rank among the world’s leading business schools in a variety of criteria, including the quality and scope of our faculty, the level of our academic research, and the caliber of our students. No wonder our MBA program was recently ranked 11th in the world for producing VC-backed entrepreneurs. We are also the only business school in Israel accredited by AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the prestigious global network of business schools maintaining the highest standards of achievement.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Business Administration

The Asper Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, founded in 1918, is Israel’s premier university as well as its leading research institution. The Hebrew University is ranked internationally among the 100 leading universities in the world and first among Israeli universities.

The recognition of the Hebrew University has attained confirms its reputation for excellence and its leading role in the scientific community. It stresses excellence and offers a wide array of study opportunities in all academic fields. The university encourages multi-disciplinary activities in Israel and overseas and serves as a bridge between academic research and its social and industrial applications.

The Hebrew University has set as its goal the training of future leadership in all sectors; the preservation of and research into Jewish, cultural, spiritual and intellectual traditions; and the expansion of the boundaries of knowledge for the benefit of all humanity. These goals are best exemplified by the Jerusalem School of Business Administration, Israel's leading business school, prepares its graduates to meet these challenges and gives them the tools that will enable them to lead and succeed.

Since its establishment in 1952, the School's goal has been to develop the next generation of business leaders and push the envelope of knowledge in the field of business management. The School has won broad international recognition and is the top Israeli institution in international rankings of academic business schools.

The proof is in the 2000 top-tier students and the thousands of alumni playing key managerial roles in all walks of professional life. Both the University’s and School’s primary arm in the promotion of research and study in the field of entrepreneurship is the Asper Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Established in 2001, the mission of The Asper Center at the Hebrew University is to promote Israeli entrepreneurship, by supporting community and academic projects. Building on the entrepreneurial spirit and the social wisdom of the late Israel Asper and his foundation, The Asper Center at the Hebrew University initiates and supports a wide array of programs that contribute to entrepreneurial growth on a multitude of levels. To achieve this goal, the center seeks to identify and nurture creative capital in multiple ways, including:

  • Providing students at all levels with an opportunity to experience advanced entrepreneurial content
  • Acting as a catalyst in the establishment of new ventures based on ideas developed at the Hebrew University
  • Advancing world-class entrepreneurial research that contributes to the quality of entrepreneurial activities across the social strata

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Technion has 18 academic departments in engineering, natural sciences, medicine and architecture, as well as 60 research centers. There are approximately 14,000 students at the Technion. Technion graduates have brought the unique skills and penchant for innovation, which helped conceive and consolidate the modern State of Israel, commonly acknowledged as the “Start-up Nation.” Technion graduates founded and/or lead two-thirds of Israeli companies on NASDAQ.

The Technion is renowned for its scientific and technological breakthroughs. The file compression algorithm used for “zipping” files was developed by Technion Profs. Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv, and has become an international standard for data compression. The Azilect® drug for Parkinson’s disease was developed by Profs. Moussa Youdim and John Finberg, together with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and is sold world-over. The Nobel Prizes in Chemistry received by Distinguished Prof. Dan Shechtman in 2011 for his discovery of quasicrystals and by Distinguished Profs. Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover in 2004 for their discovery of ubiquitin are a definitive demonstration of Technion’s collective strength and innovation-stimulating environment.

Technion’s impact is not confined to Israel; it is also the first Israeli university to establish a presence overseas. In 2011, a partnership between Cornell University and Technion won a prestigious international competition to establish a new applied science institute in New York City, leading to the founding of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII). In 2013, Technion announced the establishment of the Technion–Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT) adjacent to Shantou University in southern China, which will grant undergraduate and graduate Technion degrees. This landmark collaboration was made possible by a donation to Technion from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, combined with a strategic investment by Guangdong Province.


Start-Up Nation Central

Start-Up Nation Central: Your Gateway to Israeli Innovation There is an indefinable spark that ignites when those with problems find those with solutions.

It’s the light that appears at the end of the tunnel, a unique spark of opportunity, and it is precisely this spark of opportunity that Start-Up Nation Central creates. An authoritative source on the Israeli innovation community, we leverage our in-depth and expansive knowledge to find the best answer to even the most pressing of challenges. We have curated the largest and most up-to-date discovery platform of Israeli innovators and entrepreneurs, (Start-Up Nation Finder), which provides critical information on more than 5,500 companies across dozens of industries. Think of Start-Up Nation Central as your gateway to the best solution for you; your personal and professional guide through the maze of cutting-edge Israeli innovation.

We design highly customized engagements for business leaders, governments, NGOs, and academic institutions across the globe, connecting them to the solutions they need, and delivering Israeli problem-solving innovations that address their critical and urgent needs. We fuel the innovation engine, convening thought leaders to help design policies which support it and enabling people and technologies to grow and develop. Start-Up Nation Central is a non-profit organization, funded entirely by philanthropy. We have no commercial agenda – our only goal is to create value, by facilitating great partnerships that lead to innovative solutions for difficult problems.

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