Yet another amazing World Innovations Forum Conference, all online. Attendees from 59 countries and speakers from 22 countries made it a great event.

The conference started with the 10-year agenda of the World Innovations Forum Foundation. Our Chairman talked about the time it takes to make startups into big companies and how many are needed to turn a developing country into a prosper economy. The aim of the forum and its members from over 20 countries is to double the number of developed countries by the end of this decade – 2030. Later on he spoke about the Innovations age where currently 30 patents are registered every minute. By inspiring more innovation this number will grow exponentially in the next ten years.

WIForum Digital Conference_Day 1_Axel Schultze

A WHOLE GROUP OF ORGANIZATIONS ALIGNED

WIForum Digital Conference Fabio SeguraThe World Innovations Forum is not the only organization with big ambitions. Another organization in our ecosystem are helping entrepreneurs to thrive, create large number of jobs and get their country to prosperity is the Jacobs Foundation. Their contribution to 2030 is to help with education and embracing learning variability. From a one fits all education system to learner adjusted education.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT

WIForum Digital Conference_Entrepreneurs DevelopmentIn the following entrepreneurs round table, representatives from Tech in Africa, Axel Peyrier, the Happel foundation, Alexander Lanz and SwissContact, Teresa Widmer spoke about what it takes to actually inspire entrepreneurs, not telling them what to do. Great discussions and a variety of perspectives.

AMAZINGLY INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

We saw a total of 9 amazing startups and scaleups that only proves, that there are extraordinary and innovative startups in any country on Earth.

Owen Sakawa from RepairNet, Kenya, is building a platform for a roughly billion people market and their repair needs in Africa. And Eddy Richauvet from ShopRunBack in Cambodia is building possibly the most powerful addon to the e-commerce world, a complete “Return-Platform” including the logistics network for the 65% of the eCommerce market not covered by Amazon.

WIForum Digital Conference_Owen Sakawa_RepairNet

WIForum Digital Conference_Eddy Richauvet_ShopRunBack

 

 

 

 

Lin Hwang from Damogo, Indonesia is fighting food waste and how they turned on the heat in just a few months. Tobias Gunzenhauser, from Yamo, another Accelerator graduate, shared how he and his co-founders built Yamo into a super fast growing  baby-food powerhouse.

WIForum Digital Conference_Lin Hwang_DamoGo

WIForum Digital Conference_Tobias Gunzenhauser_Yamo

 

 

 

 

Agudor Agabas from AppCycle in Ghana presented their idea and how they transform waste to new products and use almost exclusively waste to produce everything from clothes to accessories in a very innovative way. A different innovator was Ibrahim Abdulmalik from Farmula in Kenya, he shared how they help revitalize the supply chain of farmers’ businesses, as it is to a large degree destroyed from western food business. Expired food from the developed nations are brought into Africa as “development aid” but ruins in some sections the entire local food chain. How can a chicken farmer compete with their free range chicken against chicken for free, even if it is already a bit rotten.

WIForum Digital Conference_Agudor Kwaku Agabas_AppCcylers

WIForum Digital Conference_Ibrahim Abdulmalik_Farmula

 

 

 

 

Moving virtually back to Asia, Phi Nguyen from sPhoton presented a new Artificial Intelligence based Corporate Communication System, taking modern voice interaction aka Alexa into the corporate world. It may not apply in the West, but the 6 billion Asian market with managers half the average age and hungry for digital experiences, is certainly a pristine market for it. Africa is seeking talents very much like Asia. Emmanuel Leslie, from TalentsInAfrica in Ghana presented another AI based solution for talent development and talent match. With a number of startups that exceed the number of Silicon Valley startups, Africa is moving extremely fast and talent acquisition is one of the limiting factors.

WIForum Digital Conference_Mutembei Kariuki_FastaggerWIForum Digital Conference_Peter Muchemi_Megashift

 

 

 

 

Two more innovators presented, Mutembei Kariuk from Fastagger in Kenya and Peter Muchemi from Megashift, also in Kenya. Last and definitely not least was a special highlight. Binay Raut, from Paaila in Nepal presented the first Artificial intelligence based Robot from Nepal. In less than a year, the team built a first greeting robot, then a more sophisticated robot for banks and was even able to export their robots to the US. During the pandemic, Paaila was the first to build a robot for hospitals, serving patience and reducing the risks for the care personnel. Just a few years ago, it was unthinkable to create AI based robots made in Nepal.

WIForum Digital Conference_Binay Raut_Paalia Technology

FINANCIAL COMPANY VALUATIONS

WIForum Digital Conference_Karim Raffa_Company ValuationThe most challenging finance question for startups is to create a meaningful and defensible company valuation. This challenge is the same, all over the planet. Karim Raffa, a finance expert, former entrepreneur and investor himself is educating startups to create valuations that attract investors but not ruining their capital. Karim is also helping investors to make meaningful offers, because asking for too much equity in the beginning may change the discussion quickly against both, investor and entrepreneur.

INVESTOR ROUND TABLE

WIForum Digital Conference_Fundraising PodiumWith investors from Cambodia [Christophe Forsinetti], Switzerland [Thomas Kern], and Vietnam [Duc Viet Nguyen], we had a great mix of representation from developing, fast emerging and developed nations. Investors from around the world look for gold nuggets. Average quality startups are nearing a million and have the highest risk. Lack of well structured FDI policies for equity foreign direct investments however still prohibit deep pocket investors to invest in these new countries. In Asia most startups move their HQs to Singapore and African companies to the UK, Singapore or Switzerland.

INNOVATION OF NATIONS

WIForum Digital Conference_Ndubuisi Ekekwe_Building the Innovation of Nations

We heard an intellectually demanding but to the point speech from Ndubuisi Ekekwe, about the importance of innovation for each nation as a key to competitiveness and prosperity. He talked about how good policies can unleash the power of innovation or limit them, and what economic frameworks can do to empower entrepreneurship to thrive and create jobs or disable their abilities and make them possibly leave their countries. He essentially delivered the recipe for politicians to make their countries thrive.

DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA

Emmanuel Ndonga spoke about the unique opportunities for Africa. Almost 60% of the African population is under the age of 25 with untapped opportunities for growth and development. But Africa is not a country with a culture, it is continent 54 sovereign countries and a total population of 1.3 Billion with a fast growing number of university graduates. Emmanuel presented an amazing list of activities for governments and the population to get up and get autonomous, reducing external influence and becoming innovative – because they can. Similarly a great presentation from Ashwin Ravichandran who spent many years in Africa, and helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build their businesses and thrive. Africa has changed dramatically in the past 10 years and the biggest shift is yet to come.

THE INFLUENCE OF EDUCATION

WIForum Digital Conference_Dr. Ram Shrestha_Innovation in NepalEducation, in particular education for innovative thinking, like it is practices in Switzerland, was addressed by Dr. Ram Shrestha Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of the Kathmandu University. He gave insights into how and why Nepal should accelerate their motivation to more entrepreneurship in Nepal. Later on Dr. Matthes Fleck, Ph.D. from the University for Science and Arts in Lucerne spoke about the talent development of entrepreneurs from western universities and the importance for startups to get access to those talents early on.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP GENDER NEUTRAL

WIForum Digital Conference_Female Entrepreneurship PodiumWIForum Chair and co-founder Marita Schultze organized a round table where female entrepreneurs including Clarisse Iribagiza from Rwanda, Sophie Meas from Cambodia and Prativa Pandey, Ph.D. from Nepal had a partly controversial discussion about the role women in entrepreneurship. In some countries it is not even a discussion about the gender sensitivity, yet in others societies, women are still discriminated in so many ways, like in Nepal, so that the entrepreneurship aspect is just a side effect.

NEURO IDEATION

WIForum Digital Conference_Neuro IdeationThe most advanced technique to create innovative and disruptive ideas and turn them into reality is Neuro Ideation. Attendees learned how the brain actually composes ideas and how they are processed so that innovation can happen. The concept of Neuro Ideation is brand new and puts emerging countries and developed countries on a even playing level. Rapid idea development, accompanied by a disruptive business model can happen as quickly as 3 weeks but no longer than 6 months. The Deep Innovation Design method, with neuro ideation at its core fundamentally changes the act of innovation and disrupts innovation itself. The world Innovations Forum, together with the Society3 Group will be empowering entrepreneurs independent of which country they are from.

INNOVATION FIGHTING PANDEMICS

WIForum Digital Conference_Cafer Tosun_Innovate Fighting PandemicsAnother highly innovation related topic, that is very timely as well, was presented by Cafer Tosun, an SAP executive and Advisory Board Member to the WIForum. Innovation Fighting Pandemic, is an initiative, led by Cafer Tosun, leveraging the innovative spirit to fight covid-19. After a short but intense campaign to wear a mask, the campaign was reduced in intensity after 62 countries announced masks are mandatory or at least highly recommended. He shared some details about a new project where innovative thinking was applied in its truest sense. A concept to eradicate covid-19 neither by vaccines or treatment but by mass testing and stopping the transfer of the virus. The method and concept to do so came neither from the technology sector nor from the medical sector, but from the genetics space. There is a good chance to test millions of people per day and up to 5 billion in a week. We will be providing updates after the next tests in a few days.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE VISION IN EACH COUNTRY

During the three days we also heard from our Country Ambassadors: Dung Trung Nguyen [Vietnam], Khem Lakai [Nepal], Christella Uwamahoro [Rwanda],  Eunice Nyandat [Kenya] and MacCarthy Mac-Gbathy [Ghana]. With each of them we discussed what is attractive in their country for those seeking entrepreneurship opportunities, how fast they develop and what the possibilities are for foreigner who may help build their respecting nations. History has shown that there have been many “Lands of Opportunity” in the past: Egypt, Greece, Rome, the UK, the US to name just a few. All have been nearly world dominating – none have ever seen true world domination. Now, there are many different lands of opportunities popping up almost at the same time. Maybe it is the time humankind realizes that we can only reach our best potential when all other nations reach their best potential as well.

WIForum Digital Conference_Vietnam AmbassadorWIForum Digital Conference_Nepal Ambassador

WIForum Digital Conference_Rwanda AmbassadorWIForum Digital Conference_Kenya Ambassador

 

 

 

 

WIForum Digital Conference_Ghana Ambassador

THE FUTURE OF NATIONS

It is no longer a futuristic vision, that emerging countries will become a significant contributor to our global economy. Well aware of what worked and what didn’t in the past, most entrepreneurs of the future are very well aware that companies with 100,000+ employees are most likely not the future of the global economy but highly agile specialists connecting and collaborating with each other. The makers movement in China has already proven that millions of people are producing a small number of unique components faster, better and less expensive than any other nation. The advantage is not the cheap labor as labor cost rises in Shenzhen very quickly as well – the advantage is an unparalleled agility. The other mega challenge is global energy consumption. As more and more emerging countries are rising, so is their energy hunger. Also here, ingenuity and unique entrepreneurs working on various energy related projects such as geothermal energy development in Kenya, where 40% of Kenya’s energy consumption is generated by that technology. Geothermal development in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda will provide much-needed environmentally sustainable energy, maybe one day for all of us. Similarly is the development in South East Asia rapidly moving towards better technology, far more automation than in any other area in the World. Singapore can be called the most advanced nation in the world with an unseen before balance between human development, nature protection, sustainable planning for the future and a nowhere else achieved lifestyle. The 4.4 Billion Asians plus 1.4 billion Africans represent not only by far the largest markets on earth but also the most agile development and most innovation hungry young generation. The biggest advantage of this 5.8 billion population (75% of all people) is their low level of protectionism, bureaucracy and innovation blocking interest groups.

By 2030 we can expect developed nations will be doubling and by 2040 doubling again, which means more than half of the nations are having a status of developed country.

WIForum Digital Conference_Axel Schultze

Axel Schultze, the World Innovations Forum chairman closes by saying “Even the world’s strongest nation will unfold it’s biggest potential, at the day every other country has reached theirs”.

The next World Innovations Forum Global Conference is scheduled to be held in June 2022.

The whole WIForum Team in Switzerland as well as all our national teams in the respective countries like to thank everybody for their amazing contribution and participation in this years event.

 

You know, that on average 10% of startups win – Don’t focus on those who did not make it. UNDERSTAND WHAT THE F**K DID THE GOOD STARTUPS HAVE TO WIN?
Our most recent Accelerator – Flight 8 – is a great example (picture). “The winner takes it all” – even the funding.

The epic list of failing

The list of questions about what went wrong feels endless. Tens of thousands of little reasons why they fail.  And 90% of young entrepreneurs focus on exactly that – they FEAR to fail. Interestingly enough those who win don’t fear anything – not even to fail.

The short list of winning

Instead of fearing to fail, become determined to win. And it takes only 5 key aspects:

  1. Founders Team Composition
    The difference between success and failure, we found are these 10 traits or talents: fearless, creative, determined, curious, independent, confident, connected, communicative, involving and intelligent are the top 10 traits for entrepreneurs.
    If you don’t have some of those traits, no problem at all – only you may not be the perfect choice for a founder. And if you are, you most likely won’t make it alone. At least in the past 50 years no solopreneur made it to a top company. So don’t go forward alone. Having co-founders means sharing – sharing equity sharing the pain sharing the win in the end. Another of the most read blog posts explains it pretty well. The best founders are co-founders.
  2. Problem Solving Nature
    Founding a company just to be your own boss or because it looks like it can make you rich – will be failing you with 100%. But seeing an opportunity to fix one of the countless problems and making the designated audience more successful and/or more happy it is hard to fail. There are hundreds of problems and if they still exist nobody else found a great solution – maybe you will.
  3. Observer & Listener
    The simple skills – or not so simple for many people – is being a great observer and listener. Watch people what they do and how they do it. You may get an idea to solve it. Listen to people what they say, how they say it and what their emotions are. Just listening may give you great ideas, verify it with others and build the idea up. The reason why we have so many unsolved problems is because nobody had the energy to start a company solving it. Here are over 100 unsolved problems.
  4. Execution
    Once you really know what problem you want to solve and made enough effort to verify your idea with future customers and don’t worry about your idea get stolen you will need to execute. Hence the name Chief EXECUTIVE officer. That means hiring the best of the best people and jointly sticking to what you want to achieve. Work with the most advanced customers first – don’t try the easy ones. Look for business partners, suppliers you can learn from and as you perform with the least possible budgets you will grow fast. You see the full list on another post: A day of a startup CEO. Only if you love this job more than anything else – you are in the right spot. And of not, there are lots of other positions to fill.
  5. Making a difference not getting rich
    Sheer jealousness and greed made most people look down on the wealthy business owners. Only a few, close enough to them, will realize that most of them never cared about making money. What drives them is making a vision becoming a reality and making a difference. Whether people believe or not doesn’t matter to them they are not looking for attention but progress. And this closes the loop to success. It takes a dream team, eager to solve problems, carefully observing markets and executing that vision no matter what, tio build a phenomenal company. And there are many ways to get funding. Trying to get rich at the same time is a huge distraction and almost always leads to failure. Of course they get rich after a few yours successfully growing their business, very rich. But focusing on that is a killer.

This list is “inclusive” a single missing item on that list seem to cause death of a startup. This list follows the weak link principal. If one is weak – all is weak.

You wonder about financing, missing investors, VCs, and so forth? Here it comes again: blinded by money. You believe you need to hire people to build a perfect solution or a business person to run operations? Again: Blinded by money – look for a co-founder instead. You need marketing and therefor money? You can already see it where it goes. The best entrepreneurs in the world “built something with nothing” – that makes the biggest difference in one sentence.

 

The most successful startups in the world start with an amazing business idea. Even though the initial value of even the grandest idea is zero, it is the very moment that sets everything in motion and possibly changes the world – again.

I’m asked weekly the same questions in may different ways of course: “I want to start my own business, what would be a good business idea.” Years ago I had a rather gruffy answer: “Why do you want to start a business if you don’t know what to do – just because its trendy?” Over time I learned that there is a global urge for doing something more meaningful, more creative, more important and become the center of that meaning yourselves. And if that is the purpose – than people asking that question deserve a great answer.  Yet the question is essentially the same:

What can I do to be more meaningful in live. 

Interestingly enough, that question leads to a very different answer. It isn’t to look for a business that is in demand right now, or a business based on the persons education or expertise, or a business that may provide best and fastest return of investment. It isn’t a business category or type answer at all.

The better answer is to look where people have problems and finding solutions. Looking for people that are at risk and find ways to make their job less risky. Or people that do jobs they are not built for and helping find ways to match them. And the whole slew of problems from purified water, to better hygiene, to reducing energy consumption, energy storage, and the approximately millions of other ideas.

So you cannot start a new business with no business idea, it would not be a business. What you can do however is trying to solve a real problem, no matter how big and complex it may be.

AirBnB solved the problem that millions of traveler had, staying in a cozy with a full size refrigerator, a living room to meet with friend, where you can have breakfast whenever you like and a room to work that is more than is bigger than closet without booking a suite.

Uber solved the problem people had when using a taxi that you were never sure that it comes in time and it takes you the best way to your destination.

Space-X solved the problem that government driven space agencies have to build efficient rockets for commercial or private use.

Systec solved the problem of stranded shopping carts at large shopping centers by simply connecting all cars with a chain and releasing the cart by putting in a dollar or Euro or whatever currency and getting it back once the cart is returned.

Whether its a simply chain lock or a reusable space ship – and everything in between, solving real problems in a real simple way creates super successful businesses.

On aggregate there are millions of hours wasted every month my millions of people looking for an idea somebody else already had to copy. Instead of looking for problems nobody had solved yet. People my think they are not capable to solve problems, too weak to start something new, too inexperienced to come up with a radical shift, too “little” to do something valuable, have too less money to do something big. All of those fears are usually coming to mind when you are educated to be of no value, too stupid, to “little” too poore…. Than think about the other way like we put the question upside down: Are you too “little” to be helpful? And if that is hopefully a NO – than go solve whatever problem you identify to solve. Find co-founders to complement your skillset and collaborate for a purpose – nut for just running a business.

And if you are still not sure, study the most influential inventors of the past 10 years,  past 50 years or past 200 years. You will notice that most of them started with nothing, a lot of respect for the problem they are trying to solve and a ton of energy to never give up.

You may want to join our upcoming Idea Seeker webinar.
It’s on May 4th and part of the Knowledge Transfer series for young entrepreneurs.

All it takes: nothing but respect and energy :)

The super boys and girls never win – the humble, respectful and never quitting, always will. Go for it!

 

Congratulations Entrepreneurs of Flight 8 Flight 8 Certificate

On April 8th, 2020, Entrepreneurs of Flight 8 of the World Innovations Forum  Entrepreneurs Acceleration Program (AEP) presented after completion of a 3-month accelerator program at the online Demo Day in front of Angel groups and Investors from Asia and Europe.

The selection of Flight8 startups started in South East Asia. In November we have been on the Asia Tour in fall 2019, where we met and interviewed several entrepreneurs in Vietnam and Cambodia who presented at our local pitch events in Saigon and Phnom Phen. Our Asian Ambassadors introduced us to 2 Pitch Event winners in South Korea and a company in Nepal who all joined the Bootcamp in Vietnam.

With the location support from the Saigon Innovation Hub, we conducted an intensive onside accelerator boot camp with ten teams from Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, and South Korea. The first week covered key topics of entrepreneurs’ experiences i.e.  Deep Innovation Design Method, identifying the uniqueness of a company, the need for speed, vision development, building a disruptive business model, customer experience, traction development, growth hacking, going global and capitalization of a company throughout its growth path. The intensity and necessary focus also showed the energy and willpower of the participating entrepreneurs.  Unfortunately, some teams simply didn’t make it and we completed the week with eight hardened teams.

The Bootcamp in Vietnam was well received and good preparation of what was coming: a 12-week online marathon to turn respective companies from a great idea into an execution path to make it a reality. The goal: a unique genuinely innovative business that will be hard to copy and have the attributes to be a stand-alone business for the future. During these 12 weeks, three more companies had to give up for different reasons, lack of focus, realizing the idea would not sustain the pressure the market will put on or realizing entrepreneurial requisites are different than they thought.

Five remaining teams proved that they would do whatever it takes to bring their business through any type of storm and received the World Innovations Forum Accelerator Flight 8 certificate after presenting their companies in front of roughly 60 Angels and VCs at our the Online Demo Day.

 

 

Innovate Fighting Pandemics – The power of us!

By Cafer Tosun, Jaideep Adhvaryu, Alyssa King, Axel Schultze  

The Coronavirus COVID-19 has brought our life globally to a halt. While all current measures are necessary to prevent the virus from spreading to most of the population, we must accelerate innovation to get our life back to normal and save people’s life. The virus is taking human life hour by hour. Time is critical and we must put our minds together to accelerate innovation on a global scale. The World Innovation Forum has taken the leadership to bring innovative minds throughout the world together to fight the pandemics. Since the virus doesn’t care about borders, we must do the same. We are stronger together. We are not bound to borders and can win faster when we collaborate. Currently, we see uncoordinated local leadership and no globally coordinated efforts to fight the pandemics. The measures are driven by the local outbreak numbers. And even worse countries are fighting over medical supplies. 

We already see many fantastic local innovations happening around the world to ease the situation and fight the pandemic. My favorite examples are when Italian engineers have turned scuba diving masks into ventilators to support hospitals. And published the how-to in a YouTube video to share with the rest of the world. Or when local breweries in Tampa switch from producing alcoholic beverages to produce hand Sanitzer, for which there is a huge demand. When South Korea has scaled testing the virus by setting up drive-thru clinics. And when car manufacturers stop production and produce medical supply to fight the Virus. The list can go on and you can be part of it!

More importantly, the innovation and out-of-box thinking is required not just in the medical sphere. We need impactful solutions and agile approaches to identify, communicate, respond, recover and repair communities  in near-real time speed and at global scale while optimizing limited knowledge, resources and people.

What the World Innovations Forum asks you is: be creative and let the world know about your ideas and best practices to fight the pandemic. 

Find out more about the initiative at: https://wiforum.org/innovate-fighting-pandemics/

The World Innovation Forum provides you a platform to share, engage, accelerate the adoption and scale your innovation with its global network of innovative minds. Be part of the innovation acceleration to fight the pandemic. We are stronger together!

Start participating in the conversation and join one of our dedicated groups: 

Thank you!

The World Innovation Forum

PS: Do you want to be part of the team? It is a global initiative driven by volunteers around the world. It is a growing effort. We need more volunteers to work with us on the innovation acceleration initiative of the World Innovation Forum. If you are interested to support us with your time and network, please send us an email at innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org and include a few words about yourself and what you can contribute to the initiative.

THE QUEST FOR MORE INNOVATION

The last five to ten years, pretty much any business and any government was pushing for more innovation. But if somebody was asked “How do I innovate? Tell me step by step”, there was no tangible answer. When I was asked that very question, in particular the “step by step” part, it daunted to me, that there was simply no answer that could satisfy this question. Tens of thousands of consultants help people to “open their mind”, other use the “design thinking” model to process ideas – actually very well. But the question remains: “How do you CREATE those innovative ideas” that you can then process in a design thinking model!

INNOVATION ON DEMAND

Innovation was an accidental event – a combination of many instances, experiences and the brain pushed out an idea. Mostly it was big enough to warrant starting a whole new business. NOW – today we have a situation where we don’t want to have an accidental brain flash leading to a possible innovation. In times where we have a crisis we actually would want to have solutions on demand.  But as long as we don’t even know how ideas are created, we are far away from creating ideas on demand.

THE BIG SHIFT IN INNOVATION HISTORY

Neuroscientists helped me understand that human beings are not really creative – we can only COMPOSE ideas from past experiences, from whatever we saw, heard, felt and so forth. All new experiences are actually get associated with existing experiences and create some interesting IDEAS of which we actually don’t really know. The biggest idea machine is our mind when we sleep. There is much to explain but the net of it is: We are not creative and we create ideas by the millions. So what is the problem?

Our life, our culture, our education and our brain itself, are all conditioned to allow only the most obvious and the least demanding deas to pop up. ONly 1 in a trillion or less is actually making it from our right brain to the left and stimulates a communication between the two that forms a “thought” that may break through all the other barriers. And once we understand that process, we have the foundation for creating innovation on demand, like we create a house or bridge or as simple as a paper plane.

DEEP INNOVATION DESIGN

in 2016 we began our first careful attempts to help startups to come up with disruptive business models. What was a one of a million chance we were able to get more than 50% of the startups coming up with disruptive models. Creating, what we call a “Disruptive Moment” was defined as an innovative idea that will push competitors to change their course in order to catch up with these startups. It was an early attempt to get this done. in the past two years we went deeper into the “mechanics of our mind” to learn what we need to actually DO to play with our billions of neurons and synapses to form those innovative ideas. After two years of work we found an early concept that works well enough to come up with innovative solutions whenever we want, using the deep innovation design method:

Four ‘T”s one “M” of Deep Innovation Design

1) TALENT
We need talents that are talented for creating innovation like others are talented to play music, paint pictures, drive race cars, cook amazing meals, create fashion, help others or simply entertain people.
2) TEAM
Like a music band, or a football team, innovation is a team sport – if you do it alone you end up waiting for accidental ideas. And one of the most important player in the “Innovation Play”, are the affected people: Customers, users, victimes, if you start the game without them you are doomed to lose. And if your actors (innovators) are all of the same trade, you will lose as well. Diversity is the magic formula. Understanding that part makes it also very obvious why enterprises CANNOT be innovative. They try to surprise the customer with their ideas and the ideas come from a mono culture called R&D center, engineering teams or other experts.
3) TRAINING
Our brain is an old machine with lots of upgrades. More upgrades than any other organ in our human apparatus. It is also the most adaptive body part. To overcome some of the 300,000 year old habits and some even go back 5 million years we need to train our brain. I often wonder how long our children would crawl if we never help them to walk. We need to train our bran in opening a treasure chest that is heavily guarded by about 200 million nerve strands or Axons, our so called Corpus Callosum.
With good talents and a great team we actually can.
4) TOOLS
You know the say “I think my head explodes”- right. And that is always when you reach your capacity limits of learning or thinking, or comprehending – or – innovating. In an interesting way, it’s all the same. Since the last 12,000 years we experience this more and more often and we built more and more tools and ever bigger teams to deal with exactly that problem. And so also we developed tools, methods and finally technology that shall help us to go through this rather demanding process. And guess what – it is no different from what athletes perform in their contests, musicians on stage, race driver on the street or on the water, and so forth. We realized that we can easily loos one or two Kilo of body weight, during such processes.
5) MARKET
Here is when the rubber meets the road. There are an estimated 100 Million patents in drawers that have been never used. The initial value of an innovation is exactly ZERO. The value then grows with the size of its distribution. We can be as innovative as we want – if we can make it available to a market or the market is not interesting, the value remains to be zero. In the end, sales channels, creative marketing, service and support organizations, transport (and if it the Internet) are ky to the success of any innovation. This success is seen best, when we look through the macroeconomic lense: A company creates a product. It is sold through distribution and dealer channels, it is shipped across all oceans, it is serviced locally, maybe education organizations provide training, maybe consulting companies help apply the product. At the same time new ideas pop up from companies that build add-ons to that product and create the same sub-market and all of a sudden a company with 5,000 employees actually creates 50,000 indirect jobs.

How to start from here

On April 23, the Society3 Group who worked on the Deep Innovation Design Model for four years is providing a free online seminar (webinar) and explaining how the Deep Innovation Design Model works, where you can get trained and how you get involved in this new model. www.society3.com/webinars/. The World Innovations Forum is providing the training programs and support in emerging countries and is able to provide stipends for talented innovators to learn how to be extremely innovative.

2nd Global World Innovations Forum, Digital Conference

We are living in a world where Co² emission, energy consumption and major travel expenses are highly sensitive topics. We are also living in a digital age where connections are made through networks, people learn to “read” the digital body language and adapt to a digital experience. All good reasons for moving even major major conferences into the digital space.

What can you expect:

  • 3-DAY EVENT – 3 1/2 hours each day, packed with keynotes, discussions, technology introductions and more
  • LIVE – The whole conference is streamed life
  • NETWORKING – of course networking is a key aspect of any event. Digitally it will be even better.
  • PUBLIC VIEWING – Local public viewing in at least 10 countries, connect locally, experience globally
  • INNOVATIVE STARTUPS – Contest winners from Africa and South East Asia present – hold your breath
  • GLOBAL INVESTOR DISCUSSIONS – a network of global investors investing in fast growing businesses
  • ECOSYSTEMS – some super innovation ecosystems dwarf what is created in the west
  • MULTI LAYER INNOVATION – learn about the various facets of innovation, products, processes, business models and more.

June 23 – 25 we will conduct our second World Innovations Forum Digital. We expect approximately 1,000 attendees from around the world online or joining local public viewing sessions. No CO² emission, no travel, no expenses, but top speakers, great interaction, lots to learn and lots to share. And yes, networking as well – digitally. More information will be released at the beginning of March, so check back regularly for updates.

Our online conference experience

After an amazing experience in 2018, where we launched the World Innovations Forum with a global online event, we promised to continue in a two years rhythm.

Our 2018, approximately 500 attendees joined us from 41 countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, El  Salvador, Germany, Ghana,  Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia,  Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria,  Mexico, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland,  Taiwan, Ukraine, United kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

A new dimension in high tech conferences

There was never any innovation conference on a global scale run all online over multiple days. If you would come from Hanoi, Lagos, Helsinki, Shanghai or Kathmandu to us in Zürich, it would take more than twice of your time, would cost you easily $2,000 travel alone, the cost for putting the show together would end up in a $1,000 to $5,000 entry ticket and the environmental payload would be mind boggling when 1,000 people fly in.

Of course, in a physical event, it is different when you sit in a ball room together with 1,000 people and discuss what you heard, exchange business cards, reconnect after the conference and so forth. But why not do the same digitally? We prepare the infrastructure to meet all attendees in our digital forum. There you can follow them, connect with them, chat online and re-connect after the conference.

From Nov 14 to Dec 8, the founders team of the World Innovations Forum is back in Vietnam. Let us share their schedule so you can join one or the other event or arrange for a meeting in between events.

It’s our purpose to help innovative entrepreneurs to grow, get successful and create large amount of jobs in the country, driving a self propelled economy. It is our objective to help 17 countries, including Vietnam, become a “Developed Nation” before 2038.

Ho Chi Minh City

LOCATION
All below events take place at
Saigon Innovation HUB
273 Điện Biên Phủ, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Fri Nov 15, 09:15 am – 11:30 am
Inner circle meeting
For all WIForum supporter and those who are helping organize everything we do- now and in the future,

  • Introducing and discussing the plan for 2020 “Seeding Innovation 2020
  • Introducing and discussing our 18 year plan until 2038 “Go2038
    “Prosperity for all nations” and how we can jointly do it with the help of the world!
    Please let us know if you can come: closed
  • Saigon Innovation HUB

Fri Nov 15, 14:00 am …
Talent Interviews
We are interviewing candidates for our local ‘Program Manager’ position.
If you know any candidats, please send them our way.
See details here:  closed
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Wed  Nov 20, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Investor training
How we envision Investors can co-invest with international investors to close bigger rounds
Investment best practices from all over the world
Finding, reviewing and investing in innovative businesses
For Angel investors, PE investors and VCs
The ICN (Innovation Capital Network) a global investors initiative
Please register here:  closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Wed  Nov 20, 03:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Entrepreneurs event
Introducing the “Seeding Innovation 2020” initiative and how can help in the next 8 years to get to IPO level.
Up to 6 companies can present, maybe joining the Seeding Innovation engagement.
Event URL:  https://www.meetup.com/wiforum-HCMC/events/265795315/
Presenter Application: closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Thu  Nov 21 09:00 am
Media Breakfast, (Journalists an blogger only)
World Innovations Forum introduction
Informing media representatives about our goals and activities, Seeding Innovation 2020
How a million people can help ALL nations get out of poverty
Introducing the “Innovation Paradigm” a radical new way for innovative thinking
Q+A
Register: closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Thu  Nov 21, 01:30 pm – 04:30 pm (canceled) 
Innovation Paradigm Seminar 
For SMEs, Corporate Managers and startup founders
Learning more about innovative thinking and disruptive business model design
A methodical approach to innovation creation
Why in the next 5 to 50 years every industry will get disrupted
Register: closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Mon Nov 25 – Fri Nov 29
Innovation Accelerator (Flight 8)
Full week Innovation Accelerator program for founders and SME owners
Getting from good to great – from local to global – from one of many to an economic driver
So far we have stellar teams from Cambodia, Nepal, South Korea and Vietnam
Details & Apply here:  https://wiforum.org/programs/sfaccel/program-application/
Saigon Innovation HUB

Hanoi

LOCATION
TBD

Mon Dec 2, 09:00 am – 11:30 am
Innovation Paradigm Seminar
For SMEs, Corporate Managers and startup founders
Learning more about innovative thinking and disruptive business model design
Why in the next 5 to 50 years every industry will get disrupted
Register: https://wiforum.org/programs/innovations-paradigm-workshops/ 

 

Wed  Dec 4,  10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Innovation Ecosystem Hanoi meeting
(Incubators, co-working space, mentors universities…)
Moderating an ecosystem development process
Details & Apply here: https://wiforum.org/wiforum-ecosystem-meeting/
Select: Halon Bay Dec 4-2019
Halon Bay, Exhibition space 2nd floor

 

Wed  Dec 4 – Dec 6 
Techfest Vietnam Ha Long Bay
Vietnam’s biggest tech and innovation event
Axel Schultze will present a keynote at the opening ceremony and speak on a panel about the future of entrepreneurship in Vietnam.

As an organization, who has INNOVATION in its name, obviously we are diving very deep into the topic and getting a large variety of perspectives and insights. Innovation tightly connected to entrepreneurship. As a consequence, we asked ourselves, what can we do to bring economic development in developing countries to an all new level. A level where we can see progress in a much shorter time period. Obviously education is one of the initial needs.

Phenomenal Education Development

Africa, most of South East Asia and Latin America has showed phenomenal progress in education already; having 1,000 times more academic graduates than 50 years ago. There are now thousands of Universities across those continents, which created millions of well trained people – but with no equivalent job. What would a math degree do if you can’t work with it? Today there are more than a million graduates in in each of the three continents. The best they can do would be try to get to Europe or the US. Yet – that would be a devastating brain drain and remove all hopes, those nations have today. Before the inception of development aid, education was a function of having better employees to handle the jobs – but here we have better education but no jobs. We realized we needed to find out how exactly did developed countries develop.

The Rise of Developed Countries

In the early and mid 1800’s, Switzerland was the poorest country in Europe. Germany was a poor country, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in Asia, California was a desert and the most western farmland in the US. If not for the Gold, California would hardly be on the map. Yet the natural resources died out quickly. A similar risk the Arabian peninsula is facing. However something changed above and beyond natural resources and tourism: Innovation and entrepreneurship. When Carl Benz, Robert Bosch, Werner v. Siemens and Friedrich Krupp, crazy entrepreneurs with useless ideas, started to engineer, develop, produce, market, sell and scale their businesses, Germany became a wealthy nation. There is nothing else that propelled the German economy as much as these crazy entrepreneurs. At the same time period, Alfred Escher wanted to build a railroad in Switzerland. But since this was a low priority for the very poor Swiss population, he could not raise any capital. So he asked for foreign investment, the sheer amount he raised, required him to create a more international bank, Credit Suisse. Since he needed more talent, he created the Zürich based University, ETH, today one of the most renowned Tech Universities in the world. Did you know the jet engine was invented in France? Now you know why France is still one of the world’s leading aerospace nations. Did you know that Silicon Valley was essentially based on five entrepreneurs? Almost all developed countries started poor, had an environment where crazy entrepreneurs just could do their thing, no matter how useless and money could flow in from foreign investors. The US, Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, and all others have been based on that very principle. Thousands of years before that it was war, theft and the financing of their armies to do the very same: invent, grow, sell and come to prosperity. Since thousands of years, the nations that carried their goods in foreign countries and received investment from foreign countries rose. And there is no reason to continue that path with an ever larger number of nations. We never tried to answer the question, how can we get 3.5 Billion people out of poverty with the help from the West? We wanted to know what made the developed countries so prosperous and if we could apply that learning to eradicate poverty.

Economic Development 4.0

We realized that nearly all developed countries, on three different continents rose to prosperity through innovation and entrepreneurship. Moreover, in understanding that entrepreneurship is not a western ‘invention’ but a universally applicable concept, for thousands of years across all cultures. We began to look for such entrepreneurs in developing and emerging countries. And we found jar dropping entrepreneurs and their startups in Argentina, Ghana, Nigeria, Peru, Vietnam and many other countries. With those results, we decided to turn economic development towards a direction that was probably not very well understood before: innovation and entrepreneurship.

We envisioned entrepreneurial journeys from local to global enterprises in most nations. We developed unique tools like the Innovative Thinking Model, Digital Engagement Methods, and explored Next Generation Digital Stock exchanges that could make a huge difference to those entrepreneurs embarking on a catch up race with developed nations. These measures have a good chance to play a defining role in enabling fast growing innovative companies. They will develop far more environmentally friendly products, find new ways of packaging, new ways to turn deserted land back to green land, turn abundant energy like wind or solar heat into usable energy or even mechanisms to leverage those energies directly. We see entrepreneurs working on biological material and AI solutions, like in Nepal, in a way nobody ever thought about. We will not come with technology and ideas that they can execute but with ways to stimulate their ingenuity to do the impossible – and radical different things. Those new businesses can create hundreds of thousands of jobs quickly absorbing the already waiting academics. This is not an idea or concept. Again, this is exactly how developed countries emerged. And since today’s startups no longer take 30 years to rise but already after 3 years have somewhere around 50+ employees and rise to the top within 7 to 10 years, we have a good chance to turn 20 to 50 nations into prosperous developed countries by 2030. The only key task to perform is the work with governments to enable three things: Foreign Direct Investments, Infrastructure development, and Investor/Entrepreneurship friendly policies.

Economic development 4.0 is all about inspiration, education, stimulation – and letting the local entrepreneurs do what they think, what they want and what they believe is the right thing to do. If nobody wants to develop tools to structure their overwhelming city traffic, well, than there maybe no need and we may learn from the way that flow is going – very much like the flow of our blood does not need signs and stop lights ;) Economic Development 4.0 was created to prevent our developed experiences from influencing their development. You may also notice that none of the fastest growing economies these days such as China, Vietnam, Rwanda… are democracies. And we have no right at all and under no circumstances to change that. The only ones who may want to do that are the respective countries themselves – no matter what.

We are starting end of this year with “Seeding Innovation 2020” in 17 countries in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. This is an open invitation to join us. Https://wiforum.org/join

I’ve been asked so many times that I felt it would be good to write a blog post.
Obviously there are many consulting services, software developer and others who could built your MVP in a rather short period of time. Then you get what you asked for and can enter the market. If customers report bugs, you go back to your developer. And you hire them again and again – or you ignore the requests for now until you get more funding. It sounds totally logical. However reality tells a very different story:

Your MVP is a barebone minimum solution. It is supposed to be up rather quickly and your customers tell you what they experience, what they like and what they don’t like. If you have a CTO, it is not just taking the bug reports but carefully listening to each request. Each discussion with a customer contains a wealth of insights about how they use the product, what key benefits they have or want to have, how it is or should be integrated in other technologies and so forth. From that moment on you get probably daily requests for changes and more important lots of tiny little cool ideas that your developer or developer team can implement. I remember we received 1,400 feature requests, update requests and bugs within the first three month. You can’t pay your outsourcing organization to handle that.

Moreover our CTO saw what directions this will take and prepared the platform a bit differently. In the first six months, he was involved in almost any customer discussion. He needed to know and feel where this is going. More importantly he sensed functionalities based on the customer stories that led to functionalities they didn’t dear to ask but made a lot of sense and was no problem to do. The CTO is the one person who shapes the product, the future technology decisions and the technological direction of the company like nobody else. This cannot be outsourced – not at reasonable cost.

On top of all, the CTO does not try to build an MVP that meets the specification you gave them. The CTO is building the foundation of a solution that will change the world in the future and crafts an MVP that acts like the first cell of an organism.

Early Adopter Customer

If you have a sensational new application, you won’t get typical customers. Those ask you who else is using it, how many customers you have, are you funded and so forth. And so you have to look for early adopters. Thos premium customers are willing to check out new things because also they want to lead their market. BUt if you tell them that the technology was done by a freelancer, outsources, service organization or a like they get less motivated. They are taking a risk, dealing with a ne technology – but far less so when there is no CTO.

With all that said, there should be no reason to hire a consultant, rather than involving a top notch technologist.

Hire or Co-Founder?

first: as a startup you just cannot hire a top performing developer. No matter what you offer to pay. Therefore attract them as co-founder. Yes, they are hard to find and you want to start. But there is no shortcut what so ever. If that technology is a core element and differentiator of your business, than the person that builds it and develops it further over the next 10 years should have a seat on the founders bench.

As an investor

I would never invest in a company that outsources their development. It’s too clear that there is no technological focus or the technology doesn’t play any important role. It also shows that the founder could not attract any co-founder and I must ask: can they attract customers?

All in all the number of reasons for a co-founder CTO outweigh the short term benefit of getting a MVP slapped together for a demo.