Posts

June 23-25, the second World Innovations Forum Conference, will be held online. Broadcasted from our innovation studios in Lucerne Switzerland, attendees will meet innovative minds from fast-emerging countries discussing needs and dreams, plans and programs to bring the “New World” on eye-level with the “Old World.” Ingenuity, curiosity, determination, networking power, unbreakable will-power, and top education, all of the necessities of top-level entrepreneurs are seen in the fearless and risk-taking entrepreneurs in South East Asia and Africa. Many of those countries are on the verge of profound change. Let’s be straight forward; self-confidence and eagerness unfolds ingenuity.

EMERGING DETERMINATION

The same determination drives the WIForum Foundation members such as country ambassadors, champions, partners, volunteers from Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Vietnam, as well as industry partners from developed nations. The goal is to elevate the economic level of those nations to become autonomous and able to compete in global markets – but more importantly, contribute to human progress. The fact of life: 1 billion people can only feed the other 6 billion people if that is their sole focus. But, 7 billion people together are able to solve most of the biggest problems we see today in the near future and can truly be considered equal. Togetherness empowers us to get to sustainable innovation in our industry, energy needs, care and social development while building out our comfortable lives – without sacrificing our planet. 

WORLDS LARGEST INNOVATION POTENTIAL

The two largest continents by size, Asia and Africa, and also by population, with 6 of the 7.7 billion people, represent the most substantial innovation potential on earth. The WIForum Digital 2020 Conference offers an insight into what to expect from the most significant parts of our planet and where it may take us. You will get a glimpse into the world of top-notch startups from Africa and Asia and how they shape to win the world. By the end of this decade we will see a boost of innovation of seismic proportion.

SPEAKERS

If you are looking for the globally well known speakers – we will need to disappoint you. The innovative minds from tomorrow are not the heroes from yesterday. We also don’t want to list the same problems that one always hears and the same successes that we already know. We decided to give you insights from what is actually happening today and where it must lead to tomorrow. Join us on the ground and draw your own trajectory for the real tomorrow.

Startups from Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Vietnam are still invited to apply to present 

wiforum.org/wifdigital-entrepreneurs/ 

 

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!

 

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.

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

One week with great teams, jar dropping innovation spaces and top notch universities.

Our work in South Korea, with our ambassador and team was very exciting. South Korea is certainly no longer an “emerging country”. It bypassed many of the developed countries.

Startup ecosystem of the superlative. South Korea’s brand new Innovation hub is certainly the most mondain, most modern and best equipped incubation campus in the world. Startups, scaleUps and SME’s on hypergrowth don’t miss anything here. Whether its a photo and video studio, conference rooms of any size, offices of any shape, restaurants and countless other amenities. This is very hard to top.

Introduction to the Seoul Innovation Ecosystem, it’s focus to take business global and its quest to build more Samsung, LG or Hyundai type companies.

Entrepreneurs Workshop at the University of Seoul. A variety of students, even from foreign countries participated to learn all about innovative thinking, the innovation paradigm and how most innovative companies became the core of a country’s economy.

Investor Workshop for South Korean Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists and institutional investors.

A great view onto Seoul by night from one of the largest towers in the South Korean metropoly

Private World Innovations Forum Dinner with industry leaders from both Asia and Europe. We were discussing how Innovation is not just a way to build new technologies but innovation being the economic foundation of any leading nation.

And a final Entrepreneurs Event with pitching contest in the Seoul Startup Hub. This incubator just complete the expansion and is now good for almost 1,000 startups. Five selected startups pitched in front of an audience from the SSH and showed their ability to innovate.

A week with very promising teams, brilliant people from the local universities and amazing supporter – less amazing government actions.

Our work In Nepal was a great finish for our five week Asia Tour on one side and a disappointment at the very last day, at the investor summit.

After an impressive pitch event, the winner teams and organizers, judges and investors all together. The creativity of entrepreneurs is universal. And so is their spirit to find solutions for their local markets first.

Private World Innovations Forum Dinner with representatives from the private and public sector, entrepreneurs, investors and enablers. It’s also a thank you to the amazing work the team has performed in Nepal.

With the introduction of Private Direct Investments, private investors should now able to invest in private businesses, explained Minister for foreign affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. This would make a huge difference to Nepal’s startup ecosystem.

Nepal’s government representatives explain the new investment strategy, in which industries investments are welcome and up to 7 years tax exemptions to attract as many investors as possible. It was made very clear that with the new investment policies and regulations, the government is introducing major changes, trying to turn to economy around. For the past decades, Nepal was depending on donations. Now that shall change and Nepal will want to stand on their own feed.

However, weeks later the website to register and get approved as an investor did not work. Trying to get support was hopeless. It was difficult enough to figure out which site a prospective investor is supposed to register. Attendees of the event never heard back from the event organizer. Neither how to register nore any next steps. Even our local connections could not figure out whether the new rules are even in effect. So far no progress at all.

 

Germany has long been known for tech innovation and a very powerful economic driver. Berlin has grown to one of the most attractive start-up hubs in the world, putting Munich on the second place within Germany, yet still before Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and other cities. With the enormous startup thrust – startups pushed to grow even beyond the German borders. Funding was the most significant barrier.

IPO Breakthrough

In the first quarter of 2018 alone, startups and spin-offs from larger companies pulled in close to  7 Billion Euro with their IPOs. This is more than the rest of Europe combined. This is pushing Germany in spot No. 2 globally behind the USA. And more IPO candidates are already in the loop. It took a bit for Europe actually to show that their startups have IPO quality – but now they seem to come with full power. More than just a handful, including HalloFresh, Delivery Hero, Zalando, Rocket Internet, Windeln.de, German Startups Group, Elumeo, Ferratum, Trivago, MyBucks, Akasol, Home24, CreditShelf, NFON and some others made it and IPOed in Germany already.

In the meantime, more IPO spots try to attract fast-growing businesses like the EuroNext in Amsterdam, Netherland and the Paris Stock Exchange. The relatively high P/E ratios of the classic enterprises, relative to their growth rate make those young businesses attractive. If one looks back to the early 2000s when a big surge of US startups went public, the majority of the investors where laughing, but today those companies produce a multiple that has never be seen in public companies before.

 

Artificial Intelligence Leadership

With the second biggest IPO finance place in the world, Germany is also attracting companies from other countries. More importantly, Germany is also preparing the capital flow into the next generation technology to support their declared attempt to become a global leader in Artificial Intelligence. The official AI strategy will be introduced Dec 4/5 2019. And with rapid financing growth has always been a worldwide challenge, the IPO leadership in Europa makes Germany also the place to go for AI startups. We will report about the AI Space Germany in December.

Stay tuned.

 

A 3 day global online live event

Today we concluded an amazing 3 day innovation and entrepreneurship power play. Over 500 attendees from over 40 countries joined the online live event and in local ‘public viewing’ events.

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.

From physical to digital

What’s the secret sauce for the success? The whole event was online. Last minute we changed the whole format from a physical event which would have been only affordable for the wealthy countries to online – and made the access for free for all attendees. The cost to organize the event was significantly lower, we did not need to fly in 500 people – and feel good about the savings in negative environmental impact, carbon footprint and more than ten thousand hours in aggregate for none productive preparation and traveling.

Live Online Pitch from Nepal

Live presentation of a team of scientists who developed a new method to easily test animal pregnancy and getting results within hours. They don’t need any long lasting clinical tests anymore which would not be economically feasible in many countries. Startup winner from Nepal.

The Whole Ecosystem was here

It was extremely interesting to see innovative startups from various industries, tech, biology, health, and more to present. Investors discussed national and international investment strategies, valuation differences and due diligence processes.  Enabler such as incubators, co-working spaces, accelerators, mentors and technology and service providers shared their point of view and how startups from around the world could just go to any space and any enabler and receive help when going global. Government representatives and ambassadors shared what it takes to enter a country and how they can help to make the start and the stay easy and convenient. The 58 sessions in a highly intense 15 minute sequence was a firework of information.

Hot Investor discussion

Investors from all backgrounds explain investment strategies and experiences. Why investing in international startups is attractive but also the obstacles on the legal and taxation side are to be understood. Discussions about valuation, due diligence and what investors expect, how they evaluate and select startups and the best ways for startups to find investors.

Public Viewing of the otherwise global online event

Our ambassadors in Japan, South Korea and Nepal organized global viewing events. The global online event was supported with local on-site events to foster the regional and global community. The Japanese team together with Fabbit, a leading co-working space, organized the perfect show (see below).

Live presentations – streamed around the globe.

Here a startup in Japan is presenting on stage, the event is live streamed to all attendees around the globe, our Judge located in Switzerland listens and asks questions about the presentation. 500 people in 43 countries watch, learn and share.

Going Global – What can be done

Ambassadors from Japan, Vietnam and the team in Switzerland share how startups from around the world can travel around the world and ramp up a business in a new country possibly even within a few weeks.

Amazing Technology – literally from the kitchens of the future

Russian startup presents a new night vision technology, which is very affordable, light weight and easy to install in the next generation of automobiles. Imagine traveling at night and you can watch the scene almost as if it is a bright day.

A new dimension in high tech conferences

There was never any innovation conference of that diverse and complete audience from the whole ecosystem, on a global scale run all online over multiple days. And to be quite honest – most people found it a bad idea “conferences are networking events, it will never work online”. We kind of agreed but we still needed to try (The risk of regretting not trying is greater than the risk of failing). The dynamic of this first little conference is the spark, helping us to completely rethink global conferences.

Where we are going to take it from here?

  • Strengthening and growing the global community
  • Building the necessary platform technology and blockchain for permanent connections
  • Engagement such as discussing individual challenges, questions, ideas, marketing, acceleration, going global and countless other topics.

Please  JOIN  the community.

Thank you, attendees from 40+ countries, S3-Ambassadors from around the world, speakers, investors, enablers, supporters,  and the Society3 dream-team! Also thank you Swisscom for a rock solid 1 Gigabit glass fiber connection directly onto our desk – wow, flawless.

Money is globally available – just understand how to attract investors. Top tech companies started all over the world. In Microsoft Seattle, Spotify in Sweden, SAP in Germany, Samsung in Korea, Sony in Japan, Acer in Taiwan, Atos in France, Euthereum in Switzerland…

All have one thing in common: The somehow learned how to attract investors, had their story down and knew how to talk to investors – where ever they are.

Over the past 4 years we had startups from all over the planet in our accelerator and 50% got funded (the highest funding rate in the startup world).

Now we are starting to run free pitch events – ONLINE. These live events shall allow any entrepreneur, wherever they are on this planet to attend. No more traveling for entrepreneurs training.

Next training June 5 in all time zones! read more

We envision a world where prosperity is possible for all nations by increasing innovation and entrepreneurship locally.

Since we can’t get every entrepreneur in the world to come to Silicon Valley – Silicon Valley needs to come to the world – for free.

Please help spread the word, in particular in those countries where entrepreneurs don’t have easy access to capital. http://s3buzz.com/ntd5xx

 

Forget it, passion is for pussycats. You need to be obsessed.

 

You heard all that many times. But what does it actually mean? What constitutes such a great founders team?

  1. Team means team. A founders team is not one founder with a few people joining him or her somehow but multiple founders with more or less equal equity share in the startup. Together thay sculptured and shaped the concept of the business. It takes teamwork to make a dream work.
  2. The best founders are obsessed, not just passionate about what they do. They make any humanly possible effort to make their idea come true. If they have to move to a different country, they will. If they have to sell everything they posses they will. If they have to live in a shed and have just barely enough to survive they will.

    Passion is for pussycats – great founders are obsessed

  3. Great founders are truly intelligent. Meaning they have the skill to solve a problem by simply thinking through most of its permutations even though neither they nor anybody else ever ever found a solution for a similar problem.
  4. Having assembled a team of very diverse skills and behavior. Having a generalist working with two specialists (CEO, CTO, CMO). A doer, a a visionary and an detailed subject matter expert are best.
  5. Bold thinking. Not just a hypothetical billion users or billion dollars but an intelligently constructed ways and a reasoning why and how to get there. Having a reasonable idea about the technology development, the societal trends and industrial movements over the next 10 years, The ability to draw the future like a picture.
  6. NO respect for anything. Breaking all rules except the law. They do what they think it takes to achieve their goal no matter what anybody in the world tells them to do.
  7. Complete independence of capital.  Great founders make things happen with nothing. To the contrary those who need somebody else’ money to start are definitely not great founders. The only money they need is to grow their company faster than organic growth.
  8. Top founders are people who can easily attract others: Attract co-founders, attract customers, attract talents, attract investors…
  9. At least one of the founders in the team is a marvelous communicator. Has the ability to get the message out in a simple way and crafts those messages, so that others can share it as well. Founders are not living in offices and labs but in the market.
  10. High sense of urgency. Great founders do things significantly faster that their competitors. They have no time for anything but run. From idea to prototype, less than 6 month. from prototype to production less than 6 month. From being in the market to first major market share wins, less than six month, from first market share wins to first international business less than 6 month…