The Centennial Fund’s Business Model to support Entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia and abroad

Date: December, 16, 2014 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

Many young people suffer from the challenges they face when they want to start their own business. After The Centennial Fund’s studies and experiments in addition to access to the world’s best experiments, we found that the best model is to provide integrated services that contribute to the reduction and limitation of these challenges. TCF’s business model is a distinctive model globally, taking young people and helping them develop their ideas through prior training courses on bright ideas, panel discussions passing through feasibility studies, specialized courses, and facilitating government procedures until the project expands later. TCF does not only do this, but it also works on marketing entrepreneurs and spreading their success stories locally and globally through G20 YEA and international competitions. The session will shed light on TCF’s model, the reasons for its success, and its role in helping entrepreneurs.

Relator: Mr. Sultan Al-Shuwayeb

GM Assistant, Sector Head of Non-Financial Services, The Centennial Fund, Saudi Arabia

Sultan Al-Shuwayeb has rapidly built a reputation as one of the leading authorities on entrepreneurship in the Middle East. As the Assistant General Manager of Saudi Arabia’s flagship entrepreneurial incubator, The Centennial Fund (TCF), Mr. Al-Shuwayeb has helped develop streamlined business processes and mentoring strategies to facilitate the growth of SMEs in the region. His prior experience in strategic planning has contributed to TCF’s enhanced brand value, spearheading knowledge-based alliances with technological giants Microsoft and Oracle that bring TCF the promise of sustained organizational growth, allowing the organization to continue to support the vision of entrepreneurship in the MENA region.

Strengthening Sustainability of SMEs through Resource Efficiency

Date: November, 18, 2014 | From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CET

Using the proven Resource Efficiency (RE) approach SMEs are able to reduce or even eliminate wastage of natural resources (such as energy, water, chemicals and materials) within their processes and hence reduce their impact on the environment while saving money. Several case studies are presented to establish a clear and compelling business case in favour of RE as applicable to manufacturing as well as service based SMEs. The approach is explained in brief and a typical project structure is elaborated.

Relator: Mr. Rajat Batra

CEO, STENUM Asia, India

Rajat Batra is passionate about empowering small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve profitability and to achieve sustainable growth through the Resource Efficiency (RE) approach. He leads the team at STENUM Asia Sustainable Development Society (an organisation he co-founded in 2007) in training, consultancy and implementation support efforts for enterprises. He has been actively practicing RE at various levels for nearly a decade. He has undergone extensive training on sustainable development in Europe. He has more than 20 years of experience managing manufacturing operations and handling international collaborations for SMEs, also as an entrepreneur. Thus, he brings to STENUM Asia a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges SMEs face, thereby customising the services to deliver high value to the enterprises. With a strong technical background (B. Tech from IIT-BHU and M.S. from The Ohio State University, USA) he is able to analyse and add value for process optimisation in various enterprises across sectors.

Commercialization of Research

Date: October, 23, 2014 | From 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. - CET

Research regimes constitute the building blocks of innovation, especially in the sciences. Scientific and technical research drives helpful and often trailblazing approaches to the resolution of many problems affecting the human condition. Yet, the record of commercialization of such research is mixed across the globe. While many countries and institutions in those countries are convinced that connecting researchers to markets (and thus initiating a concern with outcomes of research) is a strong driver of economic growth, too often such efforts fail to institute processes to assure that the fruits of such research are more broadly disseminated. Often, they seem to adopt straight-line approaches to markets that, in a globalized environment, are sub-optimal. The preoccupation with “venture capital” is often used as a strategy without a grounded understanding of the limitations of this and other, similar approaches. Instead, a “network-centric” approach involving partners, buyers, and adopters of “open innovation” assures a more holistic approach to the commercialization of research and more useful (and usable) outcomes in a world that more connected now, despite the divisions that are evident. This network-centric approach emphasizes the growth of enterprises more suited to the notion of commercialization as a ‘long and winding road’, while maintaining a continued connection (“feedback loop”) with research efforts. This session will explore aspects of this approach which has generated strong results as typified by the work of Larta Institute in the U.S. over two decades.

Relator: Mr. Rohit Shukla

CEO, Larta Institute, USA

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Larta Institute, based in Los Angeles, California. The organization has provided entrepreneur education design, commercialization and management services, technology transfer expertise, technology assessments, and business assistance to public and private clients since 1994. He has consulted with multilateral organizations like the OECD and the World Bank and governments across the globe on their initiatives and policies impacting small and medium sized enterprises. His paper on the Network Centric Model of Entrepreneurial Assistance was one of 12 selected from across the world and featured by the Kauffman Foundation at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool in 2012. The Network Centric model is employed in Larta’s work. He has also written extensively on venture capital, the life sciences, entrepreneurship and globalization. He is currently an advisor to the Alternative University in Bucharest, Romania, and to several non-profit initiatives in enterprise education in Asia and across the U.S. He speaks frequently before private and public audiences in the U.S. and overseas, and has been a frequent guest of regional and national governments in Scandinavia, Western Europe, the Far East and all over the United States. Mr. Shukla holds a Masters in Social & Political Sciences from Cambridge University, England, and a Masters in Communications Arts and Sciences from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Small Businesses into Large Enterprises Value Chain – SEBRAE’s Business Linkages Strategy

Date: September, 17, 2014 | From 1.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. - CET

For the purpose of reducing the asymmetry of productivity between small and large enterprises, SEBRAE has adopted the Business Linkages Strategy, inducing the inclusion of small businesses in the value chains of large enterprises, in order to contribute to the improvement of competitiveness. In this webinar you will learn the logic of operation and the strategic goals of the Business Linkages Strategy to support innovation and impact on the competitiveness and sustainability of the companies involved as well as listen to some case studies of large enterprises, that confirmed tangible benefits thanks to the close collaboration with local small and micro entrepreneurs.

Relator: Mr. Fausto Keske Cassemiro

Deputy Manager of the Industry Unit and National Coordinator of the Business Linkages Program, SEBRAE, Brazil

Fausto Cassemiro is deputy manager of the Industry Unit at National SEBRAE and also National Coordinator of the Business Linkages Program. With a master in mechanical engineering and a degree course in production engineer, the most significant experiences are in developing business linkages projects around Brazil and some countries of South America and Africa. Also, Cassemiro has relevant experiences in consultancy to implement managing strategies in companies, such as lean manufacturing, balanced scorecard and cleaner production.

It is time for online acceleration – why virtual acceleration makes sense and how does it work

Date: July, 15, 2014 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CEST

As the world becomes like a global village, many products and ideas aim to reach customers globally rather than just locally, and much more is done online. These changes created a big shift in how to take ideas and products to the market. In recent years several leading “methodologies of choice” are followed by many incubation and acceleration programs helping. The selection of the same methods, combined with the need for a global rather than local outreach already at an early stage, open the way for creating truly virtual acceleration programs. In this talk, you will learn how this works and why it creates opportunities not available through localized acceleration programs.

Relator: Mr. Assaf Mendelson

Managing Director, EAI – 360

Mr. Assaf Mendelson is the managing director of the EAI360 EXelerator innovation initiative of The European Alliance for Innovation (EAI). He is a hi-tech professional and serial entrepreneur with many years of experience and demonstrated accomplishments in all facets of a hi-tech company: executive management, business development, marketing, fund raising, product, and technical/R&D. He held a variety of senior positions in both start-ups and large international enterprises such as Intel and Qualcomm. His roles covered several industries including many years in wireless and cellular markets as well as in the new web and mobile applications markets. He was co-founder of over 5 start-ups, including and Fl3ur. Mr. Mendelson continuously assists and mentors start-ups in Israel and abroad. Mr. Mendelson holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration in Tel Aviv University.

Educating innovation

Date: June, 17, 2014 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

The world is looking at innovation and entrepreneurship with great importance to the world economy rectification from decades of stagnation due the fact that the world is becoming a small village with everybody knowing and able to have what everybody else in this world have. “Innovative Entrepreneurship” is in the heart of any economy development or diversification. The educational system must catch up with these facts and must prepare future economy through prepare the future entrepreneurs whom must be innovative as well. Although the wish is clear, yet the challenges are preventing any dreams to come true. The “Innovation Curriculum for Entrepreneurship” is a revolutionary approach that is actually a solution that we believe will have unprecedented impact in this area.

Relator: Mr. Osama Ghanim

Chief Executive Officer, INNOVABIA, United Arab Emirates

Founder and Chief Innovation Director (CID) for the first dedicated MENA region Innovation Management company namely INNOVABIA based and located in Dubai Knowledge Village. A Senior Innovation Strategy Consultant with accumulative experience of 23 years out of which 15 years in Senior Business positions with extensive involvement in Innovation, Strategy Consultation and Strategic Planning. Originally achieved sound achievements in the Information Technology and eBusiness areas. Frequently speaking in regional and international event about Innovation. Participated in many regional entrepreneurship competitions and/or awards both as organizer and as judge. Professional and passionate trainer since 1983 in various technology and management subjects yet selective in subjects that are new and suite the time we live in. Developed the “Innovation Climate Model”, a universal new and brave attempt to gather all spectrum of Innovation of all types for any organization in one model. There is one tailored model for the government sector specifically. Author of the book “Building Innovation and Creativity atmosphere”. Electronic Engineering from Kuwait University in 1985. MBA from Phoenix University in USA. Preparing for PhD In Innovation Management field.

Introduction to the Patent Cooperation Treaty for SMEs

Date: May, 14, 2014 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

Register for this webinar to learn about the Patent Cooperation Treaty (known in IP circles as “the PCT”), a system for seeking potential patent protection multinationally which is administrated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Mr. Quan-Ling SIM will explain the benefits and advantages of the PCT for SMEs with details on how it can be used to postpone costs and maximize limited budgets. Also learn about the initial opinion on patentability provided through the PCT and its value for SMEs in the decision making process.

Relator: Mr. Quan-Ling Sim

Head, PCT Outreach and User Relations Section, PCT Legal Division, World Intellectual Property Organization - WIPO, Switzerland

Mr. Quan-Ling SIM, a national of Canada, joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2003. He is currently Head of the PCT Outreach and User Relations Section within the PCT Legal Division where he has responsibility for the management and delivery of PCT training. Prior to joining WIPO, Quan worked at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Industry Canada, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Quan has a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc), cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa and is a registered Professional Engineer with the Province of Ontario.

Key concepts in innovation to achieve SME success: a case study

Date: April, 29, 2014 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

In this session Dr. Hamsa Thota conducts case study of a SME, in mature phase of its lifecycle that prepared for its future with a clear strategy and compelling organizational goals. The industry in which the SME competed is characterized by fragmentation, is not known for innovation; and is besieged by cheap foreign imports. Utilization of key concepts in innovation such as the lifecycle, categories of innovation projects, new product development strategy, product innovation charter, resource allocation in a balanced portfolio of innovation projects (portfolio management), and development of new product development teams enabled the SME to realize its future. Learning from the case study is generalized in a systematic approach for innovation such as the Thota framework for innovation. Participants gain knowledge to customize and implement a systematic approach for innovation towards achieving new product/innovation success rates similar to those achieved by the SME in the case study.

Relator: Dr. Hamsa Thota

President, Innovation Business Development (IBD), INC., USA

Dr. Hamsa Thota is the Founder and President of Innovation Business Development Inc., (IBD) a product innovation management performance consulting and training company in the USA. He was the past president and chairman of the Product Development and Management Association (2005-2006). In 2005-2010, Dr. Thota consulted with more than 50 Chinese companies as an international expert on innovation at the invitation of Science & Technology Agencies of local Chinese governments. In 2011, Dr. Thota was a visiting Professor at the Management School of the Zhejiang University in China and co-authored “Key Concepts in Innovation” published by Palgrave Macmillan (London and New York). He is an honorary professor at the Geely Automobile Engineering Institute, China. Dr. Thota was a Senior Fellow at the Kellogg Innovation Network, Northwestern University (2004-2011) and a member of the US National Innovation Initiative Strategy Council of the US Council on Competitiveness (2006-2007). He is an advisor to the Art of Learning, a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research project to improve STEM education with Arts based curriculum (2012-2016). Dr. Thota is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (1971) and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. in Food Science and Dairy Manufacturing from the University of Georgia (1976). During the 80’s, he studied technology management at the MIT, new product introduction at the Wharton Business School, and negotiation at Harvard.

Paradigm shift of entrepreneurs

Date: March, 27, 2014 | From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. - CET

In this intensive information era, technology is become necessity and not an option. It is, and will continue to be a key driver in the knowledge access and exchange. Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia evolved in the mid-19th century and maybe earlier than that. However, with the oil boom in the 70s and 80s, entrepreneurship was over taken by white collar jobs in addition to the dependency of young generations on their parents for their daily life challenges. Such created a bubble of low demands on striving for a better life through the skills of survival. Therefore, the desire to take risk and start a business was not the focus of many GCC officials in that era which created 10s of country economical and manpower challenges. In the early 2000 and most importantly 2008, Entrepreneurship became the focus of all GCC initiatives.

Relator: Dr. Sherif Elabdelwahab

CEO, National Entrepreneurial Institute, Saudi Arabia

Sharif Elabdelwahab is a Ph.D. holder from the Ohio State University in Foreign and Second Language Education with emphasis in Workforce Development since 2002. He earned two master degrees in Public Services Administration and TESOL in 1996. Dr. Sharif has been involved in Human Resources Development and youth enabling programs in the past four years in Saudi Arabia and the USA. With massive country expansion in Saudi untraditional employment and preparation to meet market demands, he worked in Saudi Electric Co as safety instructor then moved to Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) and worked in several positions i.e. ESL instructor, joint training GM Assistant, National System for Joint Training GM, Curriculum Instruction and Design Dept. GM. Then, Dr. Sherif started to work out of TVTC i.e. British Aero Space, Ministry of Labor, Human Resources Development Fund, Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, and Currently, as CEO of the National Entrepreneurship Institute (Riyadah) since 2011. From 22 branches and 1400 entrepreneurs to 39 branches, 13 of which are female, and 3500 entrepreneurs from 9500 trainees. He has also presented tens of papers in regional and international conferences in EFL, HRD, and independent learning.

How small businesses can embrace crowdfunding for success!

Date: February, 26, 2014 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

Small businesses are certain to be the most active recipients of the worldwide trend of Crowdfunding. Whether it pre-sales, reward, donation or equity this presentation will cover the basics. What is crowdfunding relative to a small or medium sized business? Crowdfunding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money for a purpose, product or service via the internet. How does it work for a small or medium sized business? A website is used to facilitate, co-ordinate and keep the raising compliant. Is it just about the money? No. Businesses are using Crowdfunding for the following: a. to validate the market. b. to test a market. c. get extra promotion. d. to capture data. e. money and matching money. Sometimes it is about the money. Why should you embrace it? According to, crowdfunding platforms are predicted to generate $5.1 billion in revenue this year.

Relator: Mr. Paul Niederer

CEO / Director, ASSOB – Australian Small Scale Offerings Board, Australia

Paul Niederer is one of Australia's leading authorities on peer to peer investing and equity based investment for early stage growth companies. Paul joined the ASSOB team in late 2008. As CEO Paul leads a team that shepherds businesses through an ordinarily complex and frustrating Capital Raising Process with efficiency and effectiveness. Paul is no stranger to managing growth businesses, having spent the past few years as CEO of both ASX and NSX publicly listed businesses. Before that he managed and developed businesses in Singapore, the Middle East and Sweden.