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A Review of InnovEgypt Industry 2.0 Program

2 years 4 months ago

Innovation is the buzz word everyone is talking about, if you would have asked me a year ago what is the definition of Innovation, I would have told you that it’s creating that new fancy product.

Actually, this changed now after eight months - from February to October 2019 - of multiple sessions, workshops, and field exercises during the InnoveEgypt Industry 2.0 program.

Had I been a technical entrepreneur, I would have preferred to understand the definition of innovation before starting my journey. Starting from the description, innovation is a successful implementation of a new idea. Those two phrases “successful implementation”, and “new idea” are what innovation is all about. I attended the program as the CTO of  MED4D Computer Systems, and I learnt to become an Innovation Manager.

You shouldn't focus your innovation process on your product features since they are the easiest part to copy. It’s about how you craft your process, reduce the time to market, your cost, position yourself, handle your customer, and set up your organization chart.

There are more types of Innovation than you can imagine, you just need to understand which type is better for you. I have learnt by attending 7 sessions to innovate our business model, and I never thought that I could spend a 6-hour session with the same energy and spirit until the end.

Since the program was attended by the CEO, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Financial Manager, HR Manager, and me, the output was different than what we expected.

We thought that we are attending to add more features to our product, but the result was: changing our process, becoming more agile, and providing new services to our customers that help them better utilize our products.

The “Business Model Innovation” was the last part of the training. Going back, I would recall the "Creative Night," where you plan to invite guests to participate in your new product development. In short, it created a type of inspiring atmosphere that helps your guests create new ideas. Creativity doesn't require a naturally creative person, you can use some techniques to stimulate the creativity of your audience. 

I learnt here that creative ideas can be easily generated with some help, you just need to filter them to choose what is actually suitable and applicable for you. Another thing that can help you design your product as part of our innovation journey is the design sprint. It’s a four-day agile process using design thinking that helps you sketch, create a storyboard, a prototype, and test your idea.

You go through a lengthy process that rules out asking questions at the start then gives you the full power later to filter, negotiate, discuss, relate while producing your new prototype. It’s a technique that puts you on track as a beginner, then allows you to see differently and progress steadily.

It was a very fruitful trip to become an innovation manager. Sure this adds to my skills and knowledge, but what makes this special is the help we got from the team at the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) during our journey. Starting with their fascinating presentation, going through on-hand training, and ending with the help they provided to us to do our first proof of learning for our companies.

TIEC planned this training to include both in-class training, and real-life practice. This makes you ready for the next job as an Innovation Manager.

Finally, I would like to thank TIEC for this opportunity, and hopefully, this fuels your thoughts about innovation. See you again in another article about innovation.

Ahmed Hatem, Innovation Manager, and InnovEgypt Industry 2.0 Program Graduate

Photo credit: freepik

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