Innovation Management Academy in Albania


By Fabiola Duro, INNVEST Founder

Especially right now, in times of a global pandemic, we can see that innovation is the key to success. This holds true for businesses as well. Statistically speaking, good ideas are evenly distributed throughout the whole organization and result mostly from teamwork and interaction. This usually leaves 90% of innovation potential in large companies, and thereby additional business, untapped.

Therefore, INNVEST and ICT Hub Serbia joined forces since 2019 to run an intrapreneurs boot camp as part of a newly set up incubation program, Innovation Management Academy in Albania (IMAA). The intrapreneurs boot camp is designed to develop employees into intrapreneurs and generate business ideas. Our mutual goal is in creating promising business ideas and a crowd of resilient, self-driven intrapreneurs.

After the many academies in Albania, we already mapped many ways for traditional companies to cooperate with the startups ecosystem and for corporate ventures to support the innovation strategies of companies across multiple industries” – Kosta Andrić, Executive Director and Partner at ICT Hub Serbia

The consortium of IMAA consists of three key pillars: People, Projects and Ecosystem. Each of them provides an essential puzzle piece to the entrepreneurial journey in Albania, the region, and furthermore. It focused since its inception, beyond the methods, on the cultural aspects which create the mindset shift that is required to become a successful intrapreneur.

As humans, we are already resilient we are copying and thriving we are creative and open to change, we can tackle many crises, the last one being the still ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic. Unfortunately, many of our organizations are lacking those much need capabilities to thrive in times of great uncertainty. At IMAA we are empowering our participating to become those agents of change within their companions providing them with methodologies and tools, but most importantly the mindset to share the strategy quo and reshape the future for their organization’s “-Sandra Nešić, Lead Business and Innovation Manager at ICT Hub Serbia.

IMAA bring a very well-balanced and time-boxed mix between providing a toolset for innovation projects was key to developing the participants to leverage the advantages of a vivid corporate innovation ecosystem in Albania and developing the people along with their idea in the entrepreneurial journey.

This year on November 8th – 11th we have the opportunity to have onboard staff from Balfin Group industries. BALFIN Group (Balkan Finance Investment Group) is one of the most significant and successful investment groups in the Western Balkans. BALFIN Group has made constant progress in overall growth by upgrading standards and shifting towards sustainability. Through economic development, employment opportunities, innovation, and social involvement, BALFIN Group challenges the status quo, fostering a positive impact on communities. This is why they believed in us in fostering a personalized academy for them to provide professional support in the strategic approach to innovation, improvement of the organizational culture, and the development of technological entrepreneurship.

I have always been delivering that the best time to invest in the unknown is in times of uncertainty. I’m aware this statement bears risks, whoever, of businesses are forced to reinvent themselves shouldn’t look differently at our customer, market and revenue landscape; that what IMAA it is all about: it’s a series of hands-on workshop demonstrating that corporates have both the talent and assets to identify new opportunities and reinvent their business models quicker than anyone else.” – Afonso Rebelo de Sousa, Corporate Entrepreneur.

During 2020/2021, through IMAA, we all understood that Innovation is the outcome of a willing contribution of creativity fostered by a culture of human centricity in an organization, in their own corporates. IMAA will continue to ensure to build a solid business model, by testing our assumptions with customers, using design thinking and lean startup methodologies, and we can assess the market, utilizing the Albanian corporates innovation ecosystem of experts, market access, vendors, competitors, startups and other stakeholders to ensure a fit.

Becoming an intrapreneur is more than training in tools, methodologies or gathering common values; It implies a mindset shift, full commitment and leveraging a fertile ecosystem”- Fabiola Duro, INNVEST Founder.

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