On 14-16 September 2016, The University of Warsaw Library hosted one of the greatest and most prestigious conferences presenting scientific research on innovative business processes: the 9th Annual EuroMed Conference on innovation, entrepreneurship and digital ecosystems.
The Conference Inauguration was chaired by Prof. Katarzyna Śledziewska – Executive Director of DELab UW. Representatives of the conference sponsors welcomed the participants with speeches: Mariola Belina-Prażmowska – Pelion SA, Bartłomiej Żerek – Adamed Group, Sebastian Grabowski – Orange Poland, and dr Marek Prawda, the Head of the European Commission Representation in Poland. The Inauguration was honoured by Prof. Maciej Duszczyk, the Vice-Rector of the University of Warsaw and Candace Johnson, the President of EBAN (European Business Angel Network). EMBRI (EuroMed Research Business Institute) was represented by Prof. Demetris Vrontis and Prof. Yaakov Weber.
Candace Johnson gave a one of a kind workshop (“The Missing Link”) on the cooperation between startups, scientists and corporations. Candace drew attention to the challenges startups need to overcome, shared advices on entrepreneurship and accented the crucial role of positive and self-confident way of thinking. Candace told the story of her first business started at the age of 23: the problems she solved and the hardships she conquered. The highly involved audience asked many questions regarding the development of their own startups.
Candace also emphasised the important role of women in business and on the labour market. She introduced the inspiring story of a group of women at the Pacific Islands, who developed their own communication network with satellites, providing Internet connection for the entire region.
According to Candace, the most valuable achievement is to turn an idea into an innovation. Contemporary economy is based on innovations, which are introduced by startups to a large extent: that is why big corporations should cooperate with innovative young firms. However, there is a “missing link”, as corporations expect similar organisational procedures and business culture from the more agile and innovative, but less formal and financially constrained startups. Startups need the support of business angels, who invest their own money into startups, giving their own experience and not counting on immediate return.