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At CREATORS, we’ve said for years that the most transformational innovation activities inside large organizations are those which combine both internal and open innovation efforts. In the corporate innovation journey, such activities are usually created only once the company went through digital transformation and has started various internal and external innovation projects. Combining these worlds is the ultimate innovation maturity, but it’s not for everyone and not always effective. Read on to see whether venture building is the right tool for your organization.

What is a Venture Builder (a.k.a. startup studio, company builder etc.)?

Venture builder is a fairly new…


We have just published the GovTech Leaders 2020 list. In it, we have featured exceptional individuals who have been proving that GovTech revolution is in its full swing around the world. We have created this list because we wanted to present all the great individuals we have encountered in our GovTech work all in one place but also inspire the next generation of GovTech leadership. There is space for many more people — startups, investors, government officials and innovation experts — for the GovTech to achieve its full potential.

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We are excited to present you with the GovTech Leaders 2020…


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Your approach to open innovation either brings variety or sameness to your organization.

At CREATORS, we often start our projects with a challenge-creation phase. Our partners do not always think this is a necessary step. “We know what our challenges are” — we’ve heard many times. When we request this information, we often end up getting a general “Market Research” strategy that describes vague opportunities in the market or the latest technology trends. Or occasionally — a list of product ideas that a company wants to sub-contract. Oftentimes, the “challenges” from corporations are either too broad (“AI in FinTech”) or very narrow (“blockchain-enabled payment system for product XYZ”). …


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CREATORS team at work (2019)

There is one particular question that we get asked about EVERY SINGLE TIME during meetings with potential partners or even some long-term colleagues: “Why are you a non-for-profit organization?” Specifically, we hear that “we could easily be a private company and make more profit” and that there are many companies out there that are trying to do what we do. In this blogpost, I will share why we chose to be an NGO and why we’ve continued being one five years into our existence.

CREATORS is not a privately-held company. We do not have investors that have provided us funding…


We have just published “Chief Digital Officer: The Digital Transformer Guide”. This is a result of a research study concerning the role and the performance of Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) worldwide. The reason for conducting this study was to understand why digital transformation is such a difficult task for organizations, even once they have introduced the CDO position into their structures. It did not seem to significantly influence the reality of these organizations and we wanted to see why. The research answered many of our questions and gave us a great peek into digital transformation needs and tools. …


Why do you need internal innovation if you can buy or partner with external (startup) technologies?

Internal innovation in corporations used to be the queen of growth (especially in the form of R&D), but it increasingly seems like the companies that embrace the partnership mentality by investing in, partnering with and even buying external technologies seem to be less inclined to develop internal innovation and simply use their current business as a vehicle for current and not future growth. Or — which happens quite a bit — keep internal and external efforts separate, with structural and personal implications. …


Why do you need internal innovation if you can buy or partner with external (startup) technologies?

Internal innovation in corporations used to be the queen of growth (especially in the form of R&D), but it increasingly seems like the companies that embrace the partnership mentality by investing in, partnering with and even buying external technologies seem to be less inclined to develop internal innovation and simply use their current business as a vehicle for current and not future growth. Or — which happens quite a bit — keep internal and external efforts separate, with structural and personal implications. However, these two worlds are one and the same world — they should complement each other.

Let’s take…


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Tech4Muni MK in collaboration with UNDP

When we first started working with municipalities almost three years ago, one thing was very clear to us: the public sector is not different than the private sector, and we would like to create a model for municipal innovation that would both bring immediate value to the cities (“quick wins”) and at the same time increase their innovative capacity in the long term and teach them about the benefits and best practices of Smart City Innovation. This is how Tech4Muni model came to existence: a swift and effective program to bring technology to municipalities.

The objective of the program is…


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Ecosystem building in North Macedonia. Tech4Muni MK program for the United Nations Development Program by CREATORS

I recently shared a post about the Innovation Ecosystem Maturity (check it out HERE) that discussed ways to build and improve innovation hubs around the world as well as the factors that influence the ecosystems’ maturity.

Oftentimes, such hubs’ innovative capacity can be fostered by a bottom-up, fairly inexpensive effort driven by like-minded ecosystem leaders. These leaders have the passion and the ability to involve the community around them, show others what innovation and entrepreneurship is and — as a result — make them join and support their growing innovative capabilities.

In this blogpost, we have listed concrete, easy-to-implement tools…


I do not believe in comparing different innovation hubs around the world and creating “most compelling” rankings. The reason is simple — it does not really matter whether Singapore, Tel Aviv or New York are better or worse than the other. What is important is that all of them are well developed and will provide the right tools for the startups regardless of the fact that they may be no. 1 or 23 worldwide. What matters is their maturity: all of them offer the opportunities for startups to grow and innovate.

At CREATORS, when we work with different innovation ecosystems…

Monika Rozalska-Lilo

Innovation, ventures & partnerships.

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