Our Approach to Innovation Mentoring

The business support ecosystem has been steadily growing and it is encompassing new approaches with an increased level of sophistication. From business consulting to the latest acceleration programs and startup/scaleup mentoring, experts have become more efficient in harnessing and growing innovation projects.

Luminspino has joined the rank of professional companies delivering specialised support services and initiated its own approaches in performing bespoke process consulting for companies to attain their goals and even go beyond!

The business mentor is not a guru…

So you should stay away of those “inspirational marketers,” since you could end up in a business sect, pyramidal scheme, or even worse further digging your own pit, blinded by ego. Better search for someone to walk along with you that extra mile of a journey that he or she is already knowledgeable about. He is not going to carry your own backpack but he is going to share with you some of the milestones of the trip and save you from those beginners’ traps.

…and not a friend either.

And this is the last thing you should expect, somebody whose honesty might be endangered by the stake of your relation. In case of crisis when hard decisions need to be taken, there is no need for extra drama. What you need is somebody that has the experience, maturity and working capacity to deep dive along your ambitions and work together on the process.

So what’s the role of the business mentor?

An outside view, and a sound way to see how your business and innovation project is being perceived by professionals who are specialised in providing innovation/business support services.

Enthusiast leaders might not see the “woods from the trees” and there is a need for somebody from outside, equity free, that has no “skin in the game” to frankly ask those inconvenient questions, that the entrepreneurial ego might shadow.

A business mentor once said to a company “Don’t marry with an idea because you might get a divorce”. Businesses are having lives of their own, and all plans, ideas, innovations and challenges are the usual life of a company.

So should you need a business mentor?

Well, yes, if you are preparing one of those innovation journeys, where the unknown and the risk are high, where the novelty of the project needs external resources and where niche knowledge is necessary.

So it’s not about the entrepreneur’s personality, but about the business innovation challenge, innovation maturity, and about the hard work that lies ahead, during which one might need an extra brain.

What’s better than a business mentor?

A business mentoring program, where you can understand the process and see the overall content. This will help you with additional clarity about the mentors’ role in the flow, and this aspect is of the highest relevance when you deal with something new, challenging or even something breakthrough.

We can offer you this chance now, of sharing your climate innovation journey within our mentoring program, through our project funded by EEA and Norway Grants by Innovation Norway in Romania.

The vision behind the mentoring programme is to address the complex needs of the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) that generate radical innovative products or processes, which bring an outstanding contribution to tackling and reversing the effects of climatechange.

Check our webpage and posts for more details about the Call for Mentees – https://luminspino.eu/breakthrough-to-scale-mentorat-avansat-de-proces-pentru-inovare-climatica/

INNO-TM Innovation Ecosystem Investment Plan for the Municipality of Timisoara, Within the URBACT Project “AS TRANSFER”

During January – October 2022, LUMINSPINO designed and conducted a complex and structured set of process consulting activities which led to the elaboration of the “Timisoara Innovation Ecosystem Investment Plan”. The undertaking was initiated and led by the City Hall of Timisoara, in its capacity of partner within the URBACT international project titled Bilbao AS-Fabrik Transfer Network – AS TRANSFER (https://urbact.eu/networks/as-transfer).

The principal aim of the investment plan is to setup unit, at the municipality level, dedicated to the animation of the local innovation ecosystem, consequently the final document provides for all the components of establishment and management of the future unit (i.e., organisational structure, portfolio of services, governance mechanism, monitoring indicators and methods, financing plan)

The LUMINSPINO team managed and implemented the following main activities conducive to the generation of the investment plan:

  • Moderation of the sessions with the members of the URBACT local working group
  • Deployment of the interactive sessions, implying brainstorming, innovative ideas generation, and creativity tools
  • Management of the online consultations with the stakeholders
  • Analysis of the local innovation ecosystem, from the perspective of the needs for innovation support services, as well as from the perspective of the specific focus on Industry 4.0
  • Research and presentation of good practices from the global arena.

The value proposition of INNO-TM resides in empowering the inter-connectiveness within the quadruple helix made up of public institutions, business, universities, research bodies and civil society. Hence, companies will benefit from dedicated services to enhance public-private collaboration and boost Industry 4.0, universities will have the opportunity to partner with other players (companies and public bodies) to implement R&D projects, while the city will benefit in terms of increasing competitiveness and innovation capacity, raising GDP and the standard of living of the citizens.

Relying on a solid methodological framework (e.g., Startup Commons, I4MS), LUMINSPINO, together with the local working group, designed, validated, and refined the portfolio of services of the future innovation ecosystem animation unit, encompassing:

  1. Mapping of the local start-up and innovation ecosystem, as well as creating the mechanism for joint use of existing infrastructures (labs, testing facilities)
  2. Partnership building among the actors in the ecosystem, and facilitation of partnerships with international companies / ecosystems
  3. One-stop-shop for ecosystem actors and newcomers – on-premises, and via digital platform, communication, web and social media presence
  4. Proof of concept validation of innovative ideas, both in terms of technology and business readiness levels
  5. Hosting of events – e.g., an “own brand” event of the Timisoara ecosystem, targeted to entrepreneurs and innovators from all over the world
  6. Promotion of success stories from the local ecosystem.

More information about the progress of the INNO-TM Investment Plan can be found here.

LUMINSPINO Partners Up with Raiffeisen Bank Romania to Launch the First Scaleup Programme in Romania

With a strong tissue of small and medium sized companies with stable growth, Romania is a good candidate for scaling programmes. Delivering growth at scale is at the heart of the strategy initiated and led by Raiffeisen Bank Romania aiming at scaleup support in Romania. Scaleups can provide the Romanian economy with a large impact: jobs and tax revenue, bringing solutions to market, create highly skilled jobs, drive up productivity and maintain country-based competitiveness.

As per 2022, there are no initiatives in this sense in Romania while, on the other hand, there are “silent scaleups” in the ecosystem, those that are not measured, yet they match the profile sought for scaling:

  • SMEs with realistic, high-growth oriented ambition and a commitment to implement it;
  • SMEs that have overcome the start-up challenges;
  • Have either an innovation and/or a business model that can disrupt existing markets;
  • Potential to grow by 25-45% or more compound annual growth rate (CAGR), depending on current turnover;
  • Already aware and interested in international opportunities and international expansion;
  • Driven by a capable and ambitious management team.

Considering all the above definitions, LUMINSPINO created a programme approach that combines the main ingredients for scaleup support, with the aim to steer the mindset transformation at company level, throughout a process with deep impact on vision, organizational setup, skills, innovation, and internationalization. Hence, besides the access to finance, our scaleup support should activate a clear and impactful roadmap for the individual companies selected.

Throughout a transparent process, companies first and foremost fill in a Scaleup Diagnostic, referring to business model, human capital, productivity and economic data, processes, research and technology development, competitive position, collaboration with other companies, trends affecting the company, forecasts, social and environment sustainability.

Then, after the scaleup readiness assessment, and the interview, the companies move to the next step of writing the Scaleup Roadmap, focused on the action plan aimed at overcoming obstacles and achieving the scaleup targets, as well as corresponding KPIs and roles within the team. After the endorsement of the roadmap, the latter becomes a mutual commitment for the company’s growth, both on behalf of the bank, and of the SME itself.

Throughout the implementation of the roadmaps, each scaleup company will benefit from customised support for scaling, consisting in extensive scaleup coaching and mentoring, concentrating on the topics of operational management, innovation management, internationalisation, and funding strategy. All the relevant information about the Factory GROW programme can be found here.

Cultural and Creative Industries Cross-sectoral Partnerships Facilitated by Luminspino for the Interreg Europe Project ECoC-SME 

During May 27-28, 2022, LUMINSPINO designed and facilitated the policy event of the Interreg Europe project „ECoC-SME – Actions for Inducing SME Growth and Innovation Via the European Capital of Culture Event and Legacy”, hosted by the Municipality of Timisoara – Romania, as one of the international consortium partners, alongside Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, and Lithuania.

The event provided the context for purposeful and structured debates around the incentives and impact of the European Capital of Culture phenomenon on CCI businesses and organisations. Bringing over 15 speakers from the local and international arena, the topics of the event were addressed throughout presentations, facilitated talks and exchanges, within 4 Pillars of relevance for the present and future of cultural and creative industries (CCI) in Europe, namely:

  1. The gains and the pitfalls of the European Capital of Culture journey for CCI companies and organisations
  2. Why and how the CCI enterprises need nowadays to develop new processes, services, contents and practices, in order to provide more value for the society
  3. Concrete and impactful tools deployed by third parties / intermediaries in support of CCI entrepreneurship and skills 
  4. Will the CCI strive or thrive, with the increasing pressure of globalisation and technological innovation? 

The focus of the event encompassed:

  • Understanding the status of the CCI entrepreneurship in Timisoara, with the aim to facilitate the generation of increased business impact
  • Demonstrating the role of Intra- and cross-sector partnerships, in boosting the CCI performance
  • Drawing lessons from evidence-based examples, and exchanging good practices
  • Deriving relevant recommendations, for immediate action, policies and strategies

We are capturing below the main Recommendations, corresponding to each ot the four Pillars of the event.

Pillar 1: The gains and the pitfalls of the European Capital of Culture journey for CCI companies and organisations

The title of European Capital of Culture implies a major and complex transformation at city level, one that has spillover effects on almost all dimensions of urban life. Moreover, it implies readiness at local community level, as well as a large degree of cohesion between the key actors involved.

The local community is not only the „audience”, but it should be involved in the „production” of the ECoC. Both the ECoC and the CCI need to be embedded into the local innovation ecosystem is cornerstone, Furthermore, partnership is a complex mechanism, which needs to become systemic in order to bring authentic benefits.

Pillar 2: Why and how the CCI enterprises need nowadays to develop new processes, services, contents and practices, in order to provide more value for the society

On average the share of CCI companies out of all companies (i.e. total services) across the EU28 exceeds 10%, making it an important contributor to local economies. In Timișoara, the percentage of CCI companies is estimated at 5.4%, at a short distance from the ICT companies, estimated at 7.4%, from the total number of companies at local level. CCI make over 4% of the EU GDP, and on an average 3% of the employment (in RO only 1-2%). Recently, the EIF took interest in the CCI, as a promising sector to invest in, from the point of view of private investments, as well as loans / guarantee instruments.

The quadruple helix is deemed to respond to the needs of the CCI entrepreneurs (based on needs’ analysis), lobby for getting the right legislation in order to protect the creators, facilitating some type of aggregation among the CCI entrepreneurs, as well as mapping of CCI ecosystem actors.

Pillar 3: Concrete and impactful tools deployed by third parties in support of CCI entrepreneurship and skills

The progress towards creating a local innovation ecosystem, would as well be conducive to network opportunities, collaboration, co-creation and knowhow transfer between education, research, business, public and third-sector organisations, within the cultural and creative sectors and with other sectors of the society and the economy. Moreover, as confirmed by the recently launched European Pact for Skills (2021), it would lead to providing researchers and students in many disciplines, and entrepreneurs of the cultural and creative industries and other sectors, with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver innovative solutions and to turn them into new cultural, societal, and business opportunities. 

A set of support instruments are favoured, such as provision of  internationalisation support for CCI entrepreneurs, training programme on cultural management or training on augmented reality for CCI actors.

Pillar 4: Will the CCI strive or thrive, with the increasing pressure of globalisation and technological innovation?

As stated by the EC Factsheet on CCI (2021), globalisation, digitisation and technological innovation have a strong impact on European industries. Those developments have changed the way in which artists produce and distribute their works and relate to their audiences, changing the traditional business models of CCIs. In addition, the increasing power of non-European content production companies has had a huge impact on the traditional value chain.

There is a clear focus on capacity building to be followed through, accompanied by the next steps of creating the optimal framework for collaboration within the cultural and creative industries ecosystem.

Luminspino Provides Twofold Process Consulting for the Interreg Europe Project ACSELL

Within the framework of the Interreg Europe project ACSELL – “Accelerating SME Innovation Capacities with a Living Lab Approach” – Luminspino provided consulting services to the Timis County Council, on building up the Action Plan for the province, as well as on designing and facilitating the “polithon – policy hackathon”, with the international consortium.

1. Action Plan

At province level, there are 31,209 registered companies overall, out of which 1,092 in the field of healthcare and social wellbeing, accounting for 3.5% of total. From the overall number of enterprises, SMEs represent 31,133, which is 99.8% of overall companies. This is a strong point, showing a strong SME tissue of companies, and if we add the fact that more than half of companies (16,584) are micro-enterprises (between 1 and 9 employees), then this demonstrates a vivid entrepreneurial interest.

The start-up dynamics represents 28% of overall companies (up to 3 years of age), and 8.3% were created in 2020, which was a difficult year for the setting up of new companies. In terms of number of people working in the healthcare and social wellbeing, the sector employs 3,691 people at county level. The largest majority is represented by the companies within the healthcare segment – 1,050 enterprises, employing 3,462 professionals.

The vision of the TIMIS ACSELL ACADEMY – INNOVATION VOUCHER SCHEME is to provide customised support for start-ups, SMEs, students and spin-offs, in their early-stage phase of product / service / process or business model innovation.

The Action Plan will be deployed throughout the following stages:

  • Adoption of the delivery mechanism together with the key partners and facilitators / enablers – main principles, procedures, and delivery mechanism of the innovation voucher scheme. 
  • Promotion of the innovation voucher scheme throughout an intensive social media and media campaign, as well as by means of a promotion event, hosted in hybrid mode, so that to provide the widest audience possible from the target groups.
  • Selection of the beneficiaries, up to 3 innovators in the pilot phase.
  • Needs assessment, as a crucial step in achieving the optimal impact with the innovation voucher scheme, focusing on key aspects, such as type of innovative solution, TRL (technology readiness level) / BRL (business readiness level), risks of failure, team, competition, cost and revenue model.
  • Roadmap for each beneficiary, encompassing the description of the support package, as well as the main Key Performance Indicators for each beneficiary.
  • Implementation, and provision of at least 50 hours of coaching / mentoring provided per beneficiary.
  • Mid-term assessment and improvement measures, at 1.5 months after start of the innovation voucher scheme implementation, for each roadmap. 
  • Promotion of success stories and lessons learnt, to showcase the beneficiaries’ success stories, as well as the impact achieved in terms of partnership delivery mechanism for the innovation voucher scheme.
  • Monitoring of the innovation voucher scheme, alongside with a continuous improvement and extension of the innovation voucher scheme, on a year to year basis.

2. Polithon

The mission consisted in preparing the concept, agenda, and the facilitation process for the ACSELL Interreg Europe consortium meeting in Timisoara, on May 18-19, 2022. LUMINSPINO ensured the facilitation of the event with 2 professionals, Mrs. Raluca Cibu-Buzac, and Mr. Charles de Monchy.

The journey we took for two days, together with the international consortium from 7 countries (Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy, and Romania), encompassed:
  • Session 1 – Setting the scene and defining expectations
  • Session 2 – Solutions for the pre-defined challenges envisaged in the implementation of the action plans, starting August 2022
    • Challenges – structured debate on pre-defined and / or new challenges, how the challenges will be managed, how to ensure that impact on policy instruments is not affected etc.
  • Lineo Engineering Timisoara – Showcase of advanced manufacturing
  • Session 3 – How to work together for the 1st joint action: Setup of a trans-regional learning community on how to set up a living lab
    • Joint actions – how to effectively collaborate and coordinate, way of working together, KPIs and timeline, roles etc.
  • Steering group meeting of the project
  • Session 4 – ensuring sustainability of the action plan results beyond the life span of the project
    • Sustainability – aspects envisaged by each Action Plan, how to collaborate beyond the life span of the project, tools (governance, communication / promotion, EU funding etc.
  • Case study on health and crisis support by BanatIT and Q&A session
  • Session 5 – Wrap-up and next steps 

Luminspino Introduces the OECD Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool  to the Romanian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

On March 2022, Luminspino partnered up with the OECD, represented at the event by Mr. Christian Saublens – former Executive Director, for almost 25 years of the largest European network for economic development – in piloting the Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool in Romania, with a focus on Women and Youth Entrepreneurship. The entire recording of the event is available HERE.

According to the OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – Romania boasts a sound entrepreneurial ethos, coupled with a strong presence of SMEs, both thriving in less favourable entrepreneurship conditions, by comparison with most of the EU countries – e.g. challenging regulatory environment and heavy administrative burden on new start-ups, lack of consistency in policy support and incentives, low presence of business and innovation support services, difficult access to human resources or finance etc.

According to the “The Missing Entrepreneurs 2021” Report (OECD), self-employment in Romania declined over the last decade yet remained slightly higher than the EU average (15% vs. under 14% in 2020). This is largely due to high levels of self-employment among seniors (50-64 years old) (20%) and youth (20-29 years old) (10%). There is also a notable gender gap among self-employed workers as women only account for about one-quarter of the self-employed workforce compared to an EU average of 33%;

The OECD estimates that, by eliminating the gaps in entrepreneurship activity rates as measured by self-employment across population groups would result in an additional 577 000 entrepreneurs1, and 85% of these “missing” entrepreneurs are female and 62% are between 50 and 65 years old.

The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool is a programme of the OECD which aims to improve the strategies and initiatives in support of inclusive entrepreneurship. Luminspino conducted the assessment process on the Romanian side, with a focus on Women and Youth Entrepreneurship. The data was collected through online invitations followed by an exchange of views event, on March 22, 2022, aiming to define some actions. 

There were 22 participants taking part in the event, from Timisoara, Bucharest, Cluj, Arad, Oradea, Baia Mare, Targoviste, and Szeged (Hungary). The panel was made up of 2 local public authorities, 3 from RDAs, 3 from universities, 6 women entrepreneurs, 2 youth entrepreneurs, 1 entrepreneur coaching young ones, 2 Business angels, 1 bank, 1 accelerator, and 1 TTO representative.

The main outcomes of the exchange of views were:
  • Most of participants acknowledge and welcome the public supports in favour of entrepreneurship, but there is a shared view that they do not fully reach their expectations. This is since the ways those support schemes are implemented do not always match the entrepreneurs’ expectations or those of support providers and have unnecessary paperwork to be filled in before and after they apply for the support.
  • Woman entrepreneurs perceived the supports schemes as too generic and not enough designed to solve their specific needs.
  • Service providers regret a too fragmented implementation approach and sometimes a lack of predictability regarding the launch of the next generation of calls or of segmentation of the potential beneficiaries. National schemes are not enough segmented. Too often, they are delivered by different intermediary organisations which do not always work in synergy.
  • Some participants asked to pay more attention to the wording used to promote entrepreneurship. For instance, to consider women entrepreneurs as a vulnerable group is not very rewarding.
  • Would-be entrepreneurs face traps for instance to get a credit you need to show experience and guarantee that obviously they cannot provide.
  • There is a lack of positive image of women creating their start-up. There is not enough promotion of positive role model. Women entrepreneurs are still focus their interest to a limited number of sectors.
  • Young entrepreneurs face difficulties to access a second round of external funding and to be coached by business developers.
  • Cultural barriers including, at the family level and clichés are still predominant for women would be entrepreneurs.
  • Too often training in the field of entrepreneurship is provided by people, who didn’t create a business.

Every participant found that it was a useful exercise insofar that the Better Entrepreneurship Tool by OECD provides a good opportunity to look to the issue from a different point of view than the classical monitoring.

It was agreed that the participants will stay in contact to give a follow up the exchange of views and to put in place some actions to respond to some of the weaknesses identified and to continue to identify gaps in the ecosystem like the issue of access to external sources of funding and support for the internationalisation. Moreover, the participants of other regions were encouraged to undertake a similar exercise in order to create an informal user group in order to exchange views at national level.

1I.e. applying the self-employment rate of men who are 30-49 years old to the whole population

Facilitating the Co-design of the First Smart City and Digital Transformation Strategy for Timișoara

The Smart City and Digital Transformation Strategy 2022-2027, initiated by the Municipality of Timișoara, reflects the distinctive strategic response of the city to the global trends of digitalisation and sustainability.

Luminspino acted as designer and facilitator for the entire process leading to the creation of the strategy, deploying a wide range of activities to elaborate the complete document:

  • Design of the process framework, working principles, roadmap and internal logic;
  • Adapting the public policy, smart city and innovation management methodological instruments to the specific needs and objectives of each stage of the process;
  • Data and information analysis, processing and content presentation;
  • Integration of the collected and processed data and information, in a structured mannered, prioritised and optimised, within the content of the strategy; 
  • Elaboration of the concept for the 3 online consultations, with over 500 stakeholders,  as well as processing of the results;
  • Complete facilitation of the 3 Steering Group workshops and 2 large-scale events during the process;
  • Permanent communication with the coordinator from the City Hall of Timisoara, as well as with the members of the Steering Group and other local actors; 
  • Design of the structure of the strategy, in accordance with the objectives of the entire endeavour; 
  • Complete drawing up of the strategic document.

Moreover, Luminspino brought along four valuable “peer-review” experts from the international arena:

  • Oesha Thakoerdin – Co-Founder, Director and Board Member of WEnergy Global, and Expert with the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank 
  • Colm McColgan – Director at Donegal Digital Innovation Company and General Manager of ERNACT – European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology 
  • Tamas Gyulai – Smart City expert for industrial clusters at Szombathely and President of the Regional Innovation Agency of South Great Plain 

The Motto of the Smart City and Digital Transformation Strategy Timișoara 2022-2027 is “Innovation Made Accessible to Everyone!”, the Vision is “Timișoara 2027: European location of choice for human resources engaged in developing innovative products”, and the Mission is “Boosting the city’s evolution by tapping into the citizens’ collective intelligence”.

The seven Ambitions of the strategy encompass:

  • ”The City for All”, ”The Sustainable City” and ”Intelligent and Impactful Public Investments” represent the foundation of the Smart City Timișoara, the access to appropriate RESOURCES, in terms of favourable environment conditions, effortless interactions between the city and its inhabitants, and public investments that are positively perceived during everyday life
  • ”Every Citizen Has a Voice” and ”Smart City is Fun City Timișoara” represent the capacity of the Smart City Timișoara to create rapport and fellowship with the inhabitants, the HUMAN-CENTRIC approach. As public decisions will rely more and more on citizens’ consultation, the city will become the favourite place for work and fun, and especially for the feeling of “home” and “belonging”. 
  • ”Vibrant Innovation Ecosystem” and ”Timișoara – An Attractive City for International Talent” represent the upper level of the Smart City Timișoara, the authentic capacity to generate value and innovation, and to COLLABORATE, which would count in the benchmarking with other European cities. These two Ambitions target the setting-up of the internal conditions for competitiveness, as well as the city’s ability to become a “magnet” for talents, beyond the national borders.

The complete document is available here.

What do the international experts think about the Smart City and Digital Transformation Strategy of Timișoara?

Charles de Monchy: ”Enthusiastic reactions of the participants in the online consultations, as well as excellent vision, coupled with a clear matrix with the aim to make things practical. Great variety of participants and complexity of knowledge involved in the process of co-design. All the ingredients needed to start implementation are into place!”

Tamas Gyulai: “Great bottom-up and co-creation approach – smart city generation 3.0 in Timisoara! The strategy is inclusive for all sectors, which is a positive aspect, while the focus on talent retention and attraction is a sound differentiating feature of the strategy.”

Colm McColgan: “A very clear strategy, as well as the process and methodology, governance and concrete plans. I would suggest prioritising Ambition 3 (Vibrant Innovation Ecosystem), as the forefront of implementation.”

Upcoming Active Dreaming Workshop: “Dreamgates – Exploring Imagination, Creativity and Consciousness”

It’s time for one of our favorite, out-of-the-box programs to kick off in the upcoming weeks: an Active Dreaming workshop specifically designed for curious and exuberant minds who are ready to initiate or embark on new projects, of any profession or passion. 

The event will take place on the 25th of August, from 3 PM to 5 PM, on the occasion of a highly anticipated local event called Flight Festival, a place where innovators, creators, leaders, and dreamers alike are highly welcome—all you have to do is sign-up on the official website.

The place where Luminspino and Active Dreaming meet

During this workshop, we invite people to dive deep into the potential of dreams, images and symbols, to experience dream sharing and synchronicity games, to bring back gifts of imagination, in an interactive way. Active Dreaming is a rich and hands-on practice that can bring genuine insights in our daily lives, our communities, and our organisations. 

Here are a few of the instruments we bring into our Active Dreaming practice:

  • Exploration of spontaneous dreams of the night, which, often throughout history, were the origin of breakthrough innovation;
  • Lucid dreaming, where stories and images are taken further, with the purpose to harvest new information, seek solutions, or create future endeavours;
  • Navigation by “synchronicity”, quite a well-known term nowadays, defining the art of living by spontaneity, play and imagination

About our workshop facilitator

When she’s not working on a project proposal or writing for her ongoing PhD in Consciousness Studies, our CEO and founder Raluca Ioana CIBU-BUZAC serves in another area of specialty as a Dream Teacher of the “Robert Moss School of Active Dreaming”. This is how she summarizes her involvement in Active Dreaming: 

For me, Active Dreaming is one of the most direct and impactful ways to invite people to experience consciousness. As a border science, it brings along elements of the study of dreams, history, anthropology, philosophy, mythology, psychology and even quantum physics. It provides a seamless way to navigate in between various states of consciousness.

For the past 4 years, I dived deep and fast into this practice, by attending thematic workshops in various locations in Europe, as well as by graduating the complete  Dream Teacher training levels. In 2019 I hosted my first 2-day Active Dreaming workshop in Amman, Jordan, and then, in December 2019, I started the series of on-premise and then online sessions of “Dream Circle Timisoara, Romania”. In October 2020, I facilitated an Active Dreaming session in Stuttgart, for innovation professionals.

About the program

This program is aimed at helping participants gain practical tools for harvesting the inspiration provided by alternate states of consciousness and unleashing the imagination in order to create, explore and innovate. In order to achieve that, we will perform a few key activities together during the program.

  • Dream Sharing – interplay of individual and group insights
  • Creative Dreaming – imagination, ideation and innovation
  • Synchronicity Game – novel approaches to envisioning the future, decision-making and action.

Those who join us can expect various outputs as part of the experience that Active Dreaming can provide for them. It can range from receiving fresh information from the so-called “solution state”, in between sleep and awake, clarity in envisioning future endeavors and acting upon them, dream journaling as a constant practice of accessing fresh insights and making decisions in everyday life, and many others. 
If you wish to find out more about our workshop and sign-up to join our event, please visit the official website of Flight Festival.

Luminspino Client on Its Way to Scaleup Breakthrough Innovation through EIC Accelerator

A Romanian company had a vision to create a better world where, ideally, the presence of fire and the absence of water no longer generate natural disasters.

The Challenge

Co-founded by two partners with an outstanding background in engineering and management, and an unwavering passion for environment-related research and development, the team brings breakthrough innovative products to the market: a fire retardant with unrivaled performance, and a plant treatment for drought-affected lands.

Given the two chemical products’ uniqueness, high degree of novelty, and potential to reverse climate change impacts on the environment and society, we realized that the company was facing a double challenge: to complete the research, while at the same time to scale on the global market. 

Our Approach

Due to the specific setup the company was operating in— scope of the breakthrough innovation, technology stage, timing, market creation opportunity, matching of resources, overall complexity and risk of the deployment—Luminspino advised that the optimal fit would be to enter the competition for the European Innovation Council Accelerator funding. Despite being aware of the highly competitive nature of the call for proposals at European Union level, our client was extremely eager to venture into this endeavor. 

The Luminspino team implemented a set of services specific to one of our areas of expertise called “Proposal Writing”, closely following the requirements of the EIC Accelerator call for projects, managed directly by the European Commission in Bruxelles:

  1. Innovation diagnostic to understand key elements of the innovation, such as the problems addressed by the provided solutions, the status of the intellectual protection, the technology and market readiness of the products, the level of the company’s ambition in terms of innovation;
  2. Weekly structured discussions with the CEO and his team facilitated by Luminspino with the aim to dive deep into all the information and experience available, to propose and validate the best approach to develop a winning proposal for the EIC Accelerator;
  3. Data collection and processing to build the case of the client company around essential topics, such as market size, competitors, or financial forecasts;
  4. Writing and development of the complete Project, Pitch deck and script for presentation video, all these being part of the EIC Accelerator online application requirements.

The first ingredient to successfully delivering the solution was the readiness of the company’s management to commit to such an ambitious project. This process implied a lot of time and energy, constant communication and the ability to respond to quick demands from our consulting during the entire process.

The other ingredient was Luminspino’s ability to use its experience in innovation, business, scaling and internationalisation support, and bring it together in the right mix for this particular project. We engaged knowledge and skills, thus constructing organically a unique intervention logic for this particular radical innovation. Additionally, we viewed our consulting work beyond just the scope of the project and, at the time when it was needed, we brought additional advisory support, for example in defining the business model, the value chain or key aspects of the innovation strategy.

Next Steps

At this particular moment, success means that the company won the first step evaluation at the EIC Accelerator, the most competitive European call for breakthrough and deep-tech innovation projects. This qualifies the company for the step two proposal, to be submitted in October 2021, and potentially leading to accessing the funding for further research, market entry and scaling.

“Thirst for knowledge” and “openness to new experiences” are the first things that come to mind when I think of Ms. Raluca Cibu and Luminspino. She analyzes in-depth, convinces with high methodical competence and interprets the results holistically, conclusively and fact-based. Ms. Raluca Cibu can quickly familiarize herself with new industries, is an attentive listener, works quickly and guides each of her projects to a successful conclusion with her many years of expertise.”, said the founder and CEO.

The Fourth Great Wave of Innovation and Reality Shifting

Deep Tech — The Great Wave of Innovation

As we witnessed the huge rise of global investments in deep tech start-ups and scale-ups from 15 billion dollars in 2016, to more than 60 billion dollars in 2020, the Boston Consulting Group and Hello Tomorrow are heralding deep tech as the 4th wave of innovation. The report, an exquisite read that we highly recommend to innovators of all professions, explains that the 1st wave consisted of the first and second industrial revolutions, the 2nd wave was mainly driven by corporate labs doing basic research with multi-disciplinary teams, while the 3rd innovation wave saw the emergence of small disruptive firms, backed by venture capital.

Before diving into what we find as essential differentiators and the paramount potential of the 4th great wave of innovation, let us first highlight that “deep tech” is an approach, and there is no such thing as “deep technologies”. The authors legitimately argue that it is the application and the resulting business model that are disruptive. Deep tech ventures are problem-oriented, not technology-driven, and indeed 96% of the companies are operating at the convergence of at least two technologies, with the very aim to find the best solution for the problem they are trying to solve.

During these times of radical transformation for humanity and all life on Earth, it is clear that deep tech companies feel compelled to address major, complex and difficult problems, and they already proved that they are ready to go for the core of the essential matters associated with the Sustainable Development Goals: 50% of deep tech work for good health and wellbeing, 30% for climate action, 19% for affordable and clean energy, and 8% for zero hunger. The challenge is huge: to solve fundamental problems at unprecedented speed.

We strongly believe in what the authors highlight that, even at this stage, ecosystems play a crucial role in effectively and timely supporting deep tech endeavours. It is a paradox that what makes these companies unique and competitive, such as the fact that they mainly develop physical products, rather than software, makes them also very difficult to scale, as more resources are involved for testing facilities. The exceptional news is that currently 1500 universities and laboratories worldwide are engaged in deep tech, governments started to provide targeted grants, while investors and corporates bring increasingly more resources into the game. 

What we find to be the “crown’s jewel” of this report is the deep tech principles reflected in “four moments of truth”, which need to be anticipated by the company from the very beginning:

  • Which is the problem ? – Copernicus moment
  • How can we make this possible ? – Newton moment
  • Can we build it today ? – Armstrong moment
  • What does it take to become the new normal ? – Asimov moment

The Fourth Great Wave of innovation is shifting reality, and we are all co-creators, not just passengers on an automatic pilot ride, so let us make this wave to be the greatest of all.

We invite you to read the full report on the official website you can access here.