INprende conference highlights need for innovation strategy for business success
SAN JUAN – Amid the economic challenges Puerto Rico faces, the INprende organization held its Intrapreneurship Conference at the Condado Plaza Hotel with the aim of providing companies on the island information to help them keep abreast of the continuous changes in the market and adopt innovation to capitalize on new opportunities.
INprende is a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship that offers tools, consulting and training to entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes to help develop ideas that lead to new business opportunities.
As part of a balanced agenda that included experts and industry leaders, as well as others in academia, government and entities that promote innovation, an in-depth discussion ensued.
The founder of INprende, Alessandra Correa, stressed that “it is important to understand that, given the fiscal crisis we are going through, the only options companies have to survive are innovation and creativity. Essentially, the production of new ideas by employees. We have to innovate or die,” she said.
Although implementing a culture of innovative within a company is a complicated process and requires the adoption of a strategy at the corporate-level, Yolanda Lassalle, co-founder and CEO of Cognitio Corp., a company dedicated to providing consulting and innovation services to companies, emphasized the importance of developing an organizational culture based on ideas.
Lassalle stressed that businesses’ success comes from people who execute and create value through the ideas they present to improve processes and continue to produce more effectively.
The executive explained that it is imperative to design an effective process for the management of ideas and a work environment that promotes and awards the contribution of those who make up an organization. She urged everyone present to not only follow the structured business plan their company has, but also to develop an organizational culture driven by ideas.
Meanwhile, Lisandro Martino, who is part of INprende’s team, discussed topics and goals that are essential for startups to follow in order to develop successfully.
Martino emphasized that startups must evaluate the resources they have in order to establish objectives since, in his experience, he has seen that these micro-enterprises only launch to carry out projects without determining how much they count. He recommended they establish measurement metrics of the projects they undertake and chart the activities they carry out to visualize their growth.
The conference had a technical panel on the value of company research and development, in which the president of the Puerto Rico Science Technology & Research Trust, Lucy Crespo, pointed out that the island must give priority to research in order to use this field as a tool for economic development.
From the point of view of universities that promote research, the dean of Interamerican University’s Bayamón campus, engineer Juan Martínez, said academia should form alliances with companies to be able to commercialize projects in which companies can continue investing in this field and as a result contribute to the island. Likewise, Prof. José Lugo, of the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez campus, said the institution is a center for innovation and entrepreneurship, and urged those present to contact the island’s universities to see how their point of view can contribute to further promoting research on the island.