Martine Abboud participated in the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in 2018. Within the last few years, she founded Creo Incubator, a start-up that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the necessary skillset to innovate, ideate, design, and successfully implement their business ideas. Here, she presents her project and reflects on her career to date.
Communities around the world need, now more than ever, urgent solutions to their pressing problems. That´s how Creo Incubator was born. We have noticed that many scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs struggle to take their projects to market. Accordingly, we developed an educational platform that teaches entrepreneurship and skills to scientists from A to Z using fun games, roleplay simulations, and microlearning experiences. At Creo, we operate with a global outlook. We aim to cater to our start-ups’ individual goals and aspirations, as we deliver customised plans, trainings, and consultancy services to reach their fullest potential as they troubleshoot their way into successful and proactive endeavours.
Creo Incubator took off during the COVID19 pandemic. The uncertainty and adversity the pandemic spurred exacerbated several difficulties and created new shortcomings that businesses had to manage. But it also created space for new ideas and innovative solutions. Creo Incubator took this opportunity to bridge the gap between the talent, innovation and drive found in many naturally curious and engaged individuals who are looking to contribute to solving problems in their communities, and the know-how to successfully achieve that.
Bridge Between Science and Business
My personal research has been primarily focused on antibacterial resistance and oxygen sensing. I’ve worked on profiling metallo-β-lactamase inhibitors which shed light on new modes of action, as well as understanding the oxygen-sensing process aiding in new drug development. More recently, I have been focused on the metabolic mechanisms involved in gliomas and glioblastomas, in the hopes of better informing cancer therapy. Although I have been and remain interested in the intersection of biology, medicine and chemistry, I have also identified a huge gap between the scientific and business worlds. Scientists with spectacular ideas still struggle to start their own enterprises and businesses, whether it is due to a lack of management and business training, or hardship accessing funding and grants, or struggling to form connections and networks within the business world. Creo aims to link science with business.
If there is one thing entrepreneurs have learned to be essential throughout this pandemic, it is the ability to adapt, adjust, and persevere in the face of adversity. This not only calls for a meticulous knowledge of business management, but also the capacity to be creative and innovative. The transition to a post-pandemic world can be scary and uncertain, and many might find themselves lost or confused how to launch and maintain a successful business. As my work lies at the intersection of two different disciplines, what I find is that curiosity can be a driving and innovative force in both realms.
My scientific work has allowed me to witness firsthand the potential and sheer volume of possible innovations and ideas that could be executed if young people and aspiring entrepreneurs were given sufficient support, guidance and opportunities. In this light, Creo Incubator has come to fruition with the mission of providing future generations with the necessary practical know-how, as well as the community and network support at Creo, to launch their ideas in an attempt to bridge the gap between science, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Similarly to great scientists, great entrepreneurs have sufficient interest to explore new opportunities, think critically when faced with hardships, recover smoothly from mistakes, and learn and grow with the help, insight and expertise of others. Asking the right questions and attempting to provide a practical solution, coupled with enough persistence to recover and adjust in the face of adversities, lies at the core of all successful and proactive entrepreneurship to help in addressing society’s needs and demands.
A Successful Start
So far, we’ve delivered over 250 hours of learning to 300 students and achieved an impressive 98 percent completion rate aimed at all kinds of institutions, including schools, universities, NGOs, and businesses. Most importantly, Creo represents a community and network of different people offering support. It allows our entrepreneurs to secure findings and grants through access to professionals, mentors, consultants and fellow business owners in addition to gaining networking skills and building a community, which is now more than ever, central to the success of any business.
Outlook to the Future
The future for Creo is gamified learning. We are looking to gamify different topics and lessons to make the learning process more accessible and easier to understand and assimilate and to equip our entrepreneurs with real-life skills to overcome difficult situations in a comfortable environment. These will include business, finance, and management lessons across the board, as Creo is looking to change the face of skills education and become a leader of gamified learning. In fact, originally, one long-term plan also included gamifying scientific topics, as we believe in the continuous need to develop knowledge and skills that can help solve today’s complex problems. Gamified learning’s knowledge retention, instant feedback and potential to apply across different disciplines make it a necessity for Creo’s expansion and reach of a new generation of scientists, aspiring entrepreneurs and proactive social movers.
More Innovative Projects
Tomorrow, 10 September 2021, the second Lindau Online Sciathon will start: 48 hours for 30 project groups to work virtually on their ideas. Last year, ReConStallation, a project which complements the idea of Creo Incubator was invented during the first Sciathon.