To drive innovation, direction is better than speed - NEX-LABS research and innovators coaching key lessons learned, told by one of its Lebanese participants

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Main outcomes of the NEX-LABS researchers and innovators coaching program told by one of its participants. Read the interview to Jad Rizkallah, product manager and partner of the Lebanese 5d sarl, who attended this program in October and November 2021.

Jad main research interests focus on renewable energies and in seeking new opportunities in the agriculture sector.

Why have you decided to attend this NEX-LABS training course?

I was searching for a facility to make a prototype for my invention and started searching at Berytech (one of NEX-LABS partners) where I met Mira Chammas and Camille Mallat who helped immensely in choosing the correct training program to attend. 

What are the main takeaways that you have learned thanks to this training program?

First of all it helped me to make new valuable connections and more than that, it helped me to decide which paths are better to follow to develop my invention.

When growing up a business idea, it is fundamental to focus on setting a proper direction, rather than focusing on speed. 

Wether you run a 10,000 dollar or a 10 million dollar business, it is needed a valuable support help in understanding how to anticipate and manage risks.  

I was also reconfirmed that a secret shared with more than two is no more a secret :) 

How do you intend to transfer this knowledge in your work?

By growing my idea in the correct environment and direction with the right people and by helping others mitigate their businesses problems and making new connections  

The NEX-LABS project aims to contribute to the creation of a sustainable and resilient agro-food sector based on NEXUS driven Open Living Labs (NDOLL) approach, thus strengthening technology transfer, cooperation between industry-academia, increasing commercialization opportunities and innovation-driven growth. What are your suggestion to make the NEX-LABS project’s impacts successful?

The program is Greatly beneficial as it is, set, yet I would add that stepping into entrepreneurial life is like stepping in a minefield, most programs encourage people to become entrepreneurs but neglect to discuss the long list of risks involved, the expected pitfalls and how hostile certain environments can be from  political, economical or geographical point of views.

Since these issues are interlocked, then usual business risks/ pitfalls and how to overcome them should be discussed in details in the programs for people to know what type of life they will lead when becoming entrepreneurs,  some people cannot handle the stress or certain arising financial or legal issues or major market disruptions for example. 

I wish to thank you for leading the way with supporting such programs, it is immensely needed four a sustainable organized growths.

I look forward to more and more to come!