Podcast series about innovation ecosystems around the world

The Ecosystem Show is a weekly audio world tour exploring entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe. Open innovation depends on a thriving ecosystem, and we’re here to show you what that looks like in some very different places! Each week, guided by a small group of local stakeholders, we investigate the history, current state, superpowers and challenges of a specific region.

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How it all started

Diana Joseph, Silicon Valley Innovation Consultant and CEO of the Corporate Accelerator Forum, ground zero for open innovation AND Mikel Mangold of NGK Venture Labs, based in Germany.

How did we get here? We wrote a paper on entrepreneurial ecosystems with Susan Windham-Bannister, leader of the 1B fund behind the development of the famous life sciences hub in Boston. Sue’s story made us curious about other ecosystems and sent us out to explore the world!

Episode 1: Los Angeles

You are about to hear our very first episode recorded on April 26, 2021. We’re grateful to Dave Whelan of Bioscience LA for kicking off the conversation and opening it up to a beautiful group of ecosystem players from Los Angeles.  

We heard from Adhi Sikand, Kathy Grotsch, Jim Cooper, Ryan Witt, Ann Carpenter, Arye Lipman,Jerry Schuman, Bram Frankel, Gary Olsem, Thomas Lipkin, Kristoffer Miller, and Jesus Del Valle 

The collaboration in this ecosystem is really visible –  you can hear how well these different stakeholders know each other and trust each other.  And fair enough!  They’ve been working on it very actively, in fact I led one key ecosystem event for the LA life sciences community back in 2019, you’ll hear a little mention of that.  

In this episode featuring Los Angeles, we are going to learn about early stage funding for new projects, and more!

Episode 2: New York

We recorded Episode 2 on May 2 2021, with Derek Brand, the Chief Operating Officer of New York Bio, as the lead voice.  

He brought along Orin Herskovitz, the Executive Director of Columbia Technology Ventures, and Bunny Ellerin, the co-Founder & CEO of NYC Health Business Leaders to give a bigger picture.   You’ll also hear from Dave Whelan now at Bioscience LA, Nancy Kelley from Alexandria Real Estate, Maria Gotsch at the Partnership Fund for NYC, Scott Cohen, the Founder of New Lab, and many others.

We were struck by three major themes — the importance of a physical biotech hub, what it takes to build community and how a thorough study of the ecosystem drove high-level attention and funding.

Episode 3: Berlin

On June 10, we took the Ecosystem Show to Berlin for Episode 3! 

Our guides were Christina Quensel, Christine Reuter, Craig Garner, Jesus del Valle, Kai Uwe Bindseil.

We were really delighted that Bayer CEO Stefan Oelrich came by to share his insights on Berlin, and you’ll also hear Frederic Guarino adding perspective from Canada.

In Berlin, bioscience innovation and entrepreneurship activity is centered around the hospital Charite, highlighting the value and importance of patient access in bioscience. 

Episode 4: Cracow

We recorded Episode 4 focusing on Cracow on May 17, 2021. Our panelists were Paul Kulon, Dominika Walec, & Edyta Korona. You’ll also hear from Shannon Lucas, Shondalyn Betts, Jesus del Valle, Greg Satell, Priscilla Beal, Dave Whelan and others. 

Krakow has reached an interesting saturation point, where local companies have reached the top of the pyramid and are calling for more mentors, advisors, and multinational companies to help them scale at the global level. A next step will be for the biggest successes to re-invest in the ecosystem. 

Enjoy our visit to Cracow!

Episode 5: Chile

In Chile, recorded on May 24 2021, we spoke with Felipe Torrejon, Pamela Lisboa and Maria Belen Munoz.  They told the story of Chile’s move from an extractive economy sending resources out, to a value-added economy bringing resources in.

Mikel:  Even though Chile has the leading startup accelerator in South America, capital is really hard to come by.  For example, Belen had to come up with her first 300,000 $ in funding through crowdsourcing from 70 different investors.

Episode 6: Iraq

We visited Iraq on June 7, 2021, with Alice Bosley and Patricia Letayf.  They are the leaders of Five One Labs, a startup incubator in Iraq, located in Kurdistan.   

We feel really lucky to have found out about Five One — that never would have happened without the innovation and change author Greg Satell who introduced us to these amazing leaders. 

One big idea we took away — there’s real power in founders in or from regions affected by conflict — often we’re talking about talented, highly educated experts who are hungry for entrepreneurship because there are few exciting jobs waiting for them.

Episode 7: Bulgaria

Our Bulgaria episode was recorded on Clubhouse on July 12, 2021.  Our guides were Rosen Dmitrov from Novartis, Milena Stoycheva, the CEO of JA Bulgaria, Alexander Alexiev of SAT Health, and Ivan Lekushev of BGO Software.  

They’re part of a rising data-driven healthcare system in Bulgaria, and they’re betting that an entrepreneurial ecosystem is the way to get there. 

Listen in to hear what inspired them and how they’re thinking about the ecosystem of ecosystems!

Episode 8:Tanzania

We learned about the startup ecosystem in Tanzania on July 19 of 2021, guided by Jumanne Mtambalike, Paul Makanza, Salum Awadh, and Praygod Japhet.  

 The ecosystem in Tanzania is really coming together.  At least in part that’s because the stakeholders are seeing how their needs are interdependent — for example, investors need seed companies at the same time that talented individuals are looking to entrepreneurship to expand their opportunities beyond the traditional job market. 


Our Hosts

Diana Joseph

Leader Corporate Accelerator Forum

She believes that everyone needs to be more entrepreneurial. A former high-tech innovation director with a doctorate in Learning Sciences, Diana brings together techniques from motivation psychology, education, and Silicon Valley innovation methods such as design thinking and Lean Startup. Diana’s consultancy helps individuals and organizations become more innovative and entrepreneurial by balancing compliance-based and initiative-based work.

Mikel Mangold

Innovation Project Manager NGK Spark Plugs

I am a Germany-based corporate innovator, working for the Venture Lab at NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD, building ventures and forming partnerships. I previously worked for Bayer G4A (Digital Health Start-Up Accelerator) and the Bayer CoLaborator (Biotech Start-Up Incubator) in San Francisco. Co-Author of the academic paper: What Corporates Can Do to Help an Innovation Ecosystem Thrive — and Why They Should Do It, co-host of The Ecosystem Show, advisor, and mentor. I create positive change through networks.

Click below and listen to the Ecosystem Show Podcast!

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