07-Nov-2014: ISTA 19th Annual General Meeting Knowledge Transfer Management Forum:“University Venture Management & Regional Innovation”

Knowledge Transfer Management Forum Series titled “University Venture Management & Regional Innovation” was held in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting on 7 Nov 2014. The Forum brought together university administrators and experts from the region to share their experience, approaches and practices in developing and managing university ventures.

Around 80 delegates from ISTA, Guangdong Science and Technology Department, Tel Aviv University, Sabancı University, Guangzhou University, Nanjing Medical University and Zhong Da Capital attended the event.

ISTA 19th Annual General Meeting cum ISTA Knowledge Transfer Management Forum:“University Venture Management & Regional Innovation”

Forum Agenda (November 7, 2014):

11:30 – 12:10 Presentation Session:

  • How University can scale their Start-ups Operations – A Disciplined VC Approach
    Mr Nicholas W. YANG
    Executive Vice President
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

14:00 – 15:20 Presentation Session:

  • Promoting Regional Innovation: Role of University Venturing
    Prof. Yesha Y. SIVAN
    Executive Director, Coller Institute of Venture
    Tel Aviv University
  • Contribution of University Technology Start-ups to Regional Economic Development – Cases from Sun Yat-sen University
    Prof. XU Yong
    President, Zhong Da Capital
    Sun Yat-sen University

15:35 – 16:45 Panel Discussion Session

  • Moderator:
    Prof. CHEN Dong-min
    Dean of The School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Director of The Office of Science and Technology Development
    Peking University
    • Mr Nicholas W. YANG, Executive Vice President, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    • Prof. Yesha Y. SIVAN, Executive Director, Coller Institute of Venture, Tel Aviv University
    • Prof. XU Yong, President, Zhong Da Capital, Sun Yat-sen University
    • ISTA members
Full program.

About ISTA – International Strategic Technology Alliance 

25-Nov-2014: Meaningful Innovation Forum & Networking (12:00 nn – 2:00 pm)

PolyU will be launching the Executive Master in Meaningful Innovation* in September 2015.

Executive Master in Meaningful Innovation* in September 2015. To mark the launch, the Institute of Advanced Executive Education and School of Design are hosting a Forum and Networking Session, where top professors will interact with practitioners to exchange insights on the role of innovation and technology and their significance for senior executives from all walks of business.
Prof. Cees de Bont
Dean and Swire Chair Professor of Design, School of Design, PolyU
Prof. Yesha Sivan
Executive Director, Coller Institute of Venture at Tel Aviv University
Professor, The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo
Prof. Cees de Bont has solid track records in helming two leading design schools in the world. Prior to his current appointment, he was the dean of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology (“TU Delft”), The Netherlands.

Prof. de Bont became a Professor of Marketing at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, after gaining ten years of strategic design and marketing experience from Philips. His research interests are in the areas of branding, consumer behaviour, innovation adoption, design methods and networked innovation.

Prof. Yesha Sivan is the Executive Director of the Coller Institute of Venture at Tel Aviv University (Faculty of Management) and a Professor of Management Information Systems at the School of Management and Economy, Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College.

Prof. Sivan is also the founder of Metaverse Labs (MVL), a leading think tank focusing on connecting virtual and real worlds. His professional experience includes developing and deploying innovative solutions for corporate, high-tech, government and defense environments.

Innovation is vital to organisational growth and business success. The new Executive Master will integrate Design Thinking and innovation methodologies with Information Technology (IT), branding and aspects of advanced management relevant to senior executives’professional development.

Prof. Cees de Bont will discuss how design expertise can contribute to the innovation process and share design approachesthat generate meaningful solutions for business. He will share successful stories on how Design Thinking approaches can generate value for organisations and end-users (e.g. Apple, Philips and Huawei) and the reason why design should be regarded as one of the key disciplines in innovation.

IT is perceived as a critical part in enabling innovation, and IT-based innovation is accelerating. Prof. Yesha Sivan will share his insights on IT’s unique role in innovation and introduce five innovation platforms in which IT can play significant part in leading businesses.


Click here
to register online now

Seats are first-come-first-served+
Registration deadline: 18 November 2014
Agenda 12:00 nn – 2:00 pm

  • Networking
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Prof. Cees de Bont‘s Address
  • Prof. Yesha Sivan‘s Address
  • Introduction to Executive Master in Meaningful Innovation*
  • Open Discussion and Q&A

Prof. Sivan is available till 4:00pm to meet potential students who are interested in the Executive Master programme (by appointment).

The programme is subject to validation and final approval.
Successful registrations will receive a confirmation email before event.
CPD e-Certificate will be issued upon request.
Enquiry: (852) 3400 8476 |iaee.enquiry@polyu.edu.hk

1..5-Dec-2014: HK APAC Innovation Summit 2014- Prof. Sivan Plenary Speaker re: Latest Trends on Venture

To mark the 10th anniversary of InnoAsia — the signature event of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation — it has been renamed as the APAC Innovation Summit (AIS) with “Shaping the Future” as the theme.

With the support from Hong Kong’s universities, R&D centres and over 70 trade associations, AIS aims to create a landmark forum where leading minds and influencers from Asian Pacific nations can converge to mutually inspire through new thinking models and engage in forward-thinking dialogue on policy implementation and market adaption with uniquely Asian characteristics.

Plenary Speaker: One-on-One Interview with Prof. Yesha Sivan on Latest Trends on Venture Investment

  • Friday, 5-Dec-2014 (Day 5), 09:10
    at Hong Kong Venture Capital and Angel Investment Conference (HKVCAIC), Hall 5FG, HKCEC
The Conference is designed for investors and investment-seeking entrepreneurs/ companies and is led by highly experienced industry practitioners – experts with years of experience in deal-making, structuring, corporate value-creation and exits. Speakers will utilize real cases as a way to illustrate and share insight gained through years of industry practice, providing in-depth technical and practical know how for interested participants.
The Conference provides a great opportunity and platform for companies to raise Angel & VC funding and / or locate business partners. Selected companies will be invited to present their business plans at the Investment Pitching Session among of Conference.

Furthermore, I will give a lecture on the 1st day: 

  • Monday 1-Dec-2014 (Day 1), 14:15— The “Venture” University: Benefiting for the Next 1000 Years
    at KT for Entrepreneurship

International Knowledge Transfer (KT) Conference brings together university practitioners, industrial partners and entrepreneur start-ups to discuss KT models and best practices; social innovation and entrepreneurship to stimulate innovation and potential opportunities. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear “The Presidents Forum” as Presidents from Hong Kong and Overseas Universities will exchange their views on how to leverage knowledge transfer for institutional advancement.

11..13-Nov-2014: Meet me at Hong Kong AVCJ Forum

For 27 years, the AVCJ Forum has brought together leading investors from across the globe for three days of high-level dialogue, debate and networking. In a programme that combines strategic and tactical issues, you’ll hear from some of the world’s most successful deal makers as they share their insights on the opportunities for private equity investors going forward.

 AVCJ Forum 11-13 November 2014

“The AVCJ Forum will continue its tradition of offering intellectually stimulating discussions. This year, we will dive deep into some of the most pressing issues Asian private equity currently faces. This will include the creation of a long-term private equity model for Asia; the industry’s ever-changing relationship with regulators and how venture capital is coming back in a big way.” – Allen Lee, Publisher, Asian Venture Capital Journal.

This year’s Forum is made up of four Summits which are being held between 11, 12 & 13 November 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.

Prof. Yesha Sivan will be part of the Venture Capital Summit.

One-day interactive programme addressing the key trends affecting the venture capital industry across Asia.

On November 11, 2014 at 2:00pm I will be talking about
Finding entrepreneurs that will define the next era of innovation.

Sourcing business founders with fantastic ideas that are scalable and commercial is challenging. VC’s have to search through a myriad of ideas and often battle with their competitors to strike a deal and invest during the early stage. So how do seasoned venture capitalists source and predict technologies that will align with consumer behaviours in the future and become the next Facebook or Alibaba, and what hubs outside of Silicon Valley are currently viewed as the regions for innovation?

  • Do you need to diversify and employ a broader approach to investible industries to match the markets and cultures you are targeting?
  • Are high seed-stage valuations making it difficult for start-ups to raise Series A? Are valuations unduly inflated?
  • In spite of soaring valuations, are we likely to avoid another crash because of the larger global opportunity that now exists for cloud computing, mobile tech and the Internet?
  • How are corporate VCs accelerating growth through early-stage investments that align with their core business?
  • How have accelerators, incubators, cluster groups and government initiatives in Asia helped to develop a community of start-ups and entrepreneurs?

The Digital Leader: Master of the Six Digital Transformations

(Use the Promotion Code SIVANTRANSFORMATIONS to download the full 14 page report).

The purpose of the accompanying Executive Report is to define the nature and impact of “digital transformations” in the eyes, minds, and hands of CIOs and other CxO leaders: “eyes” in the sense of recognizing six concrete transformations; “minds” in the sense of understanding the meaning of these transformations for the organizations; and “hands” in the sense of driving some actions.

Much has been said about innovation. The argument is twofold. 
  1. On the positive side, consider innovative companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon (hard-core IT innovation), or companies like Walmart, Dell, CEMEX (Mexican cement global leader), and Progressive Insurance (“regular” firms that use IT). We can easily see and appreciate how they invent new products, services, and ways to conduct business.
  2. On the negative side, we have firms like Kodak (lost to the digital photo market), Nokia and BlackBerry (replaced by the smartphone), Microsoft (some say missed the tablet market), Borders (killed by Amazon Kindle), Tower Records (defeated by MP3 and iTunes), Blockbuster (lost to Netflix), and many more. These are firms that were once masters of their domain, yet killed by others through innovation, usually disruptive innovation (Christensen, Clayton M. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. Harvard Business Review Press, 1997.)
As it turns out, digital technologies have become the foundation of the new economic order. Understanding these technologies and managing them for the benefit of the firm is a daunting task. In the report, we offer a practical tool in the form of six digital transformations as a mental framework to master these changes.


Wherever we look, we see and use digital technologies: at work, at the mall, on the train, at the theater, in our pockets, while we learn, while we collaborate, and so forth. Almost every device today has embedded digital technology. Some products have become fully digital (e.g., music, books, maps, navigation tools), while others have been enhanced with digital technologies (e.g., cars, airplanes, TVs). Some services have been transformed into self-services powered by digital technologies, while other services are being delivered to customers over digital channels (e.g., call centers, websites, self-service kiosks).
Digital technologies completely change the business landscape, including the way businesses craft their strategies and envision their business models, how they create and implement competitive advantage, how they operate their value chains, how they engage and collaborate with all stakeholders (i.e., customers, employees, vendors, and business partners), how they structure and organize, how they divide work among business partners, and much more. In other words, digital technologies alter every aspect of the business environment.
To put it bluntly, organizations that do not recognize and act upon the digital transformations are destined to die. The death may be fast, or relatively slow, but likely to occur. In fact, due to the rate of transformation, opportunity grows quickly but so, too, does the danger. Lack of action causes a spiral of decline, a harbinger of demise. CIOs who do not innovate will be replaced, demoted, or simply lose their organizational relevancy.


The six digital-driven transformations are neither technologies nor business models per se; rather, they define the connecting tissue between digital technologies and business strategies. The first three are external transformations that describe how digital technologies are changing the market:
  1. From atoms to bits. The first transformation involves converting physical products and services into digital products and services.
  2. From places to spaces. The second transforms physical marketplaces into digital and virtual market spaces.
  3. From products to services. The third transforms physical products into digital services. 

The next three are internal transformations that describe how digital technologies have altered the models and tools we use for strategy and business model formulation:

  1. From sustainable competitive advantage to transient competitive advantage. Organizations must understand the dynamics of the new environment. Indeed, they must become more agile and responsive and operate in a world of short-term/transient competitive advantage.
  2. From disruptive innovation to “killer” innovation. When it comes to the digital landscape, the wellknown process of disruptive innovation, which in the past could sometimes take years to disrupt, has accelerated into a matter of months, or even weeks.
  3. From classical business models to digital business models. Digital technologies have augmented the standard business model and transformed it into a digital business model. 
These six transformations will provide CxOs a solid foundation to capture how digital technologies completely change the business environment. We assert that organizations and managers will have to devote considerable time and resources to evaluate how they will leverage these six transformations to create new value for their customers and new competitive advantage for their business — and, in parallel, thwart the threats and risks of digital technologies.


The six transformations present huge opportunities and challenges for business leaders. As such, all senior stakeholders from the board to the CEO, CIO, and all other CxOs must adapt and adopt new leadership skills and styles. The known CIO role, which by itself has changed several times over the years, is now undergoing a major transformation. CIOs must refocus and reshape their skills, mindset, and approach in order to embrace digital technologies. Due to the rapid pace of the digital age, these leaders can’t be passive; they must be proactive in leading their organizations to exploit digital opportunities, create new value for customers, and successfully deal with disruptive threats.
The report presents the turbulence created by digital technologies. Almost every aspect of the business is changing rapidly. Companies must understand the roots of this turbulence and ensure that they remain on the top of the tsunami waves. The six transformations described affect every facet of the modern business environment. Thus, organizations and their leaders must learn how to leverage the opportunities and, in parallel, avoid the threats. Remember, only the paranoid survive.


Sivan, Y. & Heiferman, R. (2014). The Digital Leader: Master of the Six Digital Transformations. Cutter Consortium Report: Business Technology Strategies (17) 2.