Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies

December 8, 2020

6:00 pm



7:30 pm


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6:00 pm - 6:10 pm:  Introduction & Welcome
6:10 pm - 7:00 pm:  Panel Discussion
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm:  Audience Q&A

The impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on the economy and society more broadly cannot be overstated. The impact goes beyond aspects such as increased productivity, competitiveness, and job creation, and crosses over into infrastructure, the environment, political stability, regulation and social inclusion.

Disparity between resource distribution means that students & young professionals, budding entrepreneurs, in countries with a low GDP don’t have access to the same education, coaching and investment opportunities. “Innovation Nation” is an initiative by IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization, designed to help educate youth and promote entrepreneurship in low-GDP countries. Having its roots in Bosnia & Herzegovina, now running in Sri Lanka, Jamaica and Malaysia, the initiative works on establishing a network of startups, investors,industry, and academia to support the grassroots initiatives that enhance the visibility of startups in low-GDP countries. We are bringing together a diverse, world-class panel, that will shed some light on why innovation & entrepreneurship are critical to the economic development in developing nations, and how grassroots initiatives can play a pivotal role in the overall prosperity of nations.

As U.S. Ambassador, Eric Nelson is leading the U.S. Government's efforts to advance its security partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina, expand economic prosperity, combat corruption and strengthen the rule of law. Ambassador Nelson is also dedicated to advancing self reliance by promoting citizens working for reform and progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  To further promote the leadership potential of young citizens he has launched the BiH Omladinski Lideri program.

Dina Sherif is a director of MIT Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship. The Legatum Center was founded on the belief that entrepreneurs and their market-driven solutions are critical to advancing economic and social progress in the developing world. Dina has over twenty years of international and regional experience in women’s economic inclusion, integrated sustainable development, youth civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, strategic philanthropy and responsible business practice (including corporate governance, inclusion and diversity, philanthropic activities and environmental risk management).  

Edhem ‘Eddie’ Custovic, PhD, is a founder of IEEE Innovation Nation program & Bosnia &Herzegovina Futures Foundation. He is also a past chair of IEEE Industry Engagement. Custovic, a global nomad, is a driver of change in his native Bosnia & Herzegovina, empowering the youth through education, technology access, and leadership development in hope to transform his native Bosnia & Herzegovina into a prosperous nation that can respond to the challenges of the 21st Century.

Elizabeth McBride is Founder and Editor of The Times of Entrepreneurship, an online portal that covers entrepreneurs beyond Silicon Valley. The portal tracks entrepreneurs working on the world's biggest problems in Health, Climate, FinTech, Education and Security; and women and immigrant entrepreneurs -- and all those whose stories aren't told enough, from the regions in the middle of the United States to global cities and developing markets.

Barry L. Shoop, PhD, is a retired Brigadier General in the US Army, Dean of Engineering at Cooper Union, Professor and Past Chair of the Department of Engineering & Computer Science at West Point Military Academy. Prof. Shoop was a 2016 IEEE President & the CEO. Prof. Shoop has worked tirelessly throughout his career to enhance the leadership capacity of youth, and to better understand innovation as an ecosystem.


Ned Lomigora is CEO of Cape Ann Tech, a custom software development company specializing in advanced business solutions for both Fortune 100, and startups. Ned is a graduate of MIT, where he did a groundbreaking research at AI Lab, leading to a formation of MIT Auto ID Labs. He is a serial entrepreneur, a Board Member and Technology Chair for MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC, and a former Olympic athlete.

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