Startup Accelerators: #ytsummer Expert Dr. Ali Gives a Few Tips

As the Youth International Summer School in Shanghai is now less than two months away, Youth Time International Movement are gearing up to welcome the experts and participants that will be travelling from all over the globe to share their knowledge, ideas, and experiences with one another. To get participants in the mood for the event we begin to interview the speakers and trainers who will pass on their expertise and advice to participants at the event. One of these experts is Dr. Oualid Ali.

Dr. Oualid Ali is considered as one of the international well-recognized experts in the field of Future cities (Smart, Sustainable and innovative Cities) and has participated in several future cities projects as a researcher or as a consultant. He has been involved in the planning and implementation of future cities in many domains such as smart mobility and transportation, smart tourism and destination, smart energy, smart healthcare, smart logistics, smart waste management, smart parking, smart water management, smart education, smart security, smart policing and law enforcement, etc. Moreover, Dr. Ali is a member of several organizations related to the area of Smart Cities or Urban technologies. He has been invited on many occasions to local, regional and international events as a guest or keynote speaker to deliver talks and presentations about future cities and its domains. Dr. Oualid Ali is the founder and president of the Future Cities Council which has more than 70,000 members from government (cities), industry, academia and civic society. He is also the founder of Inno-Gate, a firm that is specialized in emerging & innovative technologies, innovation management, entrepreneurship and digital transformation.

Dr. Oualid Ali will be delivering his presentation on the topic, “Innovation Labs, Startup Accelerators and Incubators for Entrepreneurial Success”. This interview aims to provide Youth International Summer School participants with added insight and understanding as to what they can expect from Dr. Oualid Ali’s talk, in addition to learning how to best prepare for the event.

Oualid Ali, share with us a short introduction about yourself, your career and areas of expertise.

I gained my PhD in computer science at Laval University in Canada and have since lived in the UK, UAE and Oman. My field of interest is Future, Tech trends, innovation, Industry x.0 and smart cities. Presently, I’m travelling the world as a futurist and global speaker.

What is it about the Youth International Summer School in Shanghai that excites you most and how does it resonate with your personal interests and professional experience?

I have been delivering training sessions and speeches about smart cities at several summer school events across the world including Aachen (German), Trento (Italy) and Oman. The most exciting thing about the Youth International Summer School for me are the location of the event (I have visited Shanghai and it is an amazing city), the topics of the school (comprehensive topics about smart cities, society, etc.) as well as the network I’m going to meet during the event.

Innovation labs and startup acceleratorshave an important role to play in the future of our young entrepreneurs? Without giving too much away, could you explain how your presentation will go into this?

In my presentation I will talk about the innovation and the entrepreneur ecosystem in general and how this will prepare the youth for the challenges of the future. I will go deeper into how the spaces like innovation labs, accelerators and incubators have boosted the careers of creative young entrepreneurs and helped them to become successful. These case studies will help likeminded participants to enjoy the same success.

What lessons can participants expect to gain from your presentation and how will they best apply them both personally and professionally?

The attendees will learn a lot about innovation and entrepreneurship. As outcomes of my lecture, I’m sure that many people will discover their own great ideas and become motivated to grow their own startups in incubators and accelerator spaces (there are a lot in Shanghai and China).

Is there any advice you can offer in advance to Youth International Summer School participants before attending your talk?

My advice is the following: the future is fast and very challenging, and they have to be prepared for it. The only way to be prepared is to innovate and work very hard.

Leigh Woods

Leigh Woods

Leigh is originally from the United Kingdom but has spent the vast majority of his post- education years living and working abroad. After completing school, he left his home country for Greece, and later moved to Prague, Czech Republic where he gained employment with Mckinsey & Company. In 2013, Leigh turned his attention to working with non-profits whilst also gaining qualifications in environmental conservation in South Africa. He later went on to lead the communications and development of a humanitarian organisation based in rural Rwanda, and served as a guardian to at-risk teenagers during the few years he spent there. His passions include wildlife conservation, youth development, and photography.