Innovation Acceleration Group Blog

Yoda Ozan teaching startups

"Do or Do not, there is no Try" in Innovation!

“Do or Do not, there is no Try" - Master Yoda

I am quite late to reflect on my experience running the first fully English and International Accelerator in Turkey in partnership with UC Berkeley’s Innovation Acceleration Group; but hey I was trying to get to the ‘inbox zero’ Nirvana. Although I failed at getting the Nirvana of the Inbox Zero, I think I am as close as I can get to ‘We really made a difference’ Nirvana when accelerators are considered.

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Why You Should Ditch Your VP (at Least for a While)

In a December 2017 post, I observed that “misuse of the term ‘MVP’ frequently creates confusion and distraction” when launching new products, services, and business models. It’s worth taking a look at some of the causes of confusion, and why this confusion is destructive.


Everybody understands the concept of “minimum;” the troubles arise from what we mean by “viable” and “product.” For fun, I looked up the words using Microsoft’s Smart Lookup function and also the dictionary in my MacBook (they must be using the same source as their definitions were identical). I found:

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“MVP?” Your Name is “MUD”

In business launch processes, the “Minimum Viable Product” or MVP concept is powerful and useful. Unfortunately, misuse of the term “MVP” frequently creates confusion and distraction, wasting time and energy; these negative effects even hinder some projects’ forward progress or contribute to projects failing. To help solve this misuse problem, and the resulting confusion, I am introducing the concept of the “Minimum Useful Demo” or “MUD” in my programs.

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Honored to meet President Obama at India Town Hall

On December 1, 2017, I was honored to attend an exclusive event in New Delhi, India with President Obama. I was extended this invitation by the Obama Foundation after being nominated along with around 280 others future leaders of India. I am Manav Subodh, Director of International Development for the Innovation Acceleration Group and Berkeley Executive Education; co-founder of 1M1B (1 Million for 1 Billion), a job creation initiative that aims to create 1 million leaders and entrepreneurs who will drive 1 billion people out of poverty.

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IAG Innovator Highlight: One Scientist’s Quest to Change the World

Dr. Mauro Rebelo has been a scientist his entire life. From a very young age, he had a vision of changing the world by solving not simply diagnosing, real problems. However, after a decade of working in academia he was less than satisfied. That is when he decided to become an entrepreneur. Little did he know entrepreneurship was much more difficult than laboratory research.

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IAG Innovator Highlight: How Embr Labs reached 5x their Kickstarter goal

For the past 4 years, Sam Shames has transformed his position from CTO to the Chief Enthusiasm Officer at Embr Labs. In the fall of 2014, the IAG team worked with Sam and his co-founders from MIT during the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge. This challenge was based on IAG's Enterprise Startup Engagement program. The goal was to create a global challenge for startups to create wearable technology by implementing the, then newly released, Intel Edison chip. IAG worked with the startups to teach them how to validate and pitch their businesses, while Intel worked with the engineers to develop a working prototype.

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To Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth

On July 26th, 2017, I spoke on a panel in San Francisco called "Innovation Bridge: Technology, Startups and Europe’s Connection to Silicon Valley."

The Bay Area Economic Foundation organized the event.  I suspect they invited me because I was once CEO of a venture-backed European startup that moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley, and now I lead and teach innovation and entrepreneurship accelerators that span the globe.  

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