Harnessing the Power of Open Innovation
Sabrine Assem, Co-Founder and CEO of Untap Technologies, is an Egyptian entrepreneur who aspires to enable open innovation in developing countries and small organizations by helping them to tap into their human and organizational innovative capabilities.
With a great passion for open innovation, collaborative problem-solving, design thinking, and social business models, Assem co-founded in 2016 and is currently the CEO of Untap, an open innovation agency working on two key areas, Online Competition Management and Open Innovation Platforms. Untap offers tools and cloud-based solutions to organizations to help them come up with innovative ideas and solutions. It also works together with organizations to enable them to ‘tap’ into their innovation capabilities; the collective intelligence of their employees, their customers, their partners, and the crowd at large using idea management systems, open innovation and crowdsourcing platforms, and competition management systems. A member of the Digital Arabia Network (DAN) Steering Committee, Assem is also an Entrepreneurship Consultant and Researcher for the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce. She has held this position since 2014. Among her many tasks and responsibilities, she worked with MENA ProjektPartner e.V., the official liaison office of the Egyptian German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Germany, on a project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology to support the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Prior to that, she co-founded her first startup SolverMine in 2012, and became its CEO. SolverMine was an online open innovation intermediary with a primary focus on the Middle East. Businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments were invited to post challenges related to their operations, research and development, market research, and business processes on SolverMine platform. The goal was to generate innovative crowd-sourced solutions from the platform community and award the most innovative ones. In the first month after its launch, the platform received more than 1,000 registered solvers.
The idea of the startup, as Assem explained in an interview with Wamda TV, was to “Introduce a web base platform that links companies, non-profit organizations and governments to external sources of solutions, and external networks or problem solvers and innovators. We facilitate and manage the relationship between those entities in need for innovation and the sources that might come up with viable and qualified solutions,” explained Assem.
Sabrine Assem is a graduate of the German School in Alexandria, Deutche Schule der Borromaerinnen, and the German University in Cairo (GUC). She majored in Innovation Management and Information Systems and worked as a Teaching Assistant at the GUC before founding SolverMine. She obtained her Master’s degree in Digital Innovation from Warwick Business School in the UK. She lives in Cairo, Egypt.