The Global Race for Fresh Ideas: Now and Then
The Global Race for Fresh Ideas: Now and Then

For thousands of years, universities, companies, and nations have been trying to attract the best talents to fuel innovation by providing amenities, financing, and mentorship.

In the 9th century, academics worldwide would travel to the Middle East with aims to thrive in scientific exploration. Baghdad was known as the ‘hub’ for translators, researchers and scientists – rightly so. Translators made heft sums of money and were supported by the caliphate, as they translated works from the Greek and Latin into Syriac and Arabic, facilitating the growth of science within the empire.

By providing the ideal environment, from financing to providing optimal resources, Baghdad was able to make a name for itself as the innovator’s city: the place everyone wanted to visit to succeed as a scientist, an academic, and a translator. The establishment of the House of Wisdom – the place where philosophers met to work, research, read, write and translate – attracted innovators from around the world, when travel was not as feasible. This helped economic growth, since philosophers also worked on the side as engineers, architects, and held other significant roles in society.

Essentially, the House of Wisdom was a hub for thinkers and gave rise to several groundbreaking findings – from algebra to revolutionary feats in alchemy and astronomy. In fact, the empire continued to rise economically as investments and contributions were made towards the hub.

In modern times, emerging and international companies have followed suit. Companies began decorating their offices to inspire employees – whether they are creatives, engineers or accountants – to work in a more friendly environment. Some companies began adding a meditation room to provide employees with space to zone out, rest and reflect. Some even added portable beds, pool tables, video game consoles, and more amenities that can entertain employees, and help them interact with each other away from the formalities of a traditional office.

According to research published by the International Journal of Research in Business Studies and Management, the culture of a company is “critical” to its success and productivity – indicating that motivation is core to productivity. For economies, the same can be said. [1] The more motivated the workforce, the more likely they are to be engaged with the product they are working on, resulting in higher levels of productivity and creativity.

Why hubs are crucial to the global economy

Countries across the world are betting on creative and inventive youth to support their economic growth. Recognizing the importance of exporting ideas from within, the race for attracting young entrepreneurs is on.

The private and public sectors are creating entrepreneurial hubs in efforts to support and encourage entrepreneurs to build practical solutions. These innovations have been thriving in the tech industry, as more applications across the world are facilitating better living. Carpooling apps, online shopping, meeting up with like-minded individuals, watching shows on demand, and many more services have been powered by technology. Some of the largest tech-giants have been developed from a college dorm or a garage – and now, they prefer hiring new employees based on skill, rather than academic achievement.

Entrepreneurial hubs provide the optimal surroundings for such ideas to thrive. Providing a space that joins entrepreneurs together – regardless of their industry – reminds individuals that they are working towards a common goal: building a successful startup.

Similar to an innovative company that provides amenities for its employees, or the House of Wisdom, startup hubs gather together inventive individuals and teams who have shared ideals and provides the necessary elements that keep them inspired every day.

Support that startups need

Though providing a creative and inspiring space for entrepreneurs is essential to harboring new ideas, there remains a need for mentorship and financing.

Startups need mentorship from industry experts and connections to investors, which are facilities provided by entrepreneurial hubs. Key2Enable, a startup founded in Brazil, received US$150,000 in funding and access to an incubator program after it won a competition by the Abu Dhabi-based innovation hub, Krypto Labs. Such incentives, connections to international investors and mentorship programs provided by these hubs allow startups to grow and advance quickly.

For these reasons, governments are encouraging startup hubs and tech hubs to thrive. The hunger for harboring new ideas and inventions has been a long race for thousands of years; more and more entrepreneurial hubs are being created around the world, all aiming to attract the best talents to cater to consumer-based economies that enjoy change, new ideas, and inventive products.

Recognizing the factors that can improve productivity, it is essential for a startup to harbor a culture for innovation should it aim for success – and startup hubs are an ideal bet for most.


[1] Kelepile, Kabelo. “Impact of Organizational Culture on Productivity and Quality Management: a Case Study in Diamond Operations Unit, DTC Botswana.” International Journal of Research in Business Studies and Management, vol. 2, no. 9, Sept. 1015, pp. 35–45.,