Select Page


Before I talk about what the European Innovation Academy (EIA) is, I’ll talk about how I ended up being part of this life-changing program.

It was an early afternoon in July 2016, and I had just arrived back from my vacation in Europe. I used to have the rule I don’t read my emails (even the personal ones) when I’m on holiday, so I deleted my Gmail app before heading to the vacation to make sure nothing wouldn’t bother me as I’m trying to take some time off. When my vacation was over,  I started going through my unread emails, and I noticed an email by someone named by Mai-Liis. At the time, Mai-Liis was the Program Coordinator and Mentors Manager for EIA.

She had invited me to participate in the EIA program that took place in Nice, France as a mentor because one of the mentors was not able to make it and one previous mentor had recommended me to take his place. I then immediate wrote back to her and said it would be a huge honour for me to participate in the program as a mentor, but unfortunately, she replied that I got back to her when it was already too late and they found someone else. I remember being both extraordinarily disappointed and happy. I was disappointed because at the time I was sure I missed my once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the world biggest entrepreneurship program and at the same time I was happy they even had considered me to be good enough to be a mentor in their program. 

She had invited me to participate in the EIA program that took place in Nice, France as a mentor because one of the mentors was not able to make it .

However, I refused to give up. So a little bit less than a year later, I contacted EIA organizers again, reminded myself and expressed my readiness to be part of the program in 2017 summer. Fast-forwarding time four months into the future, I was on the plane and heading to Turin, Italy to mentor at the Italian edition of EIA.

Since then, I’ve been part of four different editions of EIA, three times as a marketing mentor and once as Chief of Marketing Mentors.

What is the European Innovation Academy?

Their educational programs are developed in co-operation with professionals from the world’s top institutions, Google, Stanford University and U.C. Berkley, to name a few.

EIA was founded in Tallinn, Estonia by Anni Sinijärv in 2012. The first-ever European Innovation Academy took place in the summer of 2012 and brought together experts like Nobel Prize Winner Sir Harold Kroto, Professor Mark Harris, former head of Intel, as well as top-level professors from Nordic countries. Also, approximately 100 students from 25 different countries participated in the first event.

In less than eight years, EIA has grown from a relatively small event into the recognized leader position in tech entrepreneurship, their ecosystem consist of 15 000 alumni, hailing from more than 85 different countries. They’re doing such a great job, even Google and Financial Times noticed it as they were recently named as one of 100 digital pioneers in Europe and since Arab Innovation Academy takes place in Qatar, then they’re also helping Qatar to build its own version of Silicon Valley.

Their educational programs are developed in co-operation with professionals from the world’s top institutions, Google, Stanford University and U.C. Berkley, to name a few.

Educate 1 000 000 entrepreneurs through their programs by 2025

They have an ambitious vision – to educate 1 000 000 entrepreneurs through their programs by 2025, and since I have the honour to know them, I have zero doubts in their ability to achieve this goal sooner or later.

to educate 1 000 000 entrepreneurs through their programs by 2025

If you wish to find out more about European Innovation Academy and their vision, then make sure to check out their site – https://www.inacademy.eu/.

Why is the European Innovation Academy important to me as a professional?

Over the past two years, EIA has offered me a fantastic opportunity to mentor 100+ students from Africa to Oceania and learn about different cultures by interacting with the students during mentoring sessions. Moreover, EIA has reminded me it’s important to keep on evolving and learn new skills, even when you’re already established professional, and you’ve achieved something in your life. What brought me here will not take me forward. To stay competitive as technology evolves, I have to keep on learning.

It’s important to keep on evolving and learn new skills, even when you’re already established professional, and you’ve achieved something in your life.

EIA also connects people. Some of the most amazing people in my life have found their way to my life through EIA. My LinkedIn network has grown in double digits thanks to connections I’ve made during different editions of EIA. It has given me new friends at new ports across the globe on whom I can count on when I might need help + who can count on me when needed.

The reason why I have the highest possible respect for the people who organize the EIA is the mission they carry. They’re creating a safe environment for students, so they could have hands-on experience and opportunity to experiment building their first-ever company with 0 risks. 

They’re creating a safe environment for students, so they could have hands-on experience and opportunity to experiment building their first-ever company with 0 risks. 

Even if their idea doesn’t lift off after the end of the program, then they will still learn about the importance of teamwork & synergy and get the sense of what they could achieve in the future if you stay focused, motivated and work smart enough.

That’s what EIA is all about in my opinion – getting a powerful experience witch will spark the entrepreneurship spirit in every student across the globe, so they would shape and build the better future for generations to come. I’m sure there are at least one future Jeff Bezos and Judy Faulkner (Founder of Epic Systems) among current EIA alumni, and many more are yet to come.