The Innovation Academy is an innovative training program designed and developed jointly by Cabinet WAT & CO, Business School and School of Engineering. It aims to prepare future leaders of Africa CIMA Zone for the challenges of an ever-changing economic landscape. In barely twenty years, digital has changed everything, calling into question our uses as well as our economic and societal value chains. We are indeed experiencing a revolution today, both technological and societal, as fascinating as it is confusing... The revolution we are experiencing goes far beyond the purely technological framework. It upsets economic balances and transforms uses at a speed never before achieved. It affects business customers in their activities, their value chains and their organizations just as much as individuals in their daily lives and society in general, in its rules and balances. To this end, the WAT & CO operational consulting firm, Business School, School of Engineering and a Unicorn have created a unique training program: the Innovation Academy. At the end of the program, participants will have acquired an understanding of the impact of the challenges of digitalization for the company, and an ability to drive innovation in their organization. They will be able to draw the necessary resources and creativity from the most varied ecosystems. This program will also allow participants to connect and exchange with professionals from other sectors who encounter various problems; they will thus create an important network of innovative leaders of the African economy CIMA zone.


The program is aimed at high potentials, expected to be future leaders in their company, as well as leaders of fast-growing start-ups and business executives, with at least 10 years of experience in a of management, as well as to investors.

Educational format

INNOV’A is a 10-day program covering 5 themes and including plenary sessions, workshop working groups, and time to discuss with other participants and work on your own issues.

  • Conferences: Sessions led by Teachers, Researchers, Scientists and Experts. Feedback from managers and entrepreneurs.
  • Workshops: Based on the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and the methods of "Open Innovation" and "Design Thinking".
  • Innov’A Solutions: Sharing group to take time to discuss with other participants in order to explore how the different themes can be applied to their individual problems

Theme 1: Creativity and innovation in Africa

The role of creativity and innovation in managerial strategies and tactics in order to foster innovation in organizations and develop the innovation capacities of employees.

  • Understanding innovation and creativity: How do innovations - new products, processes or social movements - emerge and spread among populations? What are the social dynamics that shape innovation and how can managers and organizations harness these dynamics?
  • Workshop: Developing your ability to innovate - How do you manage or manage your company to innovate effectively? What role do power and politics play in innovation? How can you increase the likelihood of seeing new opportunities, coming up with great ideas, and bringing them to life?
  • Study and application of Open Innovation - Open innovation is a recent methodology for leading innovation in large companies. Working in open mode with a startup, creating an open innovation ecosystem, all of this cannot be improvised! It is necessary to understand the specificities of a startup, the possible modes of collaboration, the challenges of creating a culture of open innovation... It is up to these multiple
  • questions that this training will allow participants to find answers. The many examples of successful open innovation, but also examples of collaboration that failed will allow them to understand the backstage of a fruitful collaboration.
  • Feedback: Exchanges with companies that have already experienced major transformations related to innovation.

Theme 2: Digital strategy and the age of intelligence

To formulate a digital strategy that will aim to gain a competitive advantage in a market, it is essential to know and understand the vocabulary of digital strategy. The technical concepts employed are fundamental, as are the mechanisms that link them.

  • Digital Strategy and innovation: What exactly are we talking about when we talk about digital strategy? Is it different from digital marketing? How to build a competitive advantage using digital technologies? And digital transformation, is it strategy?
  • Workshop: Enterprise data and informed decision-making - Storing, exploring and exploiting data. Business Intelligence and its Impact in Business.
  • VISIT: An Exploration of a Unicorn – The Unicorn's mission is to make its culture accessible to all attendees, providing access via a guided tour of its business.
  • Feedback: Exchanges with companies that have already experienced the deployment of Data Intelligence.
  • Workshop 2: Contextualization - How to adapt any innovation to Africa? Understand the particularity of each culture and the impact in Business.

Theme 3: Building tomorrow's business today

Parcourir la technologie disruptive.

  • Les disrupteurs du siècle: Comment font les disrupteurs depuis 1990 ? Comment utiliser l’innovation disruptive pour en faire notre fer de lance et obtenir un avantage concurrentiel ?
  • Atelier : Comment déployer une évolution qui créée une rupture par rapport au marché actuel. Une évolution qui créée un nouveau marché et rend l’ancien obsolète. – Organiser avec notre partenaire licorne.
  • VISITE : Une exploration d’un disrupteur– Missions et risques
  • Retours d’expérience : Echanges avec des entreprises ayant subits la disruption.
  • Atelier 2 : Exploration du Design Thinking – Dirigé par WAT & CO. WAT & CO accompagne ses clients dans l’accélération de l'innovation et la modernisation.

Theme 4: The reality on the ground in Africa and mastering the regulations

Political imperatives, as well as the reality on the ground, and the international security of emerging countries.

  • Designing the social environment – What should be the priorities for protecting sensitive investments from social-political threats? Topics to be covered include standards for systemic management of social-political threats to business, sharing ground realities and response protocols.
  • WORKSHOP: INNOV'A SIMUL - This is a realistic simulation game with real-time decision-making in the face of social-political threats, from the point of view of leaders of African countries, populations , and that of the company. The objective is to make participants aware of the increasingly complex issues of social-political threats, through a playful and involving approach.
  • Privacy in the digital age – Governments seek to monitor national communications, while citizens, more willing than ever to share, demand a greater balance in the relationship between people and government. How has the information age changed the way we think about privacy?
  • Workshop 2: Producing value in a context of instability – How to gain growth despite the low attractiveness of Sub-Saharan African countries for foreign capital and the coexistence of risk factors for socio-political instability such as hotbeds of civil wars, coups and various civil unrest.
  • Feedback: The strategy of a successful company, tested by global political and economic instability

Theme 5: Construction of the innovation strategy that drives the company by anticipating downfalls and crises

Political imperatives, as well as the reality on the ground, and the international security of emerging countries.

  • Crises, a breeding ground for innovation – How are the economic crisis and innovation linked? How do crises change nourishing land into a fallow by being factors of risk and opportunity? The "four elements", the foundations of growth through innovation.
  • Feedback: The emergence of a sustainable innovation strategy in very small businesses.
  • Global Migration: Crisis and Opportunity – The beginning of the 21st century is marked by the departure for the West of thousands of refugees displaced by violence, natural disasters, and the lack of economic opportunities. How can companies in Africa capitalize on the opportunities linked to these migrations?
  • Environment and energy transformation – In a world of increasing uncertainty about the future, what trends will shape the energy sector? How are companies and investors preparing for a future without fossil fuels?

Innovation has never been more important than it is today, and the potential is enormous. In a competitive context and faced with the perpetual changes in their environment, companies are thinking about innovation, which is essential to ensure their growth and development. We believe that, through innovation, companies can develop sustainable competitiveness. Thus, the "INNOVA" was designed to become an opportunity for Managers and Business Decision Makers to integrate and anticipate the upheavals of this century in terms of innovation, disruption and customer experience, and to have methodological tools that will allow them to boost innovation and the customer experience within their company and to facilitate its evolution.


The Innovation Academy is a training program organized jointly by WAT & CO, ESSEC Douala, ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE DE YAOUNDE and a Unicorn. Supervised and certified by Ecole Polytechnique and ESSEC Douala, this program includes:

  • A teaching team made up of academics, scientists and experts in Economics and Commercial Sciences,
  • A teaching team made up of academics, scientists and experts in Engineering Sciences,
  • Testimonials and feedback from executives of unicorn companies. Unicorns are start-ups of new technologies created less than ten years ago and valued at at least one billion dollars before being listed on the stock exchange.
  • The deepening of a theme in collaboration with key players in the economies of the future, around "business cases" defined between the participants.
  • Discussions around key themes of customer experience and innovation Open to 50 people per year, this program corresponds to 100 hours of training covering 5 themes, over 12 months, divided into 10 sessions of one full day each, each month for a year. The last two months serve as the finalization of the end-of-study project.