Zeljko Tekic

Assistant Professor
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Zeljko Tekic is Assistant Professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) in Moscow. He is a passionate teacher, researcher and startup mentor. His research and teaching evolves around topics of intellectual property, startups and open innovation.

Zeljko is a member of Skoltech’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation with teaching experience in entrepreneurship, creative problem solving, innovation and technology management on bachelor, master and PhD level. Before his appointment at Skoltech, Zeljko was an assistant professor at Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management at the University of Novi Sad, where he earned his PhD in Engineering Management. He also holds MSc in Entrepreneurship from University of Nottingham and MSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Novi Sad. He was postdoctoral scholar at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering in Stuttgart and at Freie Universität Berlin. More recently, he was visiting researcher and professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, US.

His teaching is interactive and based on laboratory for ideas concept he developed few years ago. Using this concept, he builds partnerships with companies and individuals around the world engaging them, together with students in his classroom in open innovation projects. For the excellence in teaching, Zeljko was recognized and awarded at both universities he worked at – University of Novi Sad and Skoltech. He also teaches executive courses and gives workshops to companies.

Zeljko has published over 30 papers in refereed journals and international conferences. His research interest evolves around topics at the interplay of digital transformation, open innovation and startups formation. Recently he started a new research focused on how artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing innovation management. In this project, together with his international partners, he is interested to understand how far AI and ML could improve innovation management and what kind of innovation tasks could be assisted by machines. Zeljko has successful track record in developing, winning and managing European (FP7, H2020 and TEMPUS) projects.

Zeljko is an enthusiastic mentor and advisor of early stage startups. He worked with several teams from Skoltech and other parts of the world helping them to test hypothesis and validate business model.

Love runs the World!


  • open innovation in startups
  • technology trends based on publication, patent and VC data
  • digital transformation
  • how artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing innovation management
  • students and youth entrepreneurship

Selected peer reviewed publications indexed in Scopus:

  1. Tekic, Z., & Koroteev, D. (2019). Towards the Big Picture: A Typology of Digital Transformation Strategies, Business Horizons 62 (6), 683-693 (special issue on Digital Transformation and Disruption)
  2. Malyy, M., Tekic, Z., & Golkar, A. (2019). What Drives Technology Innovation in New Space?: A Preliminary Analysis of Venture Capital Investments in Earth Observation Start-Ups. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine, 7(1), 59-73.
  3. Tekic, Z. (2019). Moving Ideas to Impact: Entrepreneurship Education for STEM Geeks, 18th IEEE International Conference on Smart Technologies, EUROCON – 2019, Novi Sad, Serbia, July 1 – 4, 2019
  4. Malyy, M., & Tekic, Z. (2018). Role of Startup’s Intellectual Property in VCs Investment Decision-Making: Evidence from Russia. In 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (TEMS-ISIE) (pp. 1-7). IEEE
  5. Ivanov, A., Tekic, Z. (2016). Using Contextual Data for Smart Patent Analysis. In Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom), 2016 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 448-451). IEEE
  6. Tekic, Z., Drazic, M., Kukolj, D., Nikolić, Lj., Kukolj, S., Vitas, M. (2015) PSALM – patent mining tool for competitive intelligence, Technical Gazette, 22(6): 1433-144
  7. Tekic, Z., Tekic, A., & Todorovic, V. (2015). Modelling a laboratory for ideas as a new tool for fostering engineering creativity.Procedia Engineering, 100, 400-407.
  8. Tekic, Z., Drazic, M., Kukolj, D., Vitas, M. (2014) From patent data to business intelligence – PSALM case studies, Procedia Engineering 69, 296-30
  9. Tekic, Z., Kukolj, D. (2013) Threat of litigation and patent value – what technology managers should know, Research-Technology Management, 56 (2): 18 – 25
  10. Orcik, A., Tekic, Z., Anisic, Z. (2013) Customer Co-Creation throughout the Product Life Cycle, International Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 4 (1): 43 – 49

Book Chapters

  1. von Zedtwitz, M., Tekic, Z. and Willoughby, K. (2019) Foreign R&D Investment in Russia: How to Translate into Innovation? in The Life of Russian Business: (Re)cognizing, (Re)activating and (Re)configuring Institutions, Edited by: Tomas Casas I Klett and Yuliya Ponomareva, IAP. In print.
  2. Markov, S. & Tekic, Z. (2014). Students and Entrepreneurship – Challenges in Research and Education. Chapter VII in Engineering Management – Challenges for the Future, pp. 127-145, H.-J. Bullinger & D. Spath (Eds.), Faculty of Technical Sciences (Novi Sad, Serbia), Fraunhofer IAO (Stuttgart, Germany) and DAAAM International (Vienna, Austria), ISBN 978-3-902734-01-3
  3. Tekic, Z., Kukolj, D., Drazic, M., Vitas, M., (2013) Towards Understanding the Role and Value of Patents in a Knowledge-Based Economy, Chapter 25 in DAAAM International Scientific Book 2013, pp. 459-474, B. Katalinic & Z. Tekic (Eds.), Published by DAAAM International, Vienna, Austria

Selected presentations at International Conferences

  1. Malyy, M. & Tekic, Z. (2019). Understanding Startups’ Dynamics: Big Data Approach, Paper presented at the R&D Management Conference 2019, The Innovation Challenge: Bridging Research, Industry & Society, Paris, France, 17 – 21 June 2019
  2. Tekic, Z., (2017) Is Open Innovation in Startups’ DNA? Paper presented at the 15th International Open and User Innovation Conference, 10-12 July, 2017, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  3. Tekic, Z., (2017) Startups: Are They Born and Raised through Open Innovation? Paper presented at the 24th Innovation and Product Development Management Conference (IPDMC), Reykjavik University, Iceland, 11-13 June 2017.
  4. Ivanov, A., Tekic, Z. (2016). Towards Smart Patent Analytics – Matching Patent and Contextual Data, Paper presented at the R&D Management Conference 2016 From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation, Cambridge University, United Kingdom, 3-6 July 2016.
  5. Vrgović, P., Tekic, Z., Todorovic, V., (2016) Open Innovation in WBC SMEs: Cross-Industrial Perspective, Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Mass Customization and Personalization in Central Europe (MCP-CE 2016), Novi Sad,
  6. Vrgovic, P., Tekic, A., Tekic, Z., Medojevic, M., Ciric, D., & Todorovic, V. (2015). Students as Innovation Partners–Company Insights from South-East Europe. In The 8th International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development-ICEIRD
  7. Tekic, Z., Vitas, M., Drazic, M., Kukolj, D. (2014) Valuing and dealing patents in high-tech industries – implications for SMEs,Proceedings ofInternational Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development ICEIRD 2014 (Nicosia, Cyprus, 5-6 June, 2014), pp. 259-265.
  8. Drazic, M., Kukolj, D., Vitas, M., Pokric, M., Manojlovic, S.,Tekic, Z.(2013) Technology matching of the patent documents using clustering algorithms, Presented at14th IEEE International Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Informatics – CINTI 2013, Budapest, Hungary, November, 2013.
  9. Tekic,Z., Kovacevic, I., Vrgovic, P., Orcik, A., Todorovic, V., Jovanovic, M. (2013): iDEA Lab: Empowering university – industry collaboration through students’ entrepreneurship and open innovation, Proceedings of International Conference on Technology Transfer 2013 (ICTT 2013), University of Nis, Nis, Serbia, pp. 269 – 272, ISBN 978-86-6125-083-5
  10. M. Drazic, D. Kukolj, M. Vitas, M. Pokric, S. Manojlovic,Z. Tekic, (2013) Effectiveness of text processing in patent documents visualization, Proceedings of  11th International IEEE Symposium on Intelligent Systems and Informatics, SISY 2013, Subotica, pp. 287-291
  11. Tekic, Z.; Cosic, I., Katalinic, B. (2012) The Missing Link – Knowledge Creation and Innovation, Annals of DAAAM for 2012 & Proceedings of the 23rd International DAAAM Symposium, pp 229 – 232,  Ed Katalinic B., DAAAM International, Vienna, Austria 2012
  • 2019 Best Professor of the Year 2019 (mentoring); Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
  • 2018 Best Professor of the Year 2018 (lecturing); Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
  • 2017 Best Professor of the Year 2017 (mentoring); Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
  • 2013 Erasmus Mundus scholarship for postdoctoral stay at Freie Universität Berlin; European Commission
  • 2012 Moma Novkovic Young Teacher Award for enthusiasm and excellent results in working with students; Faculty of Technical Sciences; University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • 2009, 2012 FESTO Award for Young Researchers and Scientists, DAAAM International, Vienna, Austria
  • 2010 Best Young Paper at 21th International DAAAM Symposium, October 2010, Zadar, Croatia DAAAM International, Vienna, Austria

I believe that students are very good at solving problems. My task is to inspire them to recognize problems.

I teach because I am fascinated by the opportunity to inspire and provoke development of young and talented people. I see education as a cultivation of curiosity, development of creativity as well as teaching of skills that enable students to turn their ideas into action. My ultimate teaching goal goes beyond delivering knowledge; I strive to influence students to utilize their own potential based on the knowledge and skills provided in my courses.

My teaching is energized through the exchange and interaction with students. That is why I am using Socratic method – constantly posing questions to the students to stimulate discussion. At the same time, to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas I try to make my classroom an environment where all the students feel safe to venture a response, make a comment or ask a question. I especially encourage answers which oppose to dominant logic or questions that sound trivial or “wrong” to the majority. I believe that the key to being a good teacher of entrepreneurship and innovation is to get the students challenge the common wisdom and best practices, get them involved and engaged in their education, and excited about possibility to create something new.

Teaching Experience

  •  Innovation Workshop, Master of Science, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. (2018, 2019)
  • Ideas to Impact: Foundations for Commercializing Technological Advances, Master of Science, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. (2015, 2×2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Technology Commercialization: Foundations for Doctoral Researchers, Ph.D. Program, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Innovation and Intellectual Property Studies Doctoral Seminar, Ph.D. Program, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. Co-taught with Kelvin Willoughby (2017-18)
  • Technology Entrepreneurship, Master of Science, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. Co-taught with Kelvin Willoughby (2015)
  • Entrepreneurship, Bachelor of Science, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; co-taught with Jelena Borocki and Slavica Mitrovic (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Innovation and Change Management, Bachelor of Science, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; co-taught with Jelena Borocki (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Strategic Entrepreneurship, Master of Science, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; co-taught with Jelena Borocki (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • New Technologies in Engineering and Management, Master of Science, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; (2014, 2015)

Executive teaching

  • Experiments on innovation, open program, Moscow School of Management, 2018 
  • Digital transformation, middle management Gazprom Neft, Sankt Petersburg, 2018
  • Open innovation – Where universities, industries and communities meet, Ostrov 10-22, Moscow, 2019
  • Surviving digital disruption – New needs, new priorities and new universities, Ostrov 10-22, Moscow, 2019

ФИО: Текич Желько

Занимаемая должность (должности): Старший Преподаватель

Преподаваемые дисциплины: Технология предпринимательства

Ученая степень: Доктор технических наук, 2013, Новый Сад, Сербия

Ученое звание (при наличии): нет

Наименование направления подготовки и/или специальности: Технические науки

Данные о повышении квалификации и/или профессиональной переподготовке (при наличии): нет

Общий стаж работы: 7 лет

Стаж работы по специальности: 7 лет