Paola Landaeta Saldías

Doctoral Candidate in Economics, Specializing in Innovation Management, Digital Transformation and Sustainability

BSc in Business Administration
Commercial Engineer in Computer Science

Hello, everyone. I’m Paola Landaeta Saldías, and I’m on the journey towards earning my doctoral degree in Economics, with a specialization in Innovation Management. I’m currently in the final stages of my program, where I’m immersed in my dissertation. My research focuses on the initial phase of innovation, often referred to as the ‘Front-end of innovation.’ I explore how to maintain agility in this phase, despite the inherent ambiguity that arises when ideas are still taking shape, far from becoming concrete projects.
My work delves into the wide spectrum of activities undertaken by companies to foster systematic innovation. I’m particularly intrigued by the concept of ‘Rapid Validity Testing,’ a term coined by my research team. These activities have proven instrumental in transforming the flow of ideas into a more controlled, flexible, and agile format, aligning with the objectives of well-known frameworks such as Design Thinking, Prototyping, Pretotyping, and Lean Innovation.
My passion lies in bridging the gap between academic theory and real-world applications, with a special emphasis on the domain of innovation and its profound impact on businesses and economies.

Professional Profile

Experienced project manager and doctoral candidate with a solid background in technology and innovation management. Proven success in implementing innovation programs and supporting industry and research. Strong skills in strategic project management and agile methodologies. Passionate about brain training and self-improvement.

Professional Experience

Scholar | Doctoral Candidate
Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
02/2019 – Present

Teaching Assistant

  • Effective coordination between industry representatives and the research team.
  • Support in lectures on strategic project management and agile organization.
  • Assistance in managing innovative projects and lectures on innovation management for master’s students.

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Oikía SPA, Quilpué, Chile
07/2011 – 12/2018

  • Successfully founded and developed an innovative and sustainable construction company.
  • Achieved annual growth of 200% between 2011 and 2015.

Program and Project Manager, Finance Management Coordinator
Corporación Municipal de Quilpué, Quilpué, Chile
08/2009 – 08/2015

  • Significant contributions to the development of the finance management unit for priority education projects.
  • Successfully implemented the government’s SEP improvement program and led its execution for the first six years.

Program and Project Manager for Public Sector Training
ChileCalifica-Quilpué & SENCE, Quilpué, Chile
05/2008 – 12/2010

  • Developed and successfully conducted mid-priority projects as part of the adult education program “ChileCalifica-Quilpué”.

Project Manager
CCI Ingeniería Económica, Santiago, Chile
11/2007 – 12/2008

  • Improved decision-making processes within government programs through careful validation of survey data.

Project Manager
Instituto de Innovación en Minería und Metalurgia IM2, Codelco subsidiary, Rgua, Chile
08/2005 – 02/2006

  • Successfully conducted mid-priority projects in the mining and metallurgy sector.


Doctoral Candidate (Dr. rer. oec.)
Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2019 – 2023

  • Focus: Technology and Innovation Management
  • Dissertation: “Agility in the Early Stage of Innovation – Rapid Validity Testing as an Approach to Improving Innovation Performance of SMEs”

Certificate in SEP Improvement Plans
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile

Certificate in Management and Administration in the Education Sector
Instituto Profesional Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, Quilpué, Chile

Diploma in Industrial Engineering with a focus on Computer Science
Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile
2000 – 2003

  • Bachelor’s Thesis: “Feasibility Study for the Market Entry of a Non-Traditional Product in Germany: Case Study of Hot Peppers”

Studies in Business Administration
Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile
1998 – 2000

Awards and Honors

  • Thomas P. Hustad Award – Best Student (Runner Up)
    Innovation and Product Development Management Conference (IPDMC), 2020
  • Doctoral Scholarship
    DAAD and CONICYT, 2019


  • Languages:
    • Spanish: Native
    • English: Fluent (C1)
    • German: Intermediate (B1.2)
  • Software:
    • Office Applications:
      • MS Office 365, SharePoint, MS Teams, Zoom
    • Project Management and Collaboration:
      • Mentimeter, Miro, Jira, ClickUp, Business Model Canvas, Innovate new! System
    • Data Analysis and Visualization:
      • SPSS, Think-cell
    • Graphic and Design Software:
      • Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Sketchup, Figma
    • Web and Content Management:
      • Notion, WordPress
    • Databases:
      • SQL
  • Further Training:
    • Negotiation Management
    • Visualization & Presentation
    • Intercultural Communication