Archives for October 2017

19th October 2017 - 2 comments

EITCONNECT: Comic Book Coverage

EIT CONNECT 2017 opened with a welcome and introduction to the new EIT Alumni Board: Falko Döring, Esmee Kooijman, Francesco Bonadiman, Miguel Amador.


The second session of the day was led by Martin Kern, the EIT Interim Director. He introduced participants to the EIT, and shared a few of the EIT's recent success stories. He concluded by asking the participants: 'What else can be done by the EIT to better support the EIT Alumni Community?'


To mix up the alumni, and facilitate cross- community networking, the participants then took part in an exciting ice breaker session. The alumni had to answer a number of tricky questions by strategically placing themselves in different parts of the room.


The first Keynote speaker of the event was Pedro Oliveira, the CPO of Landing.jobs He provided some top tips in the world of entrepreneurship.


To inspire participants before they dove into an intensive co-creation session, some alumni shared their own success stories from previous events. The first to go was Lara Obst, who presented the EIT Alumni Start-up Days, a favourite event of most alumni!


Kevin Caners then took the stage to present his podcast: The Elephant. This climate change focused podcast is now into its second season. His key message: Just have fun, don't be afraid to start things. And remember, the whole EIT Alumni Community is here to support you!


At 3pm the main action began: The co-creation session. This was an intensive 3 hours where participants were invited to ideate, present potential plans, and then develop a short pitch of their new project.


An impressive 14 well-developed projects were worked on by the alumni. An admirable feat for a 3 hour period. These were then pitched to a jury, who had the tough task of whittling these proposals down to 3 best ideas which can be implemented in 2018.


After a hard night of intensive night-time networking in the centre of Budapest, The alumni were welcomed back to the event with a refreshing yoga session to clear their heads. Once they took their seats, the moderators invited the participants to share their thoughts on EITCONNECT Day 1 in one word.


At 10am, Andrea Solomonides, the second keynote speaker, took to the stage to deliver an inspirational talk about community building. A topic the EIT Alumni are, unsurprisingly, very interested in!


Maria Kanov, an EIT Digital alumna, then presented an exciting initiative of hers - Women@EIT. This aims to connect the female entrepreneurs in the EIT Alumni Community, through interesting and informative events and pitching workshops. She concluded her speech by posing the challenge to the participants: 'How can we scale this up to be a cross-KIC initiative?'


The event came to an end with a final workshop - The EIT Alumni in 2020. In this short, 1 hour session, participants were invited to share how they think the community should progress, and how we can steer this network in the right direction.

Finally, the event was closed with some kind remarks from Laurent Roux, the EIT's Entrepreneurship Officer, and representative to the EIT Alumni board, and Falko Döring, the EIT Alumni President. Laurent then announced the winners of the Co-creation session. These were: EIT Alumni Roadshow, Impact, and EIT Chaos!

 

18th October 2017 - No Comments!

Some remarks on EIT Alumni CONNECT 2017

Author - Jonas Moll, EIT Health alumnus

As I wrote in my last blog post the EIT Alumni Connect event was hosted in Budapest October 15 –  October 16. I really had a great time during this event and if I should choose one word to describe the overall impression I got from the event it would be “Inspiring”! 

First of all, I really liked the setting in the room we all gathered in during the event. There were around 100 participants and 16 round tables. The activities performed during the first day made sure that there were representatives from several alumni networks (EIT Health, EIT Digital, EIT Raw Materials, EIT Climate-KIC and EIT InnoEnergy) at each table. This gave participants an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of the different EIT Alumni communities.

One of the main aims of the event was to provide an opportunity to connect with other alumni and the setting ensured that networking could be performed both within and across the represented communities.

One especially interesting group activity was performed during the last part (before dinner) of the first day. The main aim was to work on real problems identified by the participants – problems related to the main areas of the EIT - in a Co-creation session.

The group work activity started out with a discussion among the participants at the respective tables about different project ideas that we would like to work on. My idea was, of course, based on patient accessible electronic health records and more specifically means of using these systems as mediators during patient visits. The ideas presented at my table were very different from one another since the participants represented different alumni networks.

The next step was a very short pitch, given on stage so that everyone could hear. About 20 participants pitched ideas. Based on the pitches the rest of the participants then decided which idea they wanted to work with for the rest of the day.
I never pitched my own idea, since I was really curious about another participant’s idea (about developing a system to enable digital consent for use of health data in research) and hence wanted to work on that instead.

During the following 1.5 hours we discussed the respective projects within the newly formed project groups. The focus was to develop the idea and to develop a pitch which should be presented to a jury. This step was really important, since the three top groups would get financial support from the EIT Alumni Board, which they should use to implement the ideas!
Just before lunch the second day the three winners, named EIT Roadshow (bringing entrepreneurial education to schools), Impact ( a challenge solving platform for NGOs) and EIT Chaos (an EIT Alumni feedback system), were announced.

The gamification component introduced in the group work activity was really working. Everyone gave great pitches and there were so many interesting ideas represented in the room. I’m quite sure the jury had a tough choice to make. I also think it’s great the EIT Alumni actually offers financial support to promising projects.

The keynotes speakers of the event covered the EIT Alumni Community in general as well as some successful spin-offs projects from earlier years of EIT Alumni Connect as a form of inspiration for this year's participants. One of this spin-offs was the new group Women@EIT.

A few challenges faced by the EIT and its alumni community were also mentioned. One identified need was that end users should be involved to a higher degree. EIT also wants to add new Innovation Communities so that all major issues we face today are covered (integration, security and water protection are a few areas that are not covered today). The board also wants to create even more collaborations across KICs. I really think the last point is important, since key challenges must be addressed from several different angles.

I really enjoyed being a part of the EIT Alumni Connect activity and I’m really considering applying for one of the open positions at the EIT Health Alumni board. (as I said earlier EIT Health Alumni is fairly new). 

I will end this post with some words different participants used to describe EIT Alumni Connect during the first session today. I think they summarize what the EIT is about in a good way: networking, explosive, fun, collaboration, innovation, inspiration.