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!