All Posts in EIT Alumni News

6th November 2018 - No Comments!

WeSpace, the first women focused co-working space in Switzerland

EIT Climate-KIC Alumna, and EIT Awards 2018 nominee, Estefania Tapias has recently launched the first-to-open women focused co-working space in Switzerland with her co-founder Laura Seifert.

The venture, named WeSpace, offers the renting of a co-working space for events and meeting in the heart of Zürich. Their slogan? - "co-working and community space designed by women, for women."
Their goal is to empower women by providing a platform to grow and become part of a larger community.

Earlier this month, their idea - Wespace - was featured in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a leading daily newspaper in Zurich.

The EIT Alumni got in touch with Estefania this week to learn more about her new initiative and to see how they plan to put it into practice. She said the following:

"Together we imagine a working world where feminine values and sensibilities are an asset rather than a liability. WeSpace is a co-working and community space designed by women for women. Our mission is to provide a space-based community to facilitate the leadership journey of more women across a variety of sectors within corporations, institutions, and entrepreneurial ventures. We provide an inspirational space to work, socialize and network as well as a community that empowers women."

Once they have developed a strong pool of members in Zürich, Estefania and Laura plan to expand all over Switzerland. Make sure to look out for them if you are in need of a co-working space in the future!

If you want to learn more about WeSpace, Estefania and Laura were recently interviewed by Startupticker about their intentions and ambitions. You can read the full interview here.

12th October 2018 - No Comments!

Imagilabs top 10 finalist of the European Social Innovation Competition

We are excited to announce that Dora Palfi, EIT Digital alumna and co-founder of Women@EIT, and her company imagiLabs (formerly imagiCase) have been selected as one of the top 10 finalists of the 2018 European Social Innovation Competition.

This is the last stage of the competition, the finalists will be pitching at the Awards Ceremony in Brussels on November 8th for a chance to be in the top 3. The top 3 finalists will receive 50.000 Euro each.

As we reported when imagiCase made it to the semi-final stage earlier this June, the European Social Innovation Competition is an initiative of the European Commission that awards three 50.000 Euro prizes per year to the most innovative ideas developed to address social issues in EU Member States and beyond. Now, in its seventh year, the theme of RE:THINK LOCAL, is calling on projects that make use of locations unique characteristics  to create opportunities for young people in our changing economy.

On the 16th to 18th July, Dora and the 30 semi-finalist teams of the 2018 European Social Innovation Competition gathered in Cluj-Napoca, Romania for a three-day coaching Academy where they received training designed to prepare them to successfully launch and scale their innovations, as well as to complete the project development plan. This plan was then submitted to the judging panel in August and the 10 strongest projects were chosen as finalists.

Dora Palfi is the co-founder and CEO of imagiLabs (formerly known as imagiCase). Her company, based in Sweden, wants to provide a mobile platform for tangible and expressive coding education, built by girls for girls. The platform pairs with  imagiCase devices,  a phone case with an embedded LED matrix that can be programmed to display any text or pattern. This way users learn to code by customising their own accessory.

The platform also provides tutorials of coding concepts which guide the user's learning experience in a gamified way, while at the same time fostering an online community of girls, who share a passion for learning to code by giving them the possibility of sharing one’s creations on a design feed.

We are cheering for Dora and imagiLabs to secure a top 3 spot and we wish to congratulate her for adding finalist to her many achievements so far!

14th August 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni goes to Sziget Festival

On Thursday the 9th of August, the EIT Alumni joined EIT Climate-KIC Alumni at their recycling station at Sziget festival in Budapest!

This year the EIT Climate-KIC Alumni are making a name for themselves once again at Sziget. Stationed at one of the three recycling centres on the island, industrious alumni have been engaging festival goers, both the spritely and the weary, to promote recycling, environmentally sustainable living, and the values of the EIT Community.

One of they key messages of Sziget is environmental consciousness and sustainable development. This year they have made an extra effort to fulfill these goals by promoting a Love Revolution on the island, their way of celebrating that, together, we can achieve sustainable development and environmental awareness in our daily lives.
Of course EIT Climate-KIC Alumni chose to support them on this valiant mission!

We joined them on Thursday to see how they were getting on.

When we arrived at 11am sharp, the island was sleepy but the recycling centre was already in full swing. The ingenious idea of offering gifts and WiFi for plastic bottles and trash was luring passers by into the tent, while also cleaning up the island. Once inside, they were given the opportunity to participate in the EIT Climate-KIC quiz, with the chance to win some sustainable goodies.

This continued for much of the morning, as the sound systems from the main stage rumbled into action and provided a musical accompaniment to our recycling rhythm.

At 2pm we started setting up the area for the first EIT Climate-KIC Alumni workshop of the week - 'Creating your own mini sun collector'. Despite the baking sun (good for solar panels, not so good for festival-goers), over 35 people joined us to listen to Viola's captivating presentation on solar panels and learned how easy it is to make one for yourself.

Viola followed up her speech with an interactive workshop, where participants were taught how to butcher a traditional phone charger and transform it into you very own solar paneled contraption. Ideal for a festival such as Sziget!

For the rest of the afternoon the team fell back into the usual recycling routine. The make-your-own recycled clothing stand proved to be particularly popular, as passers by were inspired by Santhur's home-made, eco-friendly, multifaceted fanny pack.

At the end of a long day a local Hungarian blogger and video crew came by to interview Dorka Bauer, Communications Manager on the CKAA Board for 2018, and seasoned Sziget supporter. We look forward to hearing the interview when it is published!

After just one day of flying the flag of sustainability for the almost 500,000 Sziget visitors, we returned to Budapest, tired yet inspired!

Best of luck to the fearless eco-warriors of the CKAA who continue their crusade for the entirety of the festival, holding another workshop every afternoon at 2pm. For those of you at the festival, why not pop in and meet the team?

Don't forget: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle!

 

13th August 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni @ The Innovation Retreat

On the 19th of July, 9 members of the EIT Alumni Community were invited to attend a 2-day Innovation Retreat at the idyllic Tataj Studios in Barcelona.

The retreat, a prize offered by Tataj Innovation to the winning ideas of the EIT Alumni Startup Days - Barcelona, was designed to further develop those ideas created during our event, and connect them with key local stakeholders who have the capabilities and connections to make their ideas a reality.


During the Barcelona startup Days participants where tasked to come up with feasible projects to re-reinvent Badalona, an industrial mid-size city in Spain. Once upon a time, this area was called the ‘Catalan Manchester’. Now it is an extension of the urban transformation known as 22@ Innovation District Barcelona.

On the first day of the retreat, the participants were invited to work on their projects, practice their pitching, create campaigns for their projects, work on video designs, and make use of the team of experts assembled to assist them on their journey.

On the second day the Mayor and deputy Mayor of Badalona were invited to the studio to listen to the pitches of the teams and to discuss how these ideas could be implemented.


It was an inspirational couple of days, and a valuable opportunity to see the impact our community can have in Europe. It's great to see the potential of our community being harnessed in an area such as Badalona.

Hopefully the teams continue to work closely with Tataj Studios and we can see some of the ideas implemented in the Badalona area in the near future!

There were five innovative projects that were invited to the retreat. These consisted of:

1. The Bridge to China

Re-imagine the Port of Badalona and transform the area into a bridge connecting
Europe and China, boost the local economy and revitalize the land. Merge Chinese and Catalan cultures connected by such values as the entrepreneurial spirit and respect for family and tradition.

2. BADALONA 4.0

Develop Moll Capitana in the Badalona Port as the Artificial Intelligence Living Lab: a centralized hub for experiencing AI technologies and a multifunctional space for training and networking. Use the renowned ENDESA power plant with its three chimneys as the global signature building for AI future.

3. eNEUTRAL 

Build an entirely energy neutral district, which combines public, commercial and residential land use. Develop a blueprint for new living schemes, a zero carbon footprint housing, green houses and urban farms, all connected by sustainable mobility solutions.

4. PICO BLAU

Deploy Italian technology to create an artificial reef for surfers at Badalona the city with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. Build on Club Natacio Badalona renowned transitions to develop new sport disciplines and promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

5. OPEN SOCIAL LAB

Turn the beloved power plant into a hotspot for social activity and innovation with a 3D Print Hub and a Makers’ Space for global entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, designers and visionaries.

Many thanks to Daria Tataj and the team at Tataj Innovation for joining us in Barcelona for the Startup Days and for organising this fabulous retreat.
We look forward to continued collaboration!

4th July 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni Board of Boards – The Journey Continues

On Saturday the 30th of June the Boards of the EIT's Alumni Communities assembled once more to discuss strategy, share knowledge, strengthen connections, and define the value of our Community at the annual EIT Alumni Board of Boards meeting.

The EIT Alumni Community continues to expand, as more and more alumni graduate from EIT education and business acceleration programmes, but also as new Alumni Communities join our network of networks.
This growth was certainly displayed at this meeting, where not only did we welcome 30 participants (double the number of last year!), but we also had the delightful opportunity to welcome EIT Raw Materials Alumni into our family for the first time.

To reflect this expansion, we thought it appropriate to host the meetings in a new location -Brussels, an ideal location for collaboration, and, handily, home to the new EIT House! 🙂

The meeting kicked off with a group speed-dating session. A number of highly diverse discussions arose, each presenting very important insights into our fellow members, such as: who liked to dance, and who hated to dance!  Who was allergic to eggs, and who thought beach volleyball was the best sport in the world! (World cup allegiances were kept to a minimum.... we were there to strengthen bonds, not break them.)

Most importantly, of course, we got to know each other, and had the chance to better understand the motivations of why people want to actively engage in the EIT Alumni Community, a desire that was shared by everyone present.

Following a brief round of updates from each Alumni Community, we dove into an intense discussion on a combined Community feedback presentation. This gave all participants the opportunity to outline what the EIT Alumni means to them, how the EIT Alumni positions  itself as the 'umbrella' of the other Alumni Communities, and to explore the added value that arises from being part of a multidisciplinary network of networks such as ours.

Much of the afternoon was taken up by knowledge exchange. Tables were divided into 5 topics: event organisation, leadership, community engagement, team-building, and social media. Participants were invited to flow around the room, engaging in which ever topic best suited them and their position in the EIT Alumni Community.

The chance to exchange knowledge between Alumni Communities is one of the prime benefits of the Board of Boards meeting. All are at different stages of maturity, so an afternoon dedicated to the sharing of best practices was very popular among all who attended.

Thanks again to everyone for attending! We are already looking forward to the next one!

Stay tuned for upcoming action points and feedback from the meeting.

2nd July 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumna, Swati Pandey, selected as Asia-pacific laureate of Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2018!

Earlier this year, Cartier selected EIT Climate-KIC Alumna, Swati Pandey, as the 2018 Asia-pacific laureate for the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards!

Swati has been an active member of the EIT Climate-KIC Alumni Association since 2011 when she took part in EIT Climate-KIC's 'The Journey'. In 2013 she was also nominated for the EIT Change award, and presented her idea at INNOVEIT that year.

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The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards aim to encourage inspirational women entrepreneurs worldwide to solve  contemporary global challenges by:

  • supporting and recognizing creative women who are making concrete contributions to finding solutions for the future of our planet
  • bringing these business solutions to the largest audience possible.

The award was announced at the awards ceremony held in Singapore in April. The awards were adjudged by Cartier, McKinsey and INSEAD Business School, where they selected 6 laureates (one from each continent) from a pool of more than 2800 businesses from 130+ countries, and awarded each laureate a cash prize of USD 100K, along with a seat on INSEAD's executive program on social entrepreneurship, year round mentoring by INSEAD and McKinsey, and global media exposure! This is the largest program of its kind in the world, in terms of geographical coverage, number of applicants, and the prize money awarded!

Being selected as the laureate for the Asia-Pacific region is a massive achievement for Swati! Her company, Arboreal Agro Innovations, oversees the production of an innovative, high-yielding variety of Stevia, which is fast emerging as a low-calory, environmentally friendly natural sweetener.

You can find out more about Swati and Arboreal Innovations, in this interview on BBC World News!

We wish Swati the best of luck in her already illustrious career!

 

 

25th June 2018 - No Comments!

Dora Palfi, among the 30 semi-finalists of “The European Social Innovation Competition”

Written by Tiziano Antico, Marketing and Communications Officer on the EIT Digital Alumni Board

The European Social Innovation Competition is an initiative of the European Commission that awards three 50.000 Euro prizes per year to the most innovative ideas developed to address social issues in EU Member States and beyond. Now, in its seventh year, the theme of RE:THINK LOCAL, is calling on projects that make use of locations unique characteristics  to create opportunities for young people in our changing economy.

The competition is held in memory of the Portuguese innovator Diogo Vasconcelos, and is a great opportunity for talented people to get their social innovation idea off the ground.

EIT Digital alumna Dora Palfi, co-founder of Women@EIT, decided to make the most of  this fantastic opportunity. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of ImagiCase and joined the competition with her startup. Her company, based in Sweden, wants to provide a mobile platform for tangible and expressive coding education, built by girls for girls. The platform pairs with  imagiCase devices,  a phone case with an embedded LED matrix that can be programmed to display any text or pattern. This way users learn to code by customising their own accessory.

The platform also provides tutorials of coding concepts which guide the user's learning experience in a gamified way, while at the same time fostering an online community of girls, who share a passion for learning to code by giving them the possibility of sharing one’s creations on a design feed.

This year, the competition was very tough, only 30 projects out of 731 eligible entries from 39 countries have been selected to enter the next phase of the competition! It's a huge success already that ImagiCase is one of them!

Dora and Imagicase are now moving to the next stage: an intensive three-day training programme called “The Academy”, which this year takes place in the beautiful city of Cluj in Romania. Here, the 30 semi-finalist projects will receive mentorship from experienced social innovators and entrepreneurs, and will have the opportunity to develop what, for many is just an idea at this stage, into a viable business proposition. Of course, they all hope to secure a place among the 10 finalists in the next selection round, and to, ultimately, be one of the 3 winners in the November final.

We want to wish Dora the best of luck with the next stages of the competition, and many congratulations for her great achievements thus far!

21st June 2018 - No Comments!

EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association takes shape in Berlin

Participants from educational programmes, start-ups and business competitions to play a pivotal role in the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association

Written by Jan Eggert, EIT Raw Materials

On 15-16 June 2018, the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association kicked off its inaugural meeting in Berlin. A diverse group of 25 participants from 17 countries participated in the event, all of whom had taken part in educational programmes, start-ups and business competitions supported by EIT RawMaterials. The enthusiastic group of students, entrepreneurs and other members of the Raw Materials community, who had travelled from around Europe for the event, took part in two evenings of social interaction and a full day of workshops, discussions and networking at a co-working space in Berlin.

Connecting and sharing expertise from across the community through different events and activities

After opening remarks and an introduction to the education and business development activities of EIT RawMaterials by Dr Rima Dapous, Director of Education at EIT RawMaterials, and Mikko Korhonen, Business Developer at EIT RawMaterials, the stage was set for the participants to brainstorm on what the alumni network should offer and on how they would like to get involved. In different breakout sessions, participants presented their visions for the alumni association, with four groups discussing and presenting on career development, business development, mentoring, and lifelong learning courses. The discussions generated a wealth of exciting ideas on how to deliver benefits to the EIT RawMaterials Alumni and the sector as a whole, by connecting and sharing expertise from across the community through different events and activities.

Networking, collaboration and mentoring opportunities

In a speed dating session, participants went on multiple “networking dates” of 7 minutes. Each participant created cards for ideas they are interested in “selling” and “buying” for which they are seeking collaborators, partners, investors, advice, or expertise. This exercise generated lively discussions and fostered early collaboration between participants. With the help of a booklet with pictures and bio texts of all participants, the session was a best practice example of the wide range of networking, collaboration and mentoring opportunities that can be enjoyed as part of the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association.

The day ended with information about the existing EIT Alumni Community, including a live discussion with Francesco Bonadiman, currently the Community Officer of the EIT Alumni Board. and the President of the EIT Digital Alumni Board. Finally, the formation of the founding EIT RawMaterials Alumni Board took place, by which time a wealth of connections, friendships and ideas had been created – a fantastic taste of the future of our EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association.

4th June 2018 - No Comments!

Women@EIT makes its way to Budapest

Written by Dora Palfi, Co-founder of Women@EIT

When we started women@EIT a year and a half ago we wanted to bring together the female students, alumnae and women affiliated with the EIT to form a community, a network. We have been working towards that goal through local events in Stockholm and Berlin and through our online community as well. Our goal has been to not only develop our own network, but also to inspire female students and professionals to become part of the EIT network, and we have also been hoping to reach to other Communities of the EIT.


In May 2018, for the first time, we organised an event at the Budapest EIT Digital CLC where we showcased two inspiring stories.
Dora Ballo is a Senior Project Manager at HungaroControl where she is currently managing the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research program. Dora shared details about four projects she is working on and how she is bringing innovation into her industry, and also talked about her experience in coming from a management background and entering a technical, male-dominated field. It was through her perseverance and commitment to acquire industry specific knowledge that allowed her to become successful in her job!

Our second speaker, Sara Volom told her story about following her passion and how she started Photon right after graduating high school! Sara already worked as a professional photographer for years as a teenager and as she participated in Uschool, an entrepreneurship program for high schoolers, where she became equipped with the basic knowledge needed to start one’s own venture. Combining her experience with the photography market and the knowledge acquired at Uschool she took a leap and started Photon.  


The event in Budapest has a special place in my heart. Not only because of the two amazing speakers who shared their stories with great enthusiasm but also because i was able to organise an event in my home town!

When I started my studies with EIT Digital at KTH in Stockholm I was suddenly in an environment where there is a lot of conversation about how to bring more women into technology and entrepreneurship, and where there are events and various initiatives targeted to promote role models and teach the necessary skills for women in tech on a regular basis. In Budapest this topic is starting to receive more and more attention and therefore it was very exciting to organise an event bringing together not only students, alumni and staff of the EIT but also professionals from outside our network and to tell them about the work of the EIT and women@EIT.

If you missed this opportunity don’t worry - there will be many more events for you to join, both in Budapest and across Europe! If you’d like to get involved you can always join our facebook group, follow our page or reach out directly! We would love to see more women@EIT events take place all around Europe!

Dora Palfi

30th April 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni @ Trento Smart City Week

In what proved to be a great collaboration between EIT Alumni board members past and present, on the 12th of April, former EIT Alumni President, Estefania Tapias, spoke at Speck&Tech, an event co-organised by our current EIT Alumni Community Officer, Francesco Bonadiman as part of Trento Smart City Week 2018.

The main topic of the week was 'Future Cities'.

With the event title: "From Smart Cities to Responsive Cities: how to bring citizens back to the center of urban planning processes", Estefania was the first speaker of the night.

Her talk looked at how a Responsive City can be seen as the next generation in urban development after the Smart City. Cities become first smart and then responsive and the two are differentiated by the dynamic behavior evident in responsive cities.

Smart Cities are technology-driven and produce large amounts of data, and so Smart Cities and Smart Buildings are in an early stage of development, as every building and every city is a prototype.
The Responsive City builds on Smart City technology, but places humans at the centre of decision-making, design, and management of the city. It uses the stocks and flows of information as the main driver of change. Data for the Responsive City come from smart buildings, smart infrastructure, and most important, from its citizens.

To deepen the knowledge about Responsive Cities, we define the concept of Citizen Design Science, a combination of Citizen Science and Urban Design. Both are conducted, in whole or in part, by citizens or non-professional scientists.
This approach is still in an early stage of development and, with the Responsive Cities research, we aim to explore its potential together with participants around the world.

Watch Speck&Tech's awesome video coverage of the event here!