All Posts in EIT Alumni News

16th May 2019 - No Comments!

Choose your coding path: a Women@EIT and WFW Community Collaboration

On the 26th of April, the Women@EIT Community teamed up with the WFW Community in Helsinki to hold the first of a series of workshops entitled 'Choose your coding path'.

Georgina Fogas was invited to be a speaker at the event. Read her personal take on the day below.

The WFW community was created to make it easier for women to share their skills and knowledge among their female friends. If you want to deepen your IT knowledge but feel too awkward/shy to ask the opposite gender for help, consider this group to be your starter-kit for the future. AWESOME DAYS are coming ahead!

Year 2019 started rolling and and so have things with the WFW community. The 26th of April marked the beginning of a fruitful coding journey dedicated to exploring the different emerging paths of IT and setting a personal goal depending on the subject that comes closest to one’s heart. Hence, this year’s series is called “Choose your coding path” and we just passed round 1 of it.

The topic of the first workshop was Algorithmic Thinking. The scope of this event was to give the participants an insight on how a computer works and the way the user should interact with it. And since the whole experience was gamified, the only materials needed to bring the concept to life were pen, paper, a whiteboard and great atmosphere (and there was plenty of it there).

The warm-up exercise consisted of one of the mentors acting as a computer that receives input for drawing a human face. In this part the whiteboard (in case you were wondering before what it was used for) came in very handy. This practical case was an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn how for solving a problem one needs to split the resolving stages from start until end in very small chunks that the computer can understand and afterwards perform, unlike the thinking process of humans for everyday tasks.

The second round was a bit more intense. Participants were split and distributed to several tables where together with a mentor they would solve programming exercises aimed at giving an understanding of what a variable is, what functions are and their scope, understanding the if statement and the for and while loops (to quote some of the tasks).

The last round was built around using the prior learned concepts of programming for the purpose of building a recommendation algorithm of a platform, such as Netflix or Spotify. Participants had to analyse how the streaming service of their choice works and build with pseudocode an algorithm that would learn what users like and might want to watch or hear.

And to cool down the minds and warm up the spirits, the end of the event was channeled around the motivational talk of Gina, who shared her story about changing careers and working on her break through to the Tech side. The speaker focused on sharing her own learning sources and alternatives for further development in IT( cause let’s be honest, nobody becomes a programmer from just one class or Youtube course).

Coming next…

Since this was just the beginning of a workshop series, of course, there is more to come. Plans were brought to life and things started taking shape in the following areas: app, game, software, front-end/ backend development and more. Dates were not defined yet but for now it’s a known fact that the events will take place once a month, so  participants have enough time to prepare themselves for the trainings to come.

Many thanks to Women@EIT and to the WFW team for their hard work to make this Workshop possible.

See you at the next rounds! 🙂

3rd April 2019 - No Comments!

19 EIT Community Innovators listed on the #SET100

Each year the Start up Energy Transition Network, list their top 100 Start-ups in the field of Energy Transition.

Almost 450 start-ups from 80 countries competed in one of five categories to showcase their solutions to climate change, the energy transition and the future of our
very world! The 100 start-ups come from 31 countries, 18 different sectors and cover all regions of the world.

Energy generation, energy use, and everything in between – The SET100
Climate change and the energy transition are some of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced and those named in the SET100 work specifically to overcome them. While other lists purely stress innovation or business success, SET celebrates innovative start-ups that the international community of cross-sectoral experts has acknowledged to have the largest impact in energy and in the fight against climate change. Furthermore, the SET100 is uniquely focused on start-ups. This is a celebration of Innovation, of tenacity, and of companies revolutionizing the energy world.

As the graph below indicates, you can see that European startups have dominated almost every category, which is extremely positive for the future of European innovation.

What is even more pleasing to see is that 19 out of the 100 startups listed globally are alumni of the EIT's Accelerator programmes. A great achievement for our community!

Of the 19 listed, 13 are alumni of EIT Climate-KIC, five of EIT InnoEnergy and one from EIT Digital.

We would like to give special mention to Envelio, Epishine, Flexidao, and Roofit Solar Energy, all of whom have been selected as finalists for the 2019 awards taking place on 9 April 2019.

Good luck!

Congratulations to the following startups listed:

EIT Climate-KIC
Adaptricity (Switzerland),  Coolar (Germany), Envelio (Germany), Epishine (Sweden), Fuelsave (Portugal), , Go To-U (Ukraine), Heliac (Denmark), Zeleros (Spain), SorayTec (Norway), Roofit Solar Energy (Estonia), Nuventura (Germany), Motiontag (Germany), Leaftech (Germany).

EIT InnoEnergy

Glowee (France), Flexidao (Spain), RatedPower (Spain), One Watt Solution (The Netherlands), Instagrid (Germany).

EIT Digital

Enerbrain (Italy)

Read the full list, including an overview of the methodology and selection criteria in the pdf below.

1st April 2019 - No Comments!

Call for applications – EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019

It is already time for us to begin preparations for our favourite event of the year - EIT Alumni CONNECT!

Today we open applications to all members of the EIT Alumni Community who would like to take a leading role in organising EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019!

As usual this event will be organised by the community, for the community, so we are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic alumni to help with the facilitation and organisation of EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019!

Based on the feedback from last year we have decided to host the event once again at the Brody Studios, an entirely unique venue, located in the heart of Budapest.
Other than that? The event is completely in your hands.

This is your opportunity to take the reins of our community, design a memorable event, and steer the future of the EIT Alumni!

We are looking for:

  1. Moderators for EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019
  2. A working group for the organisation of EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019

** Deadline for Applications is 1 May 2019 **

What's in it for you?

  • The chance to meet and work with a cross-community working group
  • The opportunity to shape the event and directly contribute to the future of our community
  • Free travel to and from Budapest for the event and kick off meeting
  • A certificate recognising your involvement in the leadership team.
  • An unforgettable experience!

For those of you who took part in EIT CONNECT 2018, we're sure you will remember what a great opportunity this is to network with alumni outside of your sector. For those who couldn't make it, check out our photo album from last year!

 

27th March 2019 - No Comments!

Do you have the XX Factor? Women@EIT pitching challenge kicks off the 2019 event series

This year we are supporting the Women@EIT network in the organisation of a series of events across Europe. From workshops in Helsinki, to inspirational talks in Stuttgart, we have a great series of events lined up, all united under the common goal of increasing the number of women in entrepreneurship.

The first of these events took place on the 8th of March in Eindhoven.

Read EIT Digital Master's student, Chandana Gopalakrishnan's take on the event:

In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating the International Women’s day on the 8th of March and introduced themes commemorating this day since 1996. The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2019  is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.

Pitch training by Nierika Hamaekers

Speaking of innovation, We celebrated women’s day this year with Women@EIT. Women@EIT conducts several workshops and events at various EIT Co-location Centres to inspire female entrepreneurs and innovators. In fact, one of the core values is Professionalism which revolves around conducting leadership and technical workshops to add value to the career skills of young and energetic professionals. To mark the Women’s day 2019,  Women@EIT held a pitching competition “The XX Factor Pitching Challenge 2019” open to all students in the Netherlands,  including the local EIT Alumni in Eindhoven.

The pitching competition was all about coming up with an innovative business solution to address current societal problems and presenting the ideas with an impressive pitch. To begin the event with, Erwin van Eijden, the Co-Location manager of the Eindhoven node gave a warm welcome address to the gathering. After which, we had some cool pitches from the participants, explaining some of their innovative ideas and business proposals. The local leader of Eindhoven node, Aishwarya Manjunath Shetty gave a quick insight on who we are and what we do at Women@EIT. Later, there was a fun filled pitch training session by the speaker Nierika Hamaekers, Sustainability consultant at The Terrace.

The training session was indeed very interactive and informative with various tips and techniques to deliver a good pitch. At the end of the event, there were some interesting prizes and goodies for the contestants and participants, not to forget the pizza party after the event 😀

 

Read what the Women@EIT Local Leader for Eindhoven, Aishwarya Manjunath Shetty has to say about the event:

An opportunity never knocks twice and I wanted to make the best out of the opportunity given to me to conduct an event on behalf of Women@EIT. With all the support from the Women@EIT board, EIT Alumni, EIT Digital CLC, Eindhoven and Volunteers from Eindhoven node, the event turned out to be a very successful and enjoyable one. I would like to specially thank the Jury – Erwin van Eijden, Raymond Opdenakker, Laena Nguyen and our speaker Nierika Hamaekers for their time and effort to judge the Pitching Challenge and give the Pitch training. I would also like to thank volunteers Chandana Gopalakrishnan and Sindhuja Prakash for helping out during the event. Last but not the least, hearty congratulations to the winner of the Pitching challenge – Chandana Gopalakrishnan and runners up Arun Kumar Ramachandran and Mahmoud Khodier.

6th March 2019 - No Comments!

Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: An interview with Eirik Eide Pettersen

Interview originally published on EIT InnoEnergy website.

Achieving a spot on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for Europe (Manufacturing & Industry) is no small feat. This is the kind of accolade that opens doors and serves as a permanent record, usually the first major one in a series to come, of a person’s career achievements.

Eirik Eide Pettersen, has been recognised for his work as co-founder of Seaborg Technologies. He joins fellow EIT InnoEnergy Alumni, Govinda Upadhya, Allen Mohammadi and Tanmoy Bari who have all earned their spots on this prestigious list. Eirik’s contribution is Seaborg’s exciting innovation in the nuclear energy field – a Compact Molten Salt Reactor for sustainable, safe, and inexpensive nuclear energy – which you can read about here.

Our friends at EIT InnoEnergy caught up with Eirik to hear what he had to say about this monumental success, and to see if he had any advice for other innovators out there who might have their eyes on this prize.

Where were you when you found out about making the list?
“I was actually on a skiing vacation in Oberaudorf, south Germany, with my girlfriend – trying my best to relax, disconnect from work with my phone safely tucked away. By chance, I heard it vibrate… I saw it was my co-worker calling to ask if I’d seen the news and if we have any HD photos for the news outlets that had started writing about us!”

What was your reaction to the news?
“I am extremely honoured, of course, both personally but also for Seaborg. In general, I am very appreciative of the excellent team at Seaborg who is really the main reason this could become a reality. While it is my name there on Forbes, I think it should really be considered a team victory. Also, I can’t help but feel quite humbled – it is not every day your name is featured together with the likes of Harry Potter!”

What can this win mean for you and Seaborg’s future?
“This acknowledgement from Forbes is a milestone for Seaborg, and will certainly give us attention and introduce us to some new circles. Hopefully, the momentum can help us accomplish the next milestones. For example, we have a large fundraising round we’re working on so the acknowledgement and exposure will surely help. And I think in the longer run, it tremendously strengthens both my personal CV and our company CV.”

Was it always a goal to make the list?
No. I doubt that this is the kind of acknowledgement that anyone sets out to win. Rather, it comes as a (very pleasant) side-effect of trying to accomplish overarching goals – in our case: to save the world. And to be honest, if the goal is to be a Forbes 30 under 30, I am certain there are easier ways to accomplish that than with an advanced nuclear energy company.”

Since the article InnoEnergy published in December, is there anything new happening at Seaborg that you would like to share?
The company keeps growing (we are now 18!), and we are gaining footholds outside of Denmark with one new employee based abroad. After the last story, the response from EMINE students has been great, and we look forward to hosting at least three interns this summer. Lastly, I’ll be at the Connect event in Stockholm this April and look forward to seeing new and old InnoEnergiers there!”

Any advice for others wanting to make this Forbes list?
“Don’t fret too much about it. Do something that you are passionate about, try to make the world a better place, and then keep on trucking. Understand that there are only so many things you can control yourself – hard work, personal sacrifices, taking risks – while much relies on luck and privilege. In my case, I have had the extreme luck and privilege to find myself at the right place at the right time to become a part of the amazing journey that is Seaborg Technologies.”

Eirik, and Seaborg Technologies, have since been listed in media articles at a number news agencies in Scandinavia. 

5th March 2019 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni @ MCAA General Assembly 2019

"There is so much we can learn from each other. I wish I had a sign with me that said: "I am from EIT! Ask me!" 

On Saturday the 24th of February we sent Maria Kanov to the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) General Assembly as an ambassador of our community.

Maria, an alumna of EIT Digital, and co-founder of our Women@EIT Community, kindly agreed to represent us and immerse herself in a day of workshops, talks, and presentations held at the resplendent University of Vienna.

For the past few years, the MCAA and the EIT Alumni have often benefited from a close friendship. Indeed our structures are very similar, with both bringing together highly-skilled professionals and academics from a variety of sectors into a highly engaged, decentralised, European community.

It makes sense, therefore, that we seek to strengthen this bond, and establish a means for continued collaboration between our networks. This is exactly what we plan to do in 2019.

The MCAA event focused on the theme of "Research and Innovation beyond the Information Age" and offered a range of keynotes and training sessions aimed at addressing the evolving research environment - from how to write proposals for individual fellowships and European Research Council grants, to starting an entrepreneurship venture, and transitioning from academia to industry.

According to Maria's report, the EIT was mentioned by a number of the MCAA speakers. As a community of academics and researchers, an exciting next step for many of them is to look towards the world of business and entrepreneurship.

"I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to join the MCAA General Assembly in my home city of Vienna. An impressive crowd of about 700 researchers from various scientific fields came together to discuss, network and experience what it's like to be part of this community. The energy and enthusiasm I could feel at the event reminded me a lot of the EIT network. It was also striking that there was a lot of interest in the EIT from both speakers and participants, as it is an opportunity for bridging the gap between academia and business.
I wish I had a sign with me that said: "I am from EIT! Ask me!" There is so much we can learn from each other. Let's get this collaboration started!"
Maria Kanov, EIT Digital Alumni & Women@EIT

This is something we would very warmly welcome. Bolstering the growing number of EIT Community entrepreneurs by inviting MCAA Alumni to take part in EIT Business creation and Accelerator programmes would be be a valuable addition to the ever expanding EIT Alumni Community. Of course the MCAA also offers a lot of opportunities for our own members, and we look forward in working together more this year!

We would like to thank the MCAA once again for giving us the opportunity to take part in this event, and learn from their members.

We look forward to inviting you to EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019!

13th February 2019 - No Comments!

The XX Factor: Pitching Challenge

Where: EIT Digital CLC, High Tech Campus 31, 5656 AE Eindhoven
When: March 8th, 17:00
Who: This event is open to all EIT Alumni and students

Apply here!  - Application deadline: February 15 

More details about the event, organizers and the judges can be found on the EIT Women Facebook event. Food and beverages will be provided by the organizers 🙂

7th January 2019 - No Comments!

Women@EIT – Women4IT

At the end of last year, the EIT Alumni were contacted by Digital Europe to take part in the 'Releasing Women's Potential for the Digital Economy - Women4ITevent in Brussels on December 12th.

Taking full advantage of this opportunity to boost the visibility of our activities related to Women entrepreneurship, we reached out to the co-founders of Women@EIT.

Dóra Pálfi, alumna of EIT Digital, agreed to take part on our behalf. She presented the activities of the EIT and EIT Alumni, and offered some insights into Women@EIT and her own career in ICT. Dora sat on the panel ' Why Women in ICT' alongside Eva Fabry from the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT), and and Susanna Makela from Microsoft.

Following the event, Dora got in touch with us and shared her account of the event. Read her take below:

"On December 12th, the “Releasing Women's Potential for the Digital Economy - Women4IT" launch event was hosted by DIGITALEUROPE. Policy makers, leading representatives of the digital economy ecosystem represented in Brussels, the founders of the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment, and representatives of the media all had a chance to discuss the issue of diversity and gender equality in the tech sector.

Changing this situation will take time. Meanwhile, engagement and actions at all levels are paramount to show young women that technology provides valuable tools for boosting creativity and real-world problem solving.

The first panel “Why women in ICT?” addressed questions around why the lack of women in the ICT is even a “problem” and what understanding we have about the root causes of this issue. Speakers on the panel included Eva Fabry from the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) who discussed the Norwegian approach, and Susanna Makela from Microsoft who has presented Microsoft’s recent study that has found that girls already at a young age, before starting high school, begin to shy away from technology and engineering.

As the co-founder of women@EIT and a woman starting her career in tech I had the unique opportunity to contribute to the discussion from the perspective of female students aspiring for a career in ICT. Beyond discussing the various initiatives the EIT supports in order to encourage female participation in technology and entrepreneurship I had the chance to share how women@EIT brings a unique addition to the ecosystem: while we also believe that role models are important, one of our key pillars is having an active peer network of female students and professionals in technology/entrepreneurship."

You can view the full album of photos from the panel “Why Women in ICT?”  here.

4th January 2019 - No Comments!

Look for your wing-person and be one for others, too

By Mark Aguinaldo, EIT Climate-KIC Alumni Representative to the EIT Alumni Board

That's my takeaway from the workshop session at the EIT Health Alumni Summit held in Lodz, Poland earlier this month. Indeed, pursuing one's goals becomes manageable when you're receiving support from people you trust. Like in an air combat mission, the lead pilot needs a wing-person - someone to guard their blind-spots and ready to support their next, often daring, maneuvers.

Straight from the last EIT Alumni Board meeting for 2018, hosted at the EIT Health headquarters in Munich, I traveled to Lodz as an EIT Climate-KIC Alumni Community representative to the 1st EIT Health Alumni Summit. As an additional privilege of being part of the EIT Alumni network, I got the chance to attend the 3rd edition of the annual EIT Health Summit. Both events, hosted at the Medical University of Lodz, celebrated the tremendous efforts of EIT Health's network of best-in-class healthcare innnovators in delivering solutions to enable European citizens to live longer, healthier lives.

At the EIT Health Alumni Summit, Alumni & Communications Manager, Miriam Irle and EIT Impact Officer for Entrepreneurship and Business Creation, Laurent Roux, delivered the welcoming remarks. Miriam reported on the steady growth of the EIT Health Alumni community in terms of membership since their foundation in 2017. This gave them the impetus to intensify their efforts in providing job offers, mentoring activities and workshops to aspiring entrepreneurs, and developing an attractive platform for Startups to promote their businesses and touch base with potential partners within the healthcare sector and beyond.

 

Later that day, Miriam presented the EIT Health Alumni board members, and gave a recap of their activities in 2018 which focused on enhancing the wider EIT Health community by bringing into contact their members to the different initiatives of EIT Health Campus, Innovation Projects, and the business creation program EIT Health Accelerator, among others. She also announced the appointment of Miguel Amador as the incoming President of the EIT Health Alumni board.

Source: EIT Health Alumni Facebook page

On the other hand, Laurent introduced the EIT Alumni as a community for all graduates and alumni of the EIT Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs), which so far includes those of EIT Climate, EIT Digital, EIT Health, EIT InnoEnergy, and EIT Raw Materials, making it an interdisciplinary and multicultural network of networks where every member can learn from each other, and potentially form multi-skilled teams to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Summit participants also learned about the EIT Alumni flagship activities namely the EIT Alumni Startup Days, a hackathon style event held several times a year where participating alumni from different Innovation Communities challenge themselves to co-design solutions to societal challenges, and the EIT Alumni CONNECT which serves as an annual meetup event where members can partner and co-create on projects and collaborate on how to further strengthen the community.

Using tools from positive psychology, team-building activities were facilitated for the rest of the afternoon by Yunel Founder & Managing Partner Kerstin Humberg. The ice-breakers were so entertaining that in no time, us participants have created circles of friends. For instance, the speed dating style session gave us the opportunity to discover our partner's motivation and expectation to join the Summit. By the way, we definitely enjoyed the coffee breaks in between, a smörgåsbord of delish Polish snacks.

"At some point during the group exercises, Kerstin highlighted the significance of being a wing-person to one another. It resonated with me. Be it in building a startup and pursuing professional success or when it comes to our personal endeavors, we tend to be more and achieve more with trusted friends and allies around. Now imagine we belong to a community full of wing-people. We've got nothing to lose. Only endless possibilities."

For the next workshop, the participants were divided into groups and were tasked to brainstorm and visualize what constitutes a healthy city of the future. Oh what fun it is, knowing that we were in a safe place to discuss ideas, not to mention the diversity of talents in the room, we're able to come up with innovative ideas for our vision boards.

I came to the Summit with my personal advocacy, which is climate action. So I envision a healthy city as a climate-resilient city, where healthcare management is responsive to the changing climate. While I believe that we still have time to limit climate change catastrophes, small and poor countries in the Pacific such as mine have long been affected by climate change disproportionately. Definitely closer to home.
The Philippines was listed as the No. 1 country most affected by climate change in the 2015 Global Climate Risk Index. The most glaring health issues relating to extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change are the prevalence of Dengue, Thyphoid, Cholera, and Malaria epidemics during seasons of higher temperatures while more women are endangered and killed, even at a younger age, when impacted by natural hazards such as droughts, storms, and floods (Climate Change and the Philippines: Executive Brief, 2018).

Hopefully, as we collect and analyze climate and health data, more targeted developmental and humanitarian assistance can be extended to the most affected areas of the world. How much more if we do our part? Well, how about having wing-countries?

This article was taken from Mark's personal blog. Read the full article here.

 

11th December 2018 - No Comments!

Intelligent Alumni @ Artificial Intelligence workshop

On the 23 November, the EIT held a joint workshop with the JRC in Brussels on the Legal and Regulatory Implications of Artificial Intelligence with a focus on autonomous vehicles, e-health and data mining.

We thought this would be a great opportunity to involve some of our EIT Alumni members, so carefully selected two who were working in the field of AI and who brought their own innovative ideas to the table.

The first was Julia Wache, alumna of both EIT Health and EIT Digital, and a 2017 EIT Award nominee for her company Feelspace, which produces a vibrotactile compass belt that functions as a sixth sense.

The second was David Pribil, an alumnus of EIT Digital who participated in EIT Alumni CONNECT 2018. He currently works on AI solutions in Healthcare for Kheiron Medical in London.

"In the workshop I learned a lot about the background and current challenges of AI. With our health product at feelSpace there are some interesting links and I became more aware of possible future applications and combination possibilities. I feel more informed about the topic and better prepared to reach out for corresponding opportunities. " Julia Wache, Feelspace

This one day event, held at the EIT House in Brussels, consisted of a series of speeches in the morning, looking at the various AI related activities of the European Commission, the EIT and the JRC. The afternoon offered 3 parallel workshops.

Given their background in E-health, both Julia and David chose to participate in Session II Legal challenges in e-health. Both found the discussions informative, and felt like their input was a valuable addition to the event.

"This workshop was very useful for me to understand the regulatory perspective a bit more and I also feel that my input was useful for the other participants." David Pribil, Kheiron Medical

David has put together a great photo diary of the whole day. Read his story here!