All Posts in EIT Alumni News

5th April 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni Yearbook 2017

We have now officially published our EIT Alumni Yearbook for 2017!

This looks at some of our highlights of the year, including the annual events of the Alumni Communities, EIT Alumni Connect 2017 and an exclusive interview with the founders of Women@EIT.

31 December 2017 marked the end of the second year of an EIT Alumni Community guided by the EIT Alumni Board. As ever, the community continued to expand, as more EIT Label students graduate from their degrees and join the global network of EIT Alumni.

Want to know read more about the EIT Alumni? Read about our events and much more in the 2017 EIT Alumni Community Yearbook!

Or, check out our flip book version below:

26th March 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni as Jury member at JADE Spring Conference 2018

A key goal of the EIT Alumni in 2018 is to improve its visibility through increased external representation.  One aspect of this is to offer alumni the chance to take part in interesting and inspiring events across Europe.
EIT Alumni Ambassadors will have the chance to further develop their entrepreneurial skills, while also supporting the growth of the EIT Alumni Community.

At the beginning of March, Jeroen van Lent (EIT Digital Alumnus), took part in the JADE Spring Conference as a Jury member on behalf of the EIT Alumni. He was asked to present the 'Most Innovative Junior Enterprise Award'.
This is the second time the EIT Alumni has collaborated with JADE. We look forward to a continuing productive and fruitful relationship.

Read Jeroen's story below:

From the 8th until the 10th of March, the JADE Spring Conference took place in Brussels. On behalf of the EIT Alumni, I had the pleasure to attend and to be a part of the Jury awarding their best Junior Enterprise. JADE is a European umbrella organization for Junior Enterprises, established and managed by students. Their Spring Conference brought over 400 representatives from all around Europe to Brussels, to attend workshops, exchange best practices and get inspired.

It was very insightful to see the incredible level of the Junior Enterprises in the JADE network. The pitches for the excellence awards were extremely high in quality and serve as a good example on how to establish a business. You can see that this incredible group of young people has a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship similar to the EIT Alumni Ecosystem. Just like us, they are very passionate about their businesses and the JADE network gives them unique opportunities for networking and further expansion.rollup

My role, as a part of the jury, was to award the “Most Innovative Junior Enterprise” award. Especially in this category the innovative potential of the Junior Enterprises was impressive. The enterprise JuniorISEP developed a very innovative concept reinventing medical consultations through a remote connection with the doctor, while Junior CentraleSupélec developed an innovative factory navigation to control the stock cycle based on the hololens technology. Both junior enterprises worked hard to impress their client using state-of-the-art modern technologies.

I would like to thank JADE and the EIT Alumni for the opportunity to participate in the Jury and look forward to many more great enterprises in the future!

It is great to see the EIT Alumni taking an active role in key EIT activities. Keep up to date with our social media channels for updates on other ways which you can put your entrepreneurial talents to use, attend exciting events and support the EIT Alumni Community.

 


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20th March 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni mentors at EIT workshop for migrants in Helsinki

A key goal of the EIT Alumni in 2018 is to improve its visibility through increased external representation.  One aspect of this is to offer alumni the chance to take part in interesting and inspiring events across Europe.
EIT Alumni Ambassadors will have the chance to further develop their entrepreneurial skills, while also supporting the growth of the EIT Alumni Community.

During the first weekend of March, two members of the EIT Alumni - Jude Nunga (EIT Health Alumnus) and Hassan Merghani (EIT Digital Alumnus) - acted as mentors and jury members in the EIT's pilot workshop for migrants in Helsinki.

The Startup My Business Weekend, where participants were taught how to start a business in Finland and to gain the necessary skills and networks to move forward with their business ideas, was done in cooperation with Startup Refugees, a non-profit voluntary network supporting refugees with employment opportunities and entrepreneurship.

Hassan presents

Photography by Wazim Khuzam

The 3-day programme had a very detailed agenda, designed to give participants a solid understanding of the world of entrepreneurship, how to develop their business ideas, how to pitch their ideas, and how to build a network.

The EIT, who actively participated in setting the agenda for the event, invited the EIT Alumni to also take on a major role during the weekend. Jude Nunga and Hassan Merghani were asked to give on-site coaching to teams developing their business ideas over the weekend, offer pitch training, and to provide advice based on their own experiences within the EIT Community.

Hassan Meghani gave the following summary of the event:
"The Startup My Business event itself was very well-executed and organised, and participants were quite interested to learn more about what the EIT can offer them after the presentation I gave there together with my fellow colleagues. Even though I might have not been the most active member within the alumni network since I graduated, this weekend has motivated me to contribute more and has taught me that once an alumnus of EIT, you're always an alumnus."

Following the event, participants will now be able to apply to EIT Business Accelerator programmes and also for the Startup Refugees Business Programme, which will start in March 2018 and last for five months in Helsinki.

workshop working group

Photography by Wazim Khuzam

After participating Jude Nunga got in touch with to say that he 'really liked being a part such an event and I can see a lot of value in the program, particularly with the addition of EIT collaboration and support. It was interesting to observe that most Startup Refugees participants developed a good understanding of entrepreneurship.'

It is great to see the EIT Alumni taking an active role in key EIT activities. Keep up to date with our social media channels for updates on other ways which you can put your entrepreneurial talents to use, attend exciting events and support the EIT Alumni Community.

19th March 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni Startup Days 2018 – Barcelona

On Saturday the 10th of March the EIT Alumni held their pilot challenge solving edition of the EIT Alumni Startup Days in Barcelona. During the course of a restructured and redesigned 12 hour hackathon over 25 participants were invited to tackle the tricky challenge of re-imagining the port of Badalona. A challenge fraught with multiple difficulties and dimensions, but one which ultimately offers the chance to make your mark on Catalonian history,

The EIT Alumni Startup Days are one of the flagship events for the EIT Alumni Community. Originally created in 2015, the idea for the event was born in the midst of an early EIT Alumni CONNECT event and was quickly scaled up by the community.

The first two editions; 2015 and 2016 took the form of multiple events running in tandem in major cities across Europe. Participants, largely made up of alumni, students and innovation enthusiasts came together to meet people from other parts of the EIT Alumni Community, form teams and embark on entrepreneurial adventures.

Although ultimately a success, the EIT Alumni Board questioned whether this event format perhaps needed some slight tweaking to keep up with the evolution of our community.
And so, after productive sessions at the EIT Alumni Board of Boards meeting and EIT Alumni CONNECT 2017, the new version was born! – The EIT Alumni Start up Days: Challenge Solving edition.

The structure is simple –
Step 1: find an innovative partner company.
Step 2: invite them to propose a challenge for the event,
Step 3, unleash the full potential of the EIT Alumni Community to provide solutions to the challenge.

Startup Days group 1

For the Barcelona edition of our new event format, we were very lucky to have the support of Tataj Innovation as our partner company. Tataj Innovation help mid-size cities build innovation districts, making them an ideal partner for the EIT Alumni.
Daria Tataj, one of the first members of the EIT Governing Board and adviser to EU Commissioner Moedas, tasked participants with the mission of reinventing the Littoral Front of Barcelona:

The mission:
INCUBATING A NEW INNOVATION DISTRICT IN BARCELONA: THE RECOVERY OF THE LITTORAL FRONT BETWEEN THE BADALONA PORT AND THE BESÒS RIVER

To sweeten the deal, Tataj Innovation offered participants with the best proposals a chance to join her and other local investors for a 24 hour Innovation Retreat at their new beachfront offices!

Over the course of an intense 12hour workshop, in the wonderfully apt setting provided by the all-green, zero-waste, beautifully-decorated Apocapoc, participants navigated their way through the ideation process with the support of the guiding hands of Francesco Bonadiman, our EIT Alumni Community Officer, and our on-site coaches who helped the alumni stay true to their course.

At the end of the day, four equally well developed yet refreshingly diverse proposals were pitched to the jury. These consisted of:

  1. The Bridge
    Badalona as the connection point between Europe and China
  2. Badalona 4.0
    Building an Artificial Intelligence Living Lab in the Iconic Besòs power plant
  3. eNeutral Badalona
    Creating an energy neutral space that connects communities, public space, living and working space
  4. Opened Social Lab
    A networking / innovation hot-spot that connects innovators to mentors, partners and investors

After much deliberation the jury finally came to a decision: not one team, but all four would be able to take part in the 24hour Innovation Retreat!

It was believed that because the challenge was so open, and due to the remarkable aspects of each team, the best thing for both the port of Badalona, and for the entrepreneurial enthusiasts at the event, would be to try and combine the ideas and collaborate further within the idyllic confines of Tataj Innovation’s Innovation Retreat.

Teams will reconvene again in late spring at the Innovation Retreat, we look forward to hearing how the ideas develop.
Thanks again to our organising team for all their hard work, Tataj Innovation for their massive support, Apocapoc BCN for their wonderful venue, and to our participants for making innovation happen!

The next EIT Alumni Startup Days is coming soon in Berlin! Stay tuned, and make sure to get involved!

17th November 2017 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni-Benelux Christmas Meet-up

We are very proud to announce that this Christmas will mark the first gathering of the EIT Alumni in the Benelux region.

The Christmas meet-up will take place at the newly opened EIT House in Brussels.
Staff of the EIT or the KICs, as well as alumni based outside of the Benelux countries are more than welcome to join.

Location and Date
📍 EIT House, Rue Guimard 7, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
🗓 16 December or 17 December 2017. TBC based on your input.

🎄 TENTATIVE AGENDA 🎄
10:00 - 13:00 Part 1: Working sessions 👩🏻‍💻
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch Break 🍎
14:00 - 17:00 Part 2: Festive networking sessions 🎅🏻

The sessions are optional. If you are interested in attending, more info can be found in the registration form available at https://goo.gl/forms/sstGnik7gC4WXCqS2

Registration deadline is November 30th. We hope you can join us!

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.

28th June 2017 - No Comments!

Inspiring Women Leaders from the EIT Community – Mina Mirzadeh

On June 2nd we published our second profile of Inspirational Women from the EIT Community. 

These profiles are designed to highlight some of the great and successful women in our community, to inspire a future generation of women entrepreneurs, and to create a buzz around the opportunities an entrepreneurial education can offer.
Unfortunately, it is true that there is a gender imbalance in the field of entrepreneurship. We hope that these profiles will be one small step towards improving this!

Our 2nd inspirational candidate was Mina Mirzadeh, an EIT InnoEnergy Alumna and local CommUnity Manager for Leuven.

Have a read of her interview below. She offers some very valuable insights into being a woman leader in the EIT Community.

 


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19th June 2017 - No Comments!

Our new EIT Alumni Board – 2017

In June 2017, three new enthusiastic and talented alumni were welcomed onto the EIT Alumni Board, excited to build on the solid foundations created in 2016.

The Board of the EIT Alumni is made up of four members representing the four existing EIT Community Alumni associations, namely: EIT Digital Alumni, Climate-KIC Alumni Association, The CommUnity by InnoEnergy and EIT Health, supported by an EIT representative. In the near future, the alumni associations of EIT Raw Materials and EIT Food will also appoint a member from their own alumni board to represent them as part of the EIT Alumni Community.

The first EIT Alumni Board was created in May 2016 as a means of strengthening the EIT Alumni community, shaping its future, and fostering collaboration between the KIC alumni associations. Importantly, the EIT Alumni Community creates a real and effective link between the EIT and EIT Community students and innovators.

In its first year of operation, the role of the EIT Alumni Board has primarily been to create an effective governance structure for the community and to hold added-value activities for members. As this initial period comes to an end, the EIT Alumni Board can now focus on increasing levels of collaboration between the KIC Alumni groups, and work on building a strong community, which supports and enables its members.

The new Board for 2017

The new board members hope to bring a fresh burst of energy to the EIT Alumni Community and are excited to build on the strong foundations established by the previous board in 2016.

 

Left to Right: Laurent Roux, Emsee Kooijman, Falko Döring, Francesco Bonadiman, Miguel Amador

  • Our new EIT Alumni president for 2017 is Falko Döring, Community Manager of the CommUnity by InnoEnergy
  • Our new Vice-President is Esmee Kooijman, current Secretary of the Board of EIT Climate-KIC Alumni Association
  • Our new Community Manager is Francesco Bonadiman, current President of the EIT Digital Alumni
  • Our new EIT Representative is Laurent Roux, Entrepreneurship Officer at the EIT.
  • Our Treasurer continues to be Antonio Martinez Millano, the EIT Health representative.

While the original board may leave big shoes to fill, our new board members are certainly up to the challenge!

Thank you to the previous Board


Of the original five board members , we say farewell to four of them:

These initial Board members have put a great deal of time and effort into setting up the EIT Alumni Board and we would like to thank all of them for their great work and commitment to the EIT Alumni Community.

 

For more information on the new board members, check out our Board Page

 


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17th May 2017 - No Comments!

Inspiring Women leaders from the EIT Community – Estefania Tapias

On Friday the 12th of May, we launched the first of our profiles of 'Inspirational EIT Community Women Leaders and Entrepreneurs'

These profiles are designed to highlight some of the great and successful women in our community, to inspire a future generation of women entrepreneurs, and to create a buzz around the opportunities an entrepreneurial education can offer.
Unfortunately, it is true that there is a gender imbalance in the field of entrepreneurship. We hope that these profiles will be one small step towards improving this!

Without any further ado, allow us to introduce Estefania Tapias, current President of our EIT Alumni Board and former President of the Climate-KIC Alumni Association!

 

Estefania Tapias

 

Our next profile will be posted on Friday the 2nd of June. Keep an eye out!

 


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24th April 2017 - No Comments!

Meet Andra Lungu, Alumna of EIT Digital Master’s School

During the course of 2017, EIT Digital will meet former Master School students and ask them why they chose their programme and how they see their professional future. Last week they met with Andra Lungu.

EIT Digital Master's Students

EIT Digital Master Schools offer two year programmes in 19 of the best European universities, providing ICT and entrepreneurial training. Every year, 500 graduates join the alumni network and begin a career in the best European and international companies and organisations.

Andra Lungu

Andra is a student from Romania who joined the Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master after a bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University. She tells EIT Digital about her learning and experiences during the two years of her Master's.

What studies did you do before joining the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?

I started studying Computer Science in high school as I was good at maths, so it was quite a logical path forward. I then passed my bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University in Computer Science. The content of the programmes at the University were technical and I graduated as an engineer in 2013.

How did you come across the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?

An assistant professor at the Bucharest Polytechnic University recommended the EIT Digital Master Schools programme to me when I was searching for a Master's programme after University. The Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master had all I wanted from a Master programme and offered me the benefit of studying abroad in both France and Germany.

What motivated you to join the programme?

I liked the idea of experiencing two different cultures in the course of my study. It was also a challenge, as I knew the French language but not so much German. To me, it was the opportunity to discover new cultures and work in two different countries.

Andra Lungu with classmates at the Summer School in Finland

Can you tell us about your experience as a student in France and Germany?

Université de Rennes 1 in France was a great start to my studies, the programme manager, Stéphanie Halochet, did a lot to help foreign students set up in France. She was a bit like a second mother, helping us with administrative work and day-to-day issues. Rennes is a small city and to me, coming from Bucharest, it was fun and unusual to have people recognizing me in the streets, like in a village.

During the Summer School in Finland after the year in France, I was able to develop a personal entrepreneurial project based on information and big data, which helped for my second year in Berlin.

My second year at the Technical University of Berlin was even busier. I didn’t suffer from the language barrier as people spoke English and Berlin is an international city. At the time, a lot of startups were being created and I felt right in the middle of the buzz.

The EIT Digital Master Schools taught me entrepreneurship as well as competences in my field of research. In the first and second year, my project was about big data, so logically I joined the startup « Flink » to work as a research assistant during my studies. It was great to work in a team of startupers and get both academic knowledge and business experience at the same time.

During the programme I liked how we could combine startup ideas with technical courses in a fun way. In Bucharest I just studied engineering, with EIT Digital I could also get into the business side of technology. It was also very interesting to compare evaluation methods in Rennes and Berlin: The French academic system is more theoretical whereas the German academic system is more practical.

What did you learn about yourself during your studies?

I learned that I can face cultural challenges, become friends with other Europeans, and I learned to become independent by working and studying at the same time.

What have you done since the Master's programme?

After the degree I came back to Bucharest and joined Orange to work for a project in big data - my job consisted of developing methods and tools to analyse data from phone networks. I am now working for Adobe on a gateway project: we develop a bot to detect anomalies and work on algorithms in machine learning.

Do you wish to move again in Europe?

Yes, I would like to travel again, but maybe not just in Europe. I can envisage America as a next adventure. Silicon Valley next, who knows?

Why would you recommend the EIT Digital Master Schools?

In this programme you meet people from all around the world, with very different backgrounds, you experience the challenge of working together in the same project.

Joining the EIT Digital Master Schools means joining a huge network of alumni and friends from all over Europe. I still have good friends and many great memories of events, the graduation ceremony and of our Summer School in Oulanka (Finland).

In conclusion, I would recommend the Master's programme as it is a great experience which allows you to go out of your comfort zone and discover new cultures, as well as study in the best European Universities. With my experience at the startup « Flink » and my year at the Technical University of Berlin, my CV was very attractive for the big tech companies I have worked for.

It is a unique personal and professional experience.

Article taken from EIT Digital. Original author - Alexis Poulin

 


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