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7th February 2019 - No Comments!

Year in Review: Read the EIT Alumni Impact Report

2018 marked the third year of an EIT Alumni Community guided by the EIT Alumni Board. It has been a period of growth and stability for our Community, as our President, Falko Döring, reaches the end of his 2nd year on the Board.

The inclusion of dedicated Cross-Community managers to the boards of the individual Alumni has greatly enhanced the stabilisation process as one representative per community can focus solely on strengthening the bridges between networks. 

Our President was invited to speak at the European Youth Event at the European Parliament in June, Swati Pandey, an alumna of EIT Climate-KIC was called upon to sit on the opening panel discussion at INNOVEIT 2018 alongside EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport – Tibor Navracsics, and we are proud to have supported the first Women@EIT leadership Intensive, an initiative that aims at the increased participation of women in entrepreneurial activities across Europe.

A few milestones of 2018:

  • We successfully piloted new partner-based, challenge-solving EIT Alumni Start-up Days in March and May.
  • We welcomed EIT RawMaterials Alumni into our Community and onto our Board in June.
  • Our network expanded to over 5 000 members in September.
  • We organised their annual event – EIT Alumni CONNECT – independently from the EIT’s INNOVEIT in October.

Want to know more about the activities, results, and impact of the EIT Alumni in 2018? Read the Impact Report here.

You can also browse through this handy flip book below:

31st January 2019 - No Comments!

Exciting opportunities at vojo for the EIT Alumni

The team at vojo, an initiative co-founded by a member of the EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, are looking for fellow members of the EIT Alumni Community to join them on their entrepreneurial journey. 

Interested to know more? Read on below!

So, what is vojo?

vojo​ is a low-carbon travel planning platform; pulling together data on the European mobility​ network, ​emissions​ factors and citizens’ travel ​behaviour​.

vojo offers ​a new way​ of looking at travel. ​Why​ do we travel? What are our ​options and how do our ​choices​ affect society, the environment and our ​future​?

Read more about vojo here.

The Sziget project:

The vojo team will partner with Sziget Festival in 2019 to inform the festival-goers about the carbon footprint of different travel options to and from Budapest. vojo will appear as a plugin on the festival web-page; displaying the relative climate impacts of different travel itineraries (e.g. combined flight, train and coach journeys). The plugin would redirect the user to the vojo website with more functionalities, whose sophistication will be decided by the next two months, on the road to the very tight deadline with Sziget

How do You come in?

We are looking for enthusiastic people, with an interest in climate issues and sustainable travelling. We want to expand our core team and we are interested in people who would also be interested in joining vojo for the long haul. We could benefit from a variety of backgrounds, but we’re especially looking for people with experience in Front-End Web Development; Systems Administration (Linux) for Web Hosting and Scalability; User Experience Design and Mobile Development (iOS/Android). Due to particularities in our funding mechanisms we are looking for Austria-based developers especially, but not exclusively.

What do we offer?

We can offer only a small remuneration at the first stages of the project. However, vojo will grow into a startup still in the first quarter of 2019. vojo is a project born from the need for climate action in the travel sector, but we expect it to grow to many times its current size, and steadily attract new funding. To all people who become a part of the core vojo team we can offer the possibility of shares in the company.

For Front-End Web Development we are currently offering a higher remuneration than for the other roles, as we are in a critical phase in developing a well functioning prototype for the Sziget project.  

How to contact us:

Telephone: +43 677 62727457

Email: info@vojo.me

Join the vojo team: read the project description on the Jobs Page and apply!

vojo is powered by the Center for Global Change & Sustainability, BOKU and the Austrian Climate & Energy Fund and developed in collaboration with Climate Media Factory and Climate Outreach 

 

25th January 2019 - No Comments!

Space: the final frontier. Or is it?

[ACCEPT INCOMING TRANSMISSION?...]

We have recently been contacted about a number of opportunities in the world of space, astronomy, and extraterrestrial innovation.

We decided to put together this handy list for EIT Alumni members who may be looking to venture further into the unknown!

Check out some of these exciting adventures below:

The Copernicus Incubation scheme is an initiative funded with 3,000,000 Euro which aims to award 50,000 Euro to 60 European start-ups between 2018 and 2020. This first year of the Copernicus Incubation scheme has been a great success, with 22 outstanding start-ups supported, out of 110 applications. There is an upcoming application deadline in mid-February and a second in May. Don’t miss your opportunity!

Read how to apply here. (Deadline February 15th) 

 

The INNOspace Masters ideas competition – as part of the INNOspace® initiative by the DLR Space Administration – is looking for world-changers with new ideas for the next space generation.

Space Moves! is the key motto. The topics for submissions to the INNOspace Masters ideas competition are both the development of innovative space technologies using expertise from other industries and also the application of existing technologies, services and applications from space for everyday life on earth.

Accept the challenge! Each of our partners presents its own challenge to the participants with individual areas of focus according to the development phase within the innovation process. Every idea finds the right challenge at the INNOspace Masters! Each challenge selects a winner at the awards ceremony. Irrespective of the ranking in the challenges, the jury decides on an additional overall winner, who can enjoy being entitled “INNOspace

Apply here before February 8th!

 

SpaceUp is a project financed by the EU Framework programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020).
Throughout the project lifetime six Space Academies will take place in various locations in Europe, networking new space tech entrepreneurs with potential partners in Finance, Business, Space Clusters and Science Parks, plunging Start-ups into a genuinely European Space ecosystem.. ​
​The first Space Academy will take place in Helsinki, Finland 3-4 June 2019.

Apply here. (Deadline 1 March 2019) 

[Good luck and Godspeed!]

15th January 2019 - No Comments!

20% discount for EIT Alumni members to attend EU-Startups Summit 2019

This week we have negotiated a 20% discount for any EIT Alumni members who may want to attend the EU-Startups Summit 2019!

The summit takes place in Barcelona on May 2-3

If you would like to make use of this great opportunity, please send an email to  EIT-Alumni@eit.europa.eu to receive your discount code.

What is the EU-Startups Summit?

The EU-Startups Summit is the annual flagship event of EU-Startups.com - the leading online publication about startups in Europe. the event showcases a selection of Europe's hottest startups and offers participants to come together to learn from some of the most successful European entrepreneurs of our time!

Speakers

At the 2019 edition of the EU-Startups Summit over 1.200 startup founders, tech folks, corporates, business angels, media people and investors are expected from all across Europe. The event offers great networking opportunities, inspiring speakers and a workshop stage. There is also an exciting pitch competition with a prize package worth more than €70,000 and great after-parties in the evening for further networking and drinks! 🙂

More information regarding the EU-Startups Summit can be found here.

You can purchase you tickets here.

Don't forget to contact us for your EIT Alumni discount! - EIT-Alumni@eit.europa.eu.

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! 

8th November 2018 - No Comments!

Women@EIT Leadership summit taking place this weekend in London

This Weekend, 9-11 November, the EIT Alumni Community are supporting Women@EIT in the organisation of their first Leadership Intensive event in London.

This three day event, which brings together female leaders from four out of five of the EIT Alumni Communities, is designed to scale up the Women@EIT initiative, open it up to new sectors, and expand their presence in Europe.

The goal is to empower a select group of local leaders who will submit a plan to organise their own women@EIT events in major European cities, and who will actively contribute to the development and expansion of the community.

With over 60 applications from eager women entrepreneurs in the EIT Community, co-founders Maria and Dori, had an extremely tough job selecting their first batch of women leaders to join them in London.

We look forward to hearing how the event goes, and are proud to be able to support Women@EIT in reaching their goal.

In case you missed it: Read our 2017 interview with Women@EIT Co-founders Maria an Dori below:

 

 

 

18th October 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni CONNECT 2018

Written by David Ziegler (EIT InnoEnergy) and Robin Maxton (EIT)

On Friday the 5th of October, over 140 EIT alumni, students, and friends came together once again in Budapest for the 5th edition of EIT Alumni CONNECT.
For the first time since its creation in 2013, EIT CONNECT was decoupled from the EIT’s INNOVEIT, allowing the EIT Alumni Community to venture out and forge their own path in history.

And this EIT Alumni CONNECT was certainly a memorable one! Taking place at the wonderfully unique Brody Studios, this 15 hour event brought together the five current communities of the EIT Alumni to display just what makes our EIT Alumni Community so unique - its diversity, its cross-sectoral nature, and its collaborative spirit.

The event, hosting three fantastic keynote speakers, an array of captivating workshops, and topped off with a fun evening full of networking opportunities, was organised by a volunteer team of alumni from each of the communities, designed by alumni, for alumni.

EIT Alumni CONNECT organising team

In the morning session, the participants had the chance to listen to and engage with amazing success-stories of some of our EIT Alumni members. It was a motivational chance to gain first-hand experience from entrepreneurs such as Swati, Ádám and Mesbah on stage.

Keynote speakers

Swati Pandey presents Arboreal Innovations

Swati Pandey, an EIT Climate KIC Alumni, shared her impressive story of founding and becoming the CEO of Arboreal Innovations, a sustainable food-tech business, and explained how the EIT played, and will continue to play, an important role in her entrepreneurial journey.

Ádám Szücs, an EIT Digital Alumni and CTO of Zenovision, talked about his path towards founding Zenovision, a computer vision company for medical applications. His keynote highlighted the struggles of an early stage entrepreneur, the need for fast pivoting and the importance of persistence on the entrepreneurial journey.

Mesbah Sabur, an EIT Raw Materials Alumni and the co-founder and CEO of Circularise then described what one needs in his eyes to kick start a business. An idea, a business plan, funding and a network. And with this and his experience he built the smart protocol for the circular economy.

Following the exciting chance to learn some fun facts about the EIT and its Innovation Communities through a competitive Kahoot Quiz, we then had the opportunity to catch up on the impressive developments of the individual Alumni organisation, as presented by their respective leaders.  

Community Presentations

Francesco Bonadiman, the president of EIT Digital Alumni, showed the impressive growth their community has seen in the past year and invited all to get more involved in the EIT Digital Alumni Community

Esmee Kooijman, the president of the Climate KIC Alumni Association (CKAA) highlighted their aim to facilitate individuals to work together on climate action.

Jagadeesh Gandla, cross-KIC Manager at EIT Health Alumni, defined their mission to promote active aging and healthy living and that they, as an alumni organization, are growing and always looking for new ideas and input.

Denis Gontcharov, President EIT Raw Materials Alumni

Denis Gontcharov, the president of EIT Raw Materials Alumni Board, explained how their field has a rich history, but is in desperate need for innovation, and that their alumni network is young but thriving.

Claudio Geyken, the founder and director of the CommUnity by InnoEnergy, revealed how they are opening up to a broader audience by pivoting into the Energy Transition Community and how important cross-KIC collaboration, for example with Climate KIC, is.

Parallel workshops

The afternoon engagement session offered participants the chance to take part in parallel workshops designed to allow Alumni to present their ideas, stories or challenges to the wider community. The goal was for the Alumni to dive into the other Innovation Communities and foster collaboration between sectors.

This cross-community engagement happened bottom-up and in various ways. One such way was the quiz-style workshop “Keep it RAW!” through which the attendees discovered new aspects of a sector that is often misunderstood, in a fun and exciting way.

Another was the co-creation session by the EIT InnoEnergy Start-up Smartivate on how their technology enables users to bring together utilities and the growing Smart Home market.

In a refreshingly different style, Yoga for Entrepreneurs was a great way to loosen up the conference tension and regain some energy for the rest of the day while learning about Dora’s entrepreneurial journey. One participant described it as ‘a truly uniting 30 minute experience, setting a profound base to continue networking in a family environment’.

Yoga in action!

Evening entertainment

The social session was a fun opportunity to network in a relaxed environment at the end of the event, This was boosted by the fact that the venue offered so many delightful nooks and crannies for alumni to settle down in and bond with fellow Community members.

The evening started with a delicious networking dinner and continued with gatherings all around the amazing Brody Studios. Personal and business stories were shared, common interest were found, contacts exchanged and even some plans forged together. The later hours have shown unforeseen jam sessions on pianos, guitars, drums and vocal cords as well as an amazingly popular and heartwarming Karaoke showdown in the beautiful basement of the location.
Perhaps an EIT Alumni band could be an innovation for next year!

We all agreed we will see each other again soon and hopefully not only next year at EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019

Thank you to the volunteers who put in so much time to make this event possible, the EIT itself for all its support, and of course thank you to you, the alumni who make events like this possible by uniting with fellow alumni and strengthening this wonderful cross-sectoral community of ours.

 

24th August 2018 - No Comments!

SEEDING IMPACT – From EIT Alumni CONNECT ’17 to Addis Ababa

At the EIT Alumni CONNECT event in Budapest last year, EIT InnoEnergy alumna Laura Perez turned a vague idea (that she and fellow student Marc Navarro Sotés came up with) into a viable business concept that is well on its way to success.

Laura recently spoke to EIT InnoEnergy and shared how the initiative was created and offered some inspirational words for other students who are coming up with their own ideas for future start-ups.

SEEDING IMPACT is born

Laura explains, “Marc and I met for a coffee in Stockholm and found out that we both wanted to do things, to be really hands on. This was the start of Seeding Impact. I took our idea of providing students and young professionals with the opportunity to join International development projects to the EIT Alumni CONNECT event and won the pitching competition. It was so empowering to have our idea validated”

Laura Perez and Oscar, a student selected by Seeding Impact to work with the startup Tartarri in Ethiopia

Seeding Impact allows a company to bring a project to the table (perhaps a problem they have not been able to solve in-house), then a team of students or young professionals is selected to work on that project. The company and team can now create the perfect solution by working together.

“We wanted to encompass all the important EIT ideals, but also to include other sectors of industry, such as health – because I think lasting impact is created in many different fields!” With their winning idea and some seed money, they started to build an amazing team of like-minded individuals. “Our work is important, and it’s clear since this start-up is growing out of volunteer’s time with only passion to drive us. We all want to make a difference and have been working non-stop since.”

THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

We all know the enormous amount of hard work it takes to get a start-up off the ground. Laura acknowledges the road hasn’t been easy, with many challenges – but luckily, they’ve received support along the way. “The entrepreneurship knowledge I’ve gotten from the InnoEnergy programme was key. Not only academically, but also to get insights into how to shape a business. I’ve also received a lot of support from the InnoEnergy team at the EIT InnoEnergy Scandinavian office to help me fulfill this dream.”

Seeding Impact has already had some success, such as conducting their first event in Stockholm with another entity “Make a Difference” (MAD) targeting a sanitation problem in Uganda, where they successfully matched up a team to work on the project. Another is Ice Addis, a start-up incubator in Ethiopia, matched with Entrepreneurs Without Borders (EWB) to work with local start-ups, empowering local Ethiopian projects (Laura is on location in Ethiopia as we write this article). And just recently, they initiated a collaboration with (B)-Energy to deal with biogas digesters for developing countries. “A lot more projects are coming soon” Laura shares confidently, “we want to expand slowly. Each one must be analysed carefully… but I know we can make this work!”

Views from the office at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

When asked if she had any advice for future entrepreneurs, those perhaps just starting to play with an exciting idea they have for a start-up, Laura was happy to oblige. “It might sound like a typical reply, but being right in the middle of this process I can tell you… enjoy what you do! Stop thinking about the future, worrying about whether you will fail or not. If you fail, that’s okay. The path you take, the experience you gain, it is definitely worth it. There is always something to be learned along the way. The best thing you can do is to follow your ideas where they lead you, take chances and surround yourself with supportive people.”

Excellent advice from a truly passionate entrepreneur.

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!