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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.

12th June 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumnus and EIT Award winner Allen wins Startup Open

EIT Award winner and EIT InnoEnergy alumnus Allen Mohammadi's start-up Hippogriff AB won the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) start-up competition.

Hippogriff AB has developed Heartstrings, an accurate, non invasive and low-cost technology for screening and early diagnosis of heart disease. The Global Entrepreneurship Network's Startup Open recognises the top promising young firms that haveEIT InnoEnergy Hippogriff AB yet to raise any outside capital from angel investors, venture capital firms or other formal sources of seed funding. Hippogriff AB won the competition because of its potential to make a change with their ground breaking technology, beating more than 1 000 start-ups from 82 different countries. Hippogriff AB has won membership to the GEN Starters Club, which will give them access to GEN mentors in 170 countries, enhanced exposure and network opportunities around the world.

Allen Mohammadi said the following about the start-up competition: 'Winning Startup Open was an unforgettable achievement for us. Being ranked 1st startup in the world is a great honor for Hippogriff AB. This shows that we are on the right track, that our break through innovations are very important and contribute to a better future at the highest possible level.'

EIT Alumni connection

Allen Mohammadi is an EIT alumnus of the EIT InnoEnergy Master in Energy Technologies that explores a broad range of energy technologies, engineering disciplines and business models.

Mohammadi co-founded Hippogriff AB with his brother and has had impressive achievements since their founding.  They have been featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and in 2016 Allen Mohammadi won the EIT Change Award, the award that celebrates entrepreneurial graduates from EIT labelled education programmes.

He said the following about the support of the EIT: 'My education at EIT played a significant role on developing my entrepreneurial skills. In fact, EIT was not only providing a unique opportunity for education but also acted as a great supporter.'

Watch Allen's interview with the EIT, following his 2016 win below:

 

16th May 2018 - No Comments!

Call for applications – EIT Alumni CONNECT 2018

Our biggest annual event, bringing together EIT Digital Alumni, the CommUnity by InnoEnergy, EIT Health Alumni, EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, and EIT Raw Materials alumni is fast approaching!
We are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic alumni to help with the facilitation and organisation of EIT Alumni CONNECT 2018!
Further details are outlined below.

EIT Alumni CONNECT


Taking place on the 5th of October in Budapest more than 100 EIT alumni and students will come together to share their knowledge, enthusiasm and experiences with each other at EIT CONNECT.

 

Calls for applications 2018

This year we are holding our event independently from the EIT's INNOVEIT. This means we really have the opportunity to shape this event as we like, and create something truly memorable..
We would like you, the alumni, to be as involved as possible in the organisation of this events and so offer the following ways for you to get involved.

We are looking for:

  1. Moderators for EIT Alumni CONNECT 2018
  2. A working group for the organisation of EIT Alumni CONNECT 2018

Have a read of the calls, see where your skills may be applicable, and get involved!

What's in it for you?

  • the chance to meet and work with a motivated and enthusiastic cross-community working group
  • the opportunity to shape the event and directly contribute to the future of the EIT Alumni community
  • an exclusive invitation to attend INNOVEIT on October 4th
  • free flights to and from Budapest for the event

The deadline for applications is 17 June 2018

We look forward to hearing from you!

16th May 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni Startup Days 2018 – Berlin

On Saturday the 5th of May, the EIT Alumni held the second edition of the 2018 EIT Alumni Startup Days.

Following on from a successful event in Barcelona, which invited those involved to redesign the port of Badalona, this event took a more technical direction, challenging participants to expand the use-cases of Blockchain technologies for the benefit of society.

leveraging on the hype of Blockchain as one of the most disruptive technologies of 2018, and the business model orientated format of the EIT Alumni Startup Days, this event drew a lot of interest from alumni in Berlin, attracting a fine balance of highly skilled Blockchain enthusiasts, and Blockchain 'first timers' eager to throw their own ideas into the mix, while also learning a thing or two about this innovative technology.

Our event partner this time was the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), who provided the following challenge:
How do we use blockchain technology to decentralise and democratise our inefficient systems?.

Oriol Pujoldevall, a Business Development Associate at the EWF, and EIT InnoEnergy Alumnus kicked off the day by explaining a little about the platform his company work on, and why they decided to purposefully shape day's challenge in vague terms, to open it up to all sectors.

Following the same structured sessions as the Barcelona edition, teams began to take shape as a plethora of ideas were thrown around the room. Under the guiding hands of Francesco Bonadiman, the moderator for the day, the teams then got down to the details of their business models and prepared for the pitching competition at the end of the day.

Taking full advantage of Berlin in spring, some of the groups even decided to take their ideation process outside, soaking up the innovative surroundings of the Green Garage campus, and making use of some of the on-site activities when they felt like they needed a break.

At the end of a productive day, three teams took to the stage to present to our expert jury made up of Rosen Dimov (IYPF),  Oriol Pujoldevall (EWF), and Xin Hu (Match X).

The ideas were very well developed, with one team even having a prototype app ready to display with their pitch! The three final teams consisted of:

  1. Med Ac
    Use Blockchain to tokenize prescriptions to make the system more efficient and reduce costs.
  2. Plafair
    Regulate the recycling of plastic, and ensure fair pay for plastic collectors in developing countries.
  3. Stoken
    Using Blockchain to create a stock market for startups, using crypto-currencies.

Finally, over some well-deserved Vietnamese curry, the jury announced their decision to award 1st prize to team Med Ac. They were given an EIT Alumni Raspberry Pi 3, and exclusive access to incubator.coop. An international incubator run by the IYPF, which will give Med Ac the chance to properly take their idea to the next level.

We look forward to hearing how all the teams progress!

Thanks again to our dedicated coaches and jury, our organising team, and all the participants who took the time to join us for this edition of the EIT Alumni Startup Days.

You can view the full photo album here. 

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!

 

26th April 2018 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni @ EURODOC Conference 2018

By Falko Döring, President of the EIT Alumni Board

On behalf of the EIT Alumni, I was invited to the EURODOC Conference 2018 in Tampere as a speaker on the topic “Research career – a living dream?”. As the title suggests, most participants had an academic background, either as a researcher, PhD candidate, professor or post-doc. They all agreed that the landscape for an academic career is changing and that there is a challenging future ahead of us. While the number of PhD graduates is increasing, the academic career options are decreasing.

To preprare for my talk I listened to my personal network, talking to two PhD graduates who exchanged their academic career for an entrepreneurial adventure. Here, I would like to thank Sandro, CTO of Thermovault, and Alex co-founder of Caala for their inspiring input!

A few things I learned on this journey and I would like to share:

First, PhD candidates gain many competencies through their academic life, which are very relevant in their entrepreneurial adventure, in particular:

  • Trust and knowledge in their topic/product/service
  • Persistence (Every no brings me closer to a yes – Mark Cuban)
  • Communication skills (PhD candidates are always defending their topic to their supervisor, in papers, on conferences)

Second, an external opinion on one’s topic can actually be the trigger to leave the academic path and pivot towards starting your own company. I received feedback from many PhD candidates, that being exposed in depth to one topic feels like wearing blinders to alternatives.
This is one of the benefits of the EIT Alumni. Being part of an interdisciplinary community allows you to step outside your field and gain invaluable expertise from fellow innovators from other sectors.

I took this as my mission for the conference, to encourage PhD candidates  to combinine their academic knowledge with industry contacts and venture into the entrepreneurial world.

You can watch Falko's presentation here.

EIT PhD Programmes

The EIT supports the creation of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and promotes a real change of mindset towards an entrepreneurial culture and attitude. With this perspective, the EIT's various Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs) have developed their own PhD and Master's programmes that have a very strong focus on the delivery of entrepreneurship and innovation skills.

EIT Climate-KIC PhD Education

All EIT Climate-KIC's Ph.D. candidates work on solutions that either have a clear path to climate innovation or directly support one or more of EIT Climate-KIC's main climate change challenges.Students will participate in the Journey, an intensive climate innovation summer school and can follow up with the EIT Climate-KIC PhD Catapult.

 

EIT Digital Doctoral School

The EIT Digital Doctoral School educates the technical leaders and entrepreneurs needed in Europe. The EIT Digital Doctoral School provides, as one of the few European academic institutions, industry embedded, market focused industrial doctorates. The Industrial Doctorates bridge the present to the future to lead the digital transformation.

EIT InnoEnergy  PhD School

Join the sustainable energy revolution and boost your personal and career prospects. Combine your current PhD studies with customised training in innovation and entrepreneurship. Positions throughout Europe. Mobility support included. The EIT InnoEnergy PhD School is tailored for students who have technical excellence together with a drive for Business and Entrepreneurship (B&E).

EIT Raw Materials PhD education

EIT RawMaterials’ PhD Education strand provides students with an outstanding foundation for their future career. Programmes enable students to strengthen their technical expertise while fostering the entrepreneurial and innovation skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to ensure a sustainable future for the raw materials sector.

 

About EURODOC:

Eurodoc’s mission is to represent and consolidate the community of doctoral candidates and junior researchers in Europe in their pursuit of a decent professional life. We aim to be the effective and efficient voice of doctoral candidates and junior researchers at the European level.

Their vision is an ERA (European Research Area) and EHEA (European Higher Education Area) in which doctoral candidates and junior researchers are duly recognised and respected for the essential roles they play.

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:

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!