All Posts in Uncategorised

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!

17th November 2017 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni Secret Santa

This year, we are holding our very first EIT Alumni Secret Santa! A pan-European gift-giving extravaganza!

To build on the bonds created during EIT Alumni CONNECT 2017, we wanted to do something to keep our community connected over the Christmas break.

Taking inspiration from the Reddit community, we have set up our own Secret Santa. We can't promise you gifts from the likes of Bill Gates or Snoop Dogg (http://bit.ly/Bill_Snoop), but knowing our community, there will no doubt be some innovative gifts flying around!

How does it work:

1. Sign up & get matched

Sign up for the exchange by completing our short form

On Thursday the 30th of November 2017, we will close signups and our dedicated team of elves will choose who you should send a gift to (this is the most important part; this is about the giving!).

2. Find the perfect gift & send it

Once we get in touch with you and provide you with information on your match, you'll have until December 15, 2017, to ship your gift.

We recommend spending around 20 EUR including shipping, but of course, what you spend is entirely up to you!

When you ship it, feel free to give us a message to let us know you've shipped it.

3. Receive a gift from your match

When you receive a gift, send us a photo of you with your gift, or post an amazing thank you note on our Facebook page!

There is still time to take part! If you would like to join in the EIT Alumni Secret Santa 2017 just fill in this short survey. - https://goo.gl/forms/ofhpliIhAsy6wXIn1

19th October 2017 - 2 comments

EITCONNECT: Comic Book Coverage

EIT CONNECT 2017 opened with a welcome and introduction to the new EIT Alumni Board: Falko Döring, Esmee Kooijman, Francesco Bonadiman, Miguel Amador.


The second session of the day was led by Martin Kern, the EIT Interim Director. He introduced participants to the EIT, and shared a few of the EIT's recent success stories. He concluded by asking the participants: 'What else can be done by the EIT to better support the EIT Alumni Community?'


To mix up the alumni, and facilitate cross- community networking, the participants then took part in an exciting ice breaker session. The alumni had to answer a number of tricky questions by strategically placing themselves in different parts of the room.


The first Keynote speaker of the event was Pedro Oliveira, the CPO of Landing.jobs He provided some top tips in the world of entrepreneurship.


To inspire participants before they dove into an intensive co-creation session, some alumni shared their own success stories from previous events. The first to go was Lara Obst, who presented the EIT Alumni Start-up Days, a favourite event of most alumni!


Kevin Caners then took the stage to present his podcast: The Elephant. This climate change focused podcast is now into its second season. His key message: Just have fun, don't be afraid to start things. And remember, the whole EIT Alumni Community is here to support you!


At 3pm the main action began: The co-creation session. This was an intensive 3 hours where participants were invited to ideate, present potential plans, and then develop a short pitch of their new project.


An impressive 14 well-developed projects were worked on by the alumni. An admirable feat for a 3 hour period. These were then pitched to a jury, who had the tough task of whittling these proposals down to 3 best ideas which can be implemented in 2018.


After a hard night of intensive night-time networking in the centre of Budapest, The alumni were welcomed back to the event with a refreshing yoga session to clear their heads. Once they took their seats, the moderators invited the participants to share their thoughts on EITCONNECT Day 1 in one word.


At 10am, Andrea Solomonides, the second keynote speaker, took to the stage to deliver an inspirational talk about community building. A topic the EIT Alumni are, unsurprisingly, very interested in!


Maria Kanov, an EIT Digital alumna, then presented an exciting initiative of hers - Women@EIT. This aims to connect the female entrepreneurs in the EIT Alumni Community, through interesting and informative events and pitching workshops. She concluded her speech by posing the challenge to the participants: 'How can we scale this up to be a cross-KIC initiative?'


The event came to an end with a final workshop - The EIT Alumni in 2020. In this short, 1 hour session, participants were invited to share how they think the community should progress, and how we can steer this network in the right direction.

Finally, the event was closed with some kind remarks from Laurent Roux, the EIT's Entrepreneurship Officer, and representative to the EIT Alumni board, and Falko Döring, the EIT Alumni President. Laurent then announced the winners of the Co-creation session. These were: EIT Alumni Roadshow, Impact, and EIT Chaos!

 

21st September 2017 - No Comments!

Collaboration at its Finest – The EIT Alumni Board of Boards

The first edition of the EIT Alumni Board of Boards meeting took place in Budapest on the 16th of September.
For the first time, the board members of the four pillars of the EIT Alumni network met to discuss the future of the wider community and develop some exciting events for the upcoming year.

Solutions were shared, challenges were conquered, and tips were transferred. This meeting was collaboration at its finest!
One thing is clear: there was not a bored face in sight at the Board of Boards meeting!

"Now the boring stuff is done, let's get on with the exciting things!"

The meeting began with a warm welcome from the dedicated EIT Alumni supervisor - Laurent Roux. His message was then echoed by the new President of our community - Falko Döring.
In voicing his support, our EIT Alumni Community Officer - Francesco Bonadiman - eloquently pointed out that the previous Board of 2016 had efficiently laid the foundations for the EIT Alumni community, or - "done the boring stuff" -  and that this year could be dedicated to more exciting things - cross-community events!

Cross-community Knowledge Exchange

As many of the communities involved had recently gone through some big changes (new boards, new members, new websites/platforms), the first session of the day was dedicated to community presentations, with follow up Q & A, and suggestions from participants on how best to combat each others challenges.

The enthusiasm to support each other and connect the communities made for a wonderfully positive atmosphere!

Lunch

Much to the delight of the legion of Italians in attendance, the alumni replenished their energy levels with the old Hungarian classic - pizza -  complete with all the traditional Italian toppings - paprika, pineapple, and BBQ sauce!

Boardception

This is when the meeting really hit its stride. As the white board was brought to the front of the room, there was a collective realisation among the participants: this Board of Boards' board had brought them within reach of Boardception!

During a short coffee break, the members were invited to attack the board with as many ideas as possible: on one side, outlining the challenges faced by the wider EIT Alumni Community, and on the other suggesting possible cross-community activities.

There was a vast number of suggestions for activities, ranging from a collaborative newsletter with shared content to promoting alumni as jury members at EIT Community level events.

Once the list was complete, the suggestions were put to the floor. After much discussion, the best were chosen and are now under development by the EIT Alumni Board. Look out for some new pilot EIT Alumni activities soon!

"You're a Communications Officer? No way! So am I!"

As the day wound to a close, small knowledge-exchange groups were formed to get down to the nitty gritty details of each community. Communications officer with Communications Officer, Secretary with Secretary, and President with President.

Finally, as the late summer sun began to wane, the meeting came to an end. New friendships were made, partnerships formed, and activities planned. You could almost see the proverbial glowing lightbulbs floating above everyone's heads as they made the descent from the rooftop of EIT HQ.

Until next time, Board of Boards!

17th July 2017 - No Comments!

App’ero – Order Like a Hero!

App'ero, a team who took their first steps during the EIT Alumni Startup Days 2016 were recently announced as the 2nd runners up of the JA Europe Enterprise Challenge 2017 in Helsinki!

The International team, composed entirely of EIT Digital students, namely, Ana Gonzalez Plaza, Andrea Vallejo, Devrat Shekawat, Emmanuel Chaudron, Jaechul Lee, and Wissem Chouk, have created an innovative app for bar-goers across the world.
Their app allows users to find local bars, place orders through their phone (removing queue time!) and split the bill between friends.

Check out this demo of their app in action:

What was just an idea 7 months ago, has now become a reality. This June, App'ero have been on fire!

The month began with their participation in the French national EPA startup championship. This year, just under 400 students from 20 different institutions competed. After a tough series of public pitching competitions, teams were required to exhibit their concepts on stands for the remainder of the day. Finally, a winner was selected by a jury composed of teachers and jury professionals.


Impressively, App'ero were announced as the winners of the whole competition and were awarded the chance to compete at the JA Europe Enterprise Challenge 2017!

But App'ero didn't stop there. After their victory at the EPA competition, the team entered into a 'proof of concept' partnership with Meridien Hotels, the third largest hotel group in Europe.

Finally, App'ero took to the stage once more to compete at the JA European finals in Helsinki. After a long day pitching they once again gained recognition for their efforts, being awarded 2nd runner up of the whole competition!

After their success, App'ero got in touch with the EIT Alumni Community to share some of their experiences. They had the following to say:

"The European Competition was very hard. The rest of the teams had incredible ideas and the level was pretty high. However, after winning the French national competition we were able to receive advice and coaching from some members of (EPA) Entreprendre Pour Apprendre, BNP Paribas Cardif, VISA, Agoranov, La Banque Postale and Disney, among others. We are incredibly grateful for this, we improved our Business Plans, as well as the three pitches we had to do during the European Competition. So, we are very proud to win the 2nd runner up prize with all this support and  after receiving such a positive response from the jury. We are also very glad to know that the EIT wants to share our experience in this journey with the rest of the EIT Community."

We can't wait to use the App'ero app in a bar soon! #orderlikeahero!

Here's a throwback to a younger App'ero at the EIT Alumni Start up Days 2016:

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.

 


Catch up with the latest news from the EIT Alumni Community in our Newsroom

Do you use social media? Follow us and get updates in your news feed.