In May 2019, our Incomings participated in the Innovation Days in Vienna where 50+ students from various universities ideated, prototyped, and validated their innovations within 48 hours—an event that connects companies and students to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Our Incomings learned about the Circular Economy and practiced transdisciplinary collaborative innovation methods (design thinking) as part of their Intercultural Team Project Management course.
They each worked in small diverse teams at Talent Garden, a coworking space in Vienna that served as the venue. Teams developed business concepts for three design challenges, in particular, for Raiffeisen Bank International, Andritz and Rauch Fruchtsäfte. Raiffeisen Bank International challenged the innovators to create new open banking business models that would support a circular economy.
The challenge from Andritz involved the design of innovative and sustainable service-based business models for spare and wear parts. Rauch Fruchtsäfte asked how the fruit juice experience of the future might be reimagined from the perspective of circularity. In addition to their instructors, teams were supported by 20+ mentors that also included subject matter experts from each of the companies that sponsored the event.
In the first day, participants pitched their ideas and formed teams. Each team consisted of participants with a design, technical and business background. The ideas ranged widely as the three challengers represent very different industries. In the morning of the second day, participants left Talent Garden and took to the streets to conduct customer development interviews.
In the afternoon, mentors from high-profile companies and circularity experts provided feedback as the teams started their prototyping efforts. The feedback from mentors was valuable in order to improve the prototypes, and to validate the solutions developed on the final day.
The final solutions were showcased during the prototype expo and pitched to the clients. Company partners and mentors evaluated each solution and tackled the daunting task of choosing the best ones. Winning teams (one per category) were announced during the event’s closing session. Two of our Incomings served on winning teams.
Our Incomings that participated:
- Alekseev Alexey
- Escrivá Monserrat Maria Christina
- Gaye Alagie (Alex)
- Habtamu Terefe Djemaol