15 students from EIT HCID, who also follow parts of the I-Tech programme, went to the Master School Kick-Off in Paris last month where they were joining the other 370 students studying the Double Degree programmes within the EIT Digital Master School. Besides HCID there are six other IT related programmes. The students are seen as a fresh batch consisting of four hundred of ‘tomorrow’s digital innovators and entrepreneurs’.
After an overwhelming musical welcome by the newly formed EIT Digital Academy House Band, playing songs of David Bowie, Pink Floyd and AC/DC’s. (how innovative 😊 ) the students were addressed by the Vice President of the Sorbonne, stimulating “European universities” initiatives, by the CEO of EIT Digital (and professor at UT) Willem Jonker, encouraging the students to become Europe’s innovation problem solvers and by Arturo Varona, the new head of the EIT Digital Master School, recognizing these students are the selected ones from over three thousands of applicants.
In the next two days the students are confronted with a Business Challenge, where the students get together in teams of eight students from different programmes and by using an entrepreneurial model come up with a feasible solution and additional the business idea for it.
Fifty groups of students start out brainstorming with the help of coaches and working hard to come to a result to be presented only two days later.
One of the students present at the Kick-Off is Niels Dikken, a former Create student. Quoting from what was written in UToday by Rense Kuipers about his Business Challenge:
[Start quoting] “One and a half hours in, Niels Dikken, one of the former UT students, is happy with the progress already made. ‘In total we have around eight hours to work on our business idea and prepare a five-minute pitch. I joined up with a team that’s focusing on digital transformation. In the Netherlands, we have a sort of digital ID card, the DigiD. But in Italy for instance, the country where my teammate who came up with the idea comes from, there is a lot of government paperwork in all instances. Our idea is to reduce this paperwork.’
Dikken, who studied Creative Technology at the UT, knows this is easier said than done. ‘Our idea is very broad, which has its upsides and downsides. That was also the harsh but true feedback from our coach, who asked us how we would turn this into a viable business.’
After the Business Challenge, Dikken will head back to Madrid to continue his regular EIT Digital master’s programme Human Computer Interaction and Design at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. ‘It’s quite a different culture compared to Twente. The Spanish culture of being tardy is also present at the university. So it’s no exception that professors are fifteen minutes late to their own lectures.’
Dikken got in touch with EIT Digital through his fraternity, Luxovius. ‘I had a hard time choosing my bachelor’s study. And after three years studying I didn’t know what to do next. But my fraternity mates recommended me to enrol in the EIT Digital Master School, since I really like being abroad and the combination of technology and entrepreneurship.” [End of quoting]