On 13 June, the final of the first edition of the UT Challenge was held during Entrepreneurial Day.
This was the first time the UT Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition for UT students, was organized, as a collaboration between the UT and over thirty leading companies and organizations from the region and beyond. With the UT Challenge, these parties want to challenge students to develop their innovative idea or prototype into a marketable product.
For the public, who flocked to the event in great numbers, there was plenty to see during this day. Not only could they watch the final of the UT Challenge, they could also witness the annual Innovation Lecture with keynote speaker Jose van Dijk (Cisco), as well as the rest of the full programme of innovations, pitches, enterprising students, prizes and checks.
The UT Challenge started over four months ago. Its mission is to provide entrepreneurial students with a platform to pitch their projects in two categories (Ideation and Prototyping). They are then provided with tools to further develop their projects in a business plan, in cooperation with their business partners.
On 13 June, the ten best projects in each category were given the opportunity to give the pitch of their lives in front of a professional jury in the DesignLab. Among the attendees in the hall were family members, friends, students, business partners and others, who could cast their votes for the winner of the public prize. The jury, headed by Joost Brinkman (UT NIKOS department), consisted of representatives of: ASML, Demcon, Nuon, Koopmans, EY, TMC Group, Speakup, Thales and Sqills. They were faced by the difficult task of selecting the best two projects in each category, which were invited to return in the afternoon to give a longer pitch and answer and questions from the jury.
The final of the UT Challenge began with the awarding of the public prize, won by Hops & Grains; an online platform that allows people to select their own malt, hops, grain and other ingredients, which Hops & Grains brews into a personalised beer. Their authentic pitch conquered the hearts and minds of the audience that morning, winning them the first check of € 2,000. Eventually, they also won first prize in the Ideation category, worth € 4,000.
The Prototyping category was won by Aryzon; they are bringing Augmented Reality glasses onto the market for 29 euros. The glasses enhance the world as you see it with 3D visualisations, and according to UT researchers, they are largely comparable to the € 3,000 Hololens developed by Microsoft.
Finally, ASML presented the 'ASML Makers Award' to the project that had best considered the feasibility of a product. This check for € 2,500, as well as three months of technical support by ASML, went to the Standard Multi-Spindle Drilling Machine project.