Last week, teams composed of this year’s first two climate innovation summer school groups came together in Bologna to compete in a business plan pitching final – while 200 additional students kicked off the first week of their journey in Germany and the UK.
Climate-KIC’s #Journey2014 programme includes 18 locations across Europe and is Climate-KIC’s largest climate innovation summer school to date. Students journey across three countries in six separate groups for a total of five weeks, gaining insight and experience around climate science and business skills from a selection of Europe’s best universities and most innovative businesses.
The students learn, prepare and travel between July and September, culminating in a challenge where start-up teams formed by the students present detailed business plans to a jury consisting of venture capitalists, start-up entrepreneurs and scientists.
In total, 300 students travel across Europe between July and early September, culminating in a challenge where start-up teams formed by the students present detailed business plans to a jury consisting of venture capitalists, start-up entrepreneurs and scientists.
Germany and UK
The second wave of Journey summer schools kicked off their first week in London, Warwick, Hessen and Munich last week.
Students in London began their Journey with a lecture from Peter Head CBE at Imperial College London. He discussed the importance of a low carbon integrated approach.
The students in London also visited Aborfield Hall Farm, a dairy research centre in Reading. The centre is used for research and strategic studies that include measuring nutrient digestibility and associated impact of milk composition and nitrogen, phosphorus and methane production.
The group in Warwick spent the week at Radcliffe House where they were introduced to the world of climate science, and entrepreneurship. The students were able to begin their ideation sessions to formulate their business ideas.
Students in Munich visited the German Meterological Service (DWD), and Environmental Research Station during the week. They visited the observatories, and were able to discover and discuss how research and measurements are carried out.
Meanwhile the group in Hessen visited the Solar Decathon House 2009 - SurPLUSHome. The surPLUSHome of the Technical University of Darmstadt, integrates the concepts of energy efficiency and sustainable building. The students spent the remainder of their week learning about sustainability and climate science, as well as financing and investing.
Last week the first two groups – totaling 100 students – descended on Bologna, Italy for what was the last week of their journey, and pitched their business ideas to a jury panel of experts.
Throughout the day, 18 teams each presented their ideas. Common themes amongst the proposals were recycling, textiles, crowd-funding and great ideas for branding and marketing. The expert jury grilled the students on their market research, financials and marketing strategies.
Finally, the jury awarded two teams. Best pitch presentation went to Med Matic an automatic drug dispensing system that reduces packaging for hospitals. The best business idea was awarded to CaffeInk that gives a second life to coffee waste by turning it into ink. The audience of students also voted on their favourite ideas. These went to CaffeeInk and GreenDome a greenhouse system using solar power to distill water. Read more about the Bologna finals here.
Summer school student Silvia Domingo Irigoyen – a Spanish PhD student - has written about her #Journey2014 expectations on the Climate-KIC Blog last week.
“One of the things that attracted me most was the ability to leave my comfort zone and learn new skills on how to create innovative products or services that will have an impact on climate change adaptation and mitigation”, she says.
“I am sure that during the next five weeks we’ll learn a lot about entrepreneurship, as well as sharing our views and experiences from very different cultural and educational backgrounds. We’ll face the challenge of defending our business plans in front of venture capitalists, start-up entrepreneurs and scientists but what I’m most sure of is that we will not miss out on the fun.”
Climate-KIC’s Head of Communications, Angela Howarth, also shared her highlights and experiences of the Bologna pitching finals that took place last week.
“Throughout the day, 18 teams each presented their ideas. The student’s, were smart, professional, uber confident and passionate about their ideas. Common themes amongst the proposals were recycling, textiles, crowdfunding and great ideas for branding and marketing. The atmosphere in the room was electric,” says Angela.
“So the journey to starting a business has begun for these students. Climate-KIC will be following their progress and helping along the way.” Social media
The kick-off of #Journey2014 in Germany and UK heralded a number of new participants in the ever growing online #Journey2014 community: