Presentations day!

Today, the summer school day started with a nice visit to a sauna. This is not your regular sauna that you might be thinking of, this was the startup sauna, which is located at the campus of Alto University in Helsinki. In these facilities, new entrepreneurs have the chance to begin their journey with their new startups, where they will be given the space for free where they can work as well as get additional benefits, most important of which is coaching for their new business. But that is not all, the startup sauna not only offers this for the new startups, they also have different programmes, where they shape the new startups and lead them on the road to success, they organize meetings and conferences, where the new businesses get to meet investors, who might be interested in them.

Startup Sauna

 

After that, we went back to our classroom, where we had to present our work that we’ve been working on for the past two weeks. The day before, the other summer school in Finland joined us too, so today we were a bigger group, which means double the ideas! It was very interesting to see the ideas that our colleagues from Future Cloud summer school had come up with, and most of them were quite good ideas too!

SmartSix presenting Tryon

Once we were finished with the presentations, we got the chance to socialize more with our colleagues during lunch time, some of which we knew from before, and some of which were coming from other EIT ICT Labs nodes. It was fun, however the suspense was keeping us thrilled to go back to the classroom, where the feedback for our presentations was to be given to us, and more importantly, the best teams from both the summer schools were to be announced.

GIM - the smiling, happy robot!

Unfortunately for us, our team didn’t get to win, however we still felt proud for our colleagues and for the fact that the jury and the organizers were happy with us and the progress we’ve done during the two weeks of time. We were also awarded with certificates for completing the summer school.

In the end there was an event for the launch of the Helsinki ICT – a doctoral school by EIT. We got the chance to meet with some of the fellow students who will be attending this school, so we had some fun time and dinner at the restaurant in the Open Innovation Center.

 

 

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Getting Ready for the finals!

 

And so the summer school continues, on the third day of the second week of the summer school, just one day before the final presentations the teams make the final adjustments and receive valuable feedback from the mentors.

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The team SmartSix, discusses the final details on how to do the financial protections in an effective way and an extensive market research is performed during the day in order to find the right statistics to prove the value of the company.

In the morning Cormac Walsh from Fonecta talks about his experience on starting companies. Right after Jesse Sandqvist shares his knowledge about marketing and presents his insights about the future of marketing and how it is changing because people are not so receptive to advertisement anymore.

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After lunch Mikko Nurmi talks about user experience, a very interesting talk for the HCID students, in my case is an area that I want to specialize in so it’s encouraging to see startups focusing in this business and having an idea of how user experience works in the industry. Afterwards Jyri Hämäläinen talks about Open innovation and shares his perspective on standardization and knowledge sharing between academy and industry and how the EU does efforts to facilitate innovation.

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After the lectures we continued working on the Final presentations and getting ready for the big day!

Miguel Rodriguez

SmartSix

At ‘Otaniementie’ 19 becomes more interesting ….

The first day of our second week in ‘Open Innovation House’ in Espoo started a little late, but this doesn’t hindered our common work on our project business idea.

Developed by our team Smart Six (as a project idea) platform and plug-in for convenient online shopping of clothes that we will offer to owners and managers of boutiques and clothing shops, today became more clearer as an outline and shape.

Our common teamwork, brainstorming, researches on the Internet, are a part of our intensive project work in ‘Open Innovation House’, where our kind hosts from EIT ICT Master Lab give us excellent working conditions for learning and training.

As part of this training today we have had a brief but memorable encounter with a young Czech entrepreneur, established his business in Finland, Tomas Novotny, who is the CEO and the founder of the company “720” Ltd. and who told us about his entrepreneurial experience and for his way to the realization of business ideas here in Finland.

Monday (18th August) was full to the brim with surprises – the afternoon we had an awesome Pitch Training Session with the famous Finish coach and trainer Aape Pohjavirta, just arrived from Cape Town, RSA.

No one of us – 26 participants in this summer school from around the world, not stayed indifferent to this artistic Pitch Training Session. Aape impressed us with his method to interact with the audience and with that he show us some of the main rules when telling our business idea.

At ‘Otaniementie’ 19 becomes more interesting ….

 

Valentin Todorov

 

A filtration of our business idea.  Photo: Valentin Todorov

A filtration of our business idea. Photo: Valentin Todorov

Day 5 – All about privacy

The day began with a very interesting lecture about security and privacy. We got to know that nowadays privacy almost does not exist but on the other hand, people are the ones that are themselves sharing and making their content public. We got familiar with some basic terminology on privacy. such as whats is personal data, sensitive data and traffic data. We learned also that security is one of the most important parts when developing an application and that the dominating issue regarding information systems nowadays is privacy.

Privacy Lecture

Later during the second session, we did some brainstorming again and tried to fit our idea into the smart spaces topic. Finally we defined our idea and started looking into the market size that we can penetrate as well as our competitors.

After our lunch break, we had another entrepreneur visit us and explain how his company works and what their product is. They were a group of engineer from Nokia, who were working on an indoor positioning system for several year already. They had developed their system based on Angel of arrival, and they could have an accuracy of up to 10 cm. It was interesting to see how their company operates, as they are mainly working together with partners, which means that they do not provide end solutions themselves, but they just provide their partners the end devices and then they are the ones who work on their own products, by implementing their indoor positioning system.

quupa

In the end, we had the opportunity to give feedback to the summer school organizers, as to how it went so far. The people mostly liked the interactive environment and the only remarks were regarding the visits, as most of the students would like more visits to the companies – like MultiTaction.

Feedback

In the end, we finished a bit earlier today since it is a Friday and we are a bit tired, however we are looking forward for the trip tomorrow, which will be relaxing and refreshing.

Day 4: Goodbye museums, hello fashion

Retail(ing) ~ Science,  Art.

We all know that the selling of goods is done through virtual and physical channels, but:

What are the myths and misconception related to this subject?
What are the moments when online can be viewed more as a communication tool rather than a sales channel?
When is good to focus on the basics and clearly state what you stand for as a company?
How do the people who have managed successful companies came to view it?

These are the questions that were addressed in the this presentation, also other important point were made that will be presented in the following paragraph.

To start with one, retailing can be viewed as people serving people, offering convenience and a consistent interaction, across multiple mediums or platforms, to customers. Furthermore, all the actions incorporated under the banner of retailing aspire to encourage people to spend their Quotetime and money in the environment that the retailers design and create. Not only this, but the end goal of retail is not limited to striking the deal here and now and make a sale, it is also about helping your potential customers in taking decisions, by offering them support and guidance. If you are able to reach excellence in that, the customers are more likely to come back.

The rest of the presentation dealt with current ways of increasing convenience for your customers with relevant examples like applications of Click&Collect and also relevant figures to e-commerce and Bricks and Mortar retail.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

The lecture started by taking a snapshot of the current views that we had on IPR assets and their estimated value to a startup.

Among these rights,  patents, trademark, copyright and trade secrets were mentioned. Nevertheless the topic discussed was revolving mostly around patents. Firstly we talked about what a patent is not enabling you to do, as the fact that a small company does not have the resources to sustain a trail with a big company compared to a patent troll or another big company. Additionally, the most logical reasons to use patents for a startup can be to have leverage over a partner or stimulate investment. Still, we cannot ignore the benefit of deterring patent infringement lawsuits. But who is most likely to file a lawsuit against a small company as a startup? Well, patent trolls are looking for great rewards and big companies don’t have any real interest in doing so. This reasoning brings us to other start-ups being the most probable candidate.

Other matters that were brought up were related to filing for a patent, monetary cost of this and when and where is a good idea to go and actually do so.

After the speaker challenged some of the situation covered by the form, another snapshot was taken and some views have clearly shifted.

The presentation ended with the case study of a company dealing with on-line phone quality assessment.

Group Work

The discussions today were pretty intense.

From the beginning we had a clear objective, to find an idea that makes sense and analyze it.
By afternoon we already have given up on the idea of impressive virtual reality guides for museums and transformed the furniture one into a more ambitious project that is related to the clothing industry. We went through the the great majority of points required for the second assignment, but the main focus was of deciding what is the problem we are solving, the purpose of the product and what is the state of the art in terms of the business we are trying to approach.
Thanks are going to all the people that passed by and challenged what we were doing.

All the best to the groups in finding the idea that suits them!
Patricia

Day 3 – Socializing!

Today was one of the best days so far from the summer school. In the morning we had a bit of a crazy weather – rain like it’s the apocalypse and then sunshine so people can swim at the sea! We’ve come to learn though that this seems to be quite normal for Helsinki.

In the morning we had a really nice presentation from Risto Sarvas from Futurice. We’ve learned about service design and we got a bit hands on some practical work of our own, where we learned quite a lot I can say. We even got to make a quick and good ad for our idea – which seems strange considering we had to do it in 20 minutes – but in the end it came out quite nice!

Service Designing!

In the afternoon, we went on to visit one of the case companies – MultiTouch. We spent a few hours there with the CEO and the guys behind the company, and they explained to us their products and answered questions that we had. It was quite fun trying our their large multi-touch screens and at the same time it felt fascinating to learn about how they started their company and how they designed their products!

MultiTouch

After the visit, we went on to play mini golf, where we got to socialize with each other, but we also learned something from there too – apparently we do not know the rules of mini golf – but being in EIT and innovators, we managed to invent our own rules!

Mini Golf

All in all, Wednesday was fun, we learned a lot in the school – we got to see one of the companies up close and to top it all up, we got to hang out and enjoy some quality time together.

 

Smart Spaces – Day 2

Day 2 of the summer school, we consolidated our multicultural group from 6 different countries. From Left to right Nemanja Davidovic (Serbia), Miguel Andres Rodriguez (Colombia), Patricia (Romania), Valentin Todorov (Bulgaria), Eyob Tarekegn (Ethiopia) and Rinor Bytyci (Kosovo).

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SmartSix

Afterwards we listened to the presentations from the case study companies. They were very interesting, it’s nice to see how a big company like Nokia is redesigning it’s self and adapting to a market. The smaller companies gave us a good insight on the startup scene because we could easily relate challenges that we have faced and get a perspective of what you do in the market. The procter and gable presentation was a bit harder to understand due to technical limitations but it still a good example even if it’s not a technology startup. In the after noon we worked on the Business Model Canvas of the selected startups and had a presentation about entrepreneurship.

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Miguel Andres Rodriguez

Group SmartSix