The second Saturday of June marked another edCAMP – an event organized by our Education Technologies accelerator: eduLAB. It’s the second consecutive marathon in the first round of acceleration aimed at selecting the most innovative ideas to solve technological problems of universities and scientific establishments. The event took place in our Warsaw office. It was really intensive and exciting day.
A total of 19 teams competed for edCAMP’s main prize – participation in the eduLAB project. The project grants its participants the opportunity to implement their idea thanks to access to knowledge, technology, as well as product development financing at the level of up to 1.000.000 PLN, including monthly remuneration for project team members. eduLAB accelerator’s support constitutes also the equipment, software, necessary trainings and business monitoring, as well as technological support provided by Edge1S experts. Backed by business mentors from Microsoft Poland, Department of International Co-operation of the Office of the Marshall of the Lubelskie Voivodeship, the teams had 12 hours to prepare their ideas for technological and IT solutions for the education sector.
„It was a real duel – says Maks Stempniewicz Microsoft Poland’s Business Evangelist Partner, a mentor at eduLAB. Everyone was very committed, willing to cooperate and open. The teams accepted critical remarks and incorporated them in their activities. This willingness to compete and openness to cooperation made a deep impression on me. In my opinion, these are the basic features characteristic of entrepreneurs, and I do hope that the winners will make use of the opportunity eduLAB creates to develop their skills, improve their products and effectively implement them in the domain of education.”
„Taking part in edCAMP was an extraordinary adventure for all of us. – says Artur Habza, Director of the Department of International Co-operation of the Office of the Marshall of the Lubelskie Voivodeship, a mentor at eduLAB. It is quite amazing how the teams’ full preparadness, reserves of energy and the conviction of the uniqueness of particular ideas, while confronting a wall of practicians with vast knowledge and experience, split into the strong ones ready to accelerate, and those which need to slow down considerably in order to build a solid foundation for further work. Some of the ideas get rejected, but it is uplifting how the teams quickly substitute them with new concepts. It is a proof of particular teams’ strength and potential, as well as of their openness to learning, sometimes criticism, so that every next attempt is only better. In my opinion, this is exactly what it should look like – the best ideas compete for the main prize, while the best of the losing teams gain experience and join the game once again. This way of building up startups’ potential guarantees the awareness of the power of victory and the consequence of failure.”
First prize – entry to pre-acceleration – a stage preparing for investment interview, which also includes establishing required documentation, was awarded to the authors of ”SmartCow” solution. Two second prizes – assessment centre cheques, allowing for further business and technological competence verification and preparing for pre-acceleration – were awarded to “eduBarter” and “ConfVRStation” teams.
SMARTCOW – PRE-ACCELERATION
The solution’s purpose is to provide precise observations of breeding animals’ behaviors. The developed system, composed of a set of electronic devices and network service, is aimed at collecting and quick transmission of accurate behavioral data. It allows for more effective use of information in research work and efficient breed management.
ConfVRStation – ASSESSMENT CENTRE
A platform for VR-technology broadcasting of conferences, research and training sessions. It will also allow sharing information on scientific research being carried out. The solution enables real-time communication and cooperation. Besides efficient event organization and reducing costs, it’s indisputable advantage lies in enabling the participation in conferences/research to people with disabilities and impairments.
eduBARTER – ASSESSMENT CENTRE
The platform allows for a barter exchange of one’s skills, knowledge or experiences. It will make personal development much easier, and the participants will work in a win-win methodology (skill for skill). An additional advantage of the solution is a “hobbyist’s package” which will allow companies to provide their employees with active free-time activities.
The solutions selected during edCAMP have the chance to advance to the next phase – eduLAB Academy, where they will receive maximal support in project implementation. At this stage not only will the teams be creating their own products, but also preparing for running their own business in the future.
1st ROUND OF ACCELERATION
The accelerator’s concept of operation is based on three pillars. The first one is to define the needs of academic establishments, the second involves searching for ideas/solutions which would address these needs, and the third is the acceleration and creating final products. What is more, one of the main principles of this initiative is to create projects applicable in other sectors as well (so-called dual use).
The project is going to last 36 months. It will involve the minimum of 6 acceleration rounds which together will create the minimum of 13 solutions ready to be implemented. The second round of acceleration kicks off in September 2017. Currently, the idea recruitment is being carried out. The next edCAMPS, within the second cycle, are planned for the beginning of November. Within all the acceleration cycles, at least 6 companies will be created, having the potential to continue the development of the product and its launch to the market, hence becoming Education Technology pioneers in Poland.
Mpre about eduLAB: www.edulab.io