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Ideation Camp 7 - The very first virtual Ideation Camp

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Published on Wednesday, 10 March 2021

The first Ideation Camp of 2021 went ahead in full virtual mode and united 50 participants and 53 mentors.

This first online Ideation Camp of the University’s Entrepreneurship Programme was as action-packed and challenging as previous six editions and brought forward start-up ideas in areas such as technology, fashion or the food industry.

The winning team of the Ideation Camp 7 is Homemade Eats, an online platform that connects cooks with people passionate about great homemade food. The team was formed around the idea of Maroun Altekly, student in the Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Inspired by his mother’s great cooking and opportunities related to selling it to foodies, Maroun decided to build a business model around this demand. “I learned so much through working hard under pressure during this event, and thanks to the fantastic mentorship provided by Guardian Angels,” says Maroun. “This success is a result of coordinated work of my team: founder of Happy Local and Bachelor student in applied information technology Sam Abdi, doctoral candidate Amirhossein Adavoudi Jolfaei, as well as Mariusz Ludwikowski who is student in the Interdisciplinary Space Master, and Marius Smintina who studies business economics”. The winning team is awarded a free fellowship by the Founder Institute Luxembourg and the University of Luxembourg Incubator. Homemade Eats team is now looking to bring their business idea to life with a help of the Venture Mentoring Service of the University.

Dedicated support step-by-step

During the opening ceremony, participants pitched their ideas, followed by a vote, which selected the 10 best ideas to form teams of 4-5 participants to work on them.

Throughout the event, all the teams were supported every step of the way by three dedicated and experienced “Guardian Angels”: founder of Verbalius Pedro Castilho, founder of Spoticle Brice Dondelinger and serial entrepreneur Shai Haim. In addition, other 50 industry leaders from Luxembourg and abroad formed a “League of Mentors” which carefully assessed the progress of each team every evening during the three days of workshop. Participants included current students and recent graduates of the University of Luxembourg, who were carefully selected from over 100 applicants to ensure the dedication required for this intensive workshop.

In order to provide the teams an opportunity to test the market in the most accurate way, this edition of the Ideation Camp also partnered with digital marketing platform Balloonary.io. Within minutes after the launch of the Ideation Camp 7, the teams were able to create a landing page for their idea, hook up a survey and distribute it to their target audiences, gaining valuable insight into how the market responds to their idea.

The closing ceremony featured top ten start-up ideas in various areas, including sustainability, technology, fashion and the food industry. These ideas were pitched in front of a high-profile jury, including LBAN Board Director Elias Chbeir, ‎the vice-rector for academic affairs Prof. Catherine Léglu, LHoFT CEO Nasir Zubairi, deputy director of Paperjam Club Ana Wiscour-Conter, and FNR Programme/Innovation Manager Sakthivel M. Sundharam.

Coming up next

The next Ideation Camp will take place virtually from 27 April to 1 May 2021, with students from the Miami University bringing an international perspective to the event. Registration is open online until 9 April.  

“Transposing our flagship event into a virtual version whilst keeping the same level of engagement and outcome for our participants seemed almost impossible,” says Manager of the Entrepreneurship Programme, Siva Bactavatchalou. “If someone told me how successful this first online edition of Ideation Camp would be, I would have never believed it! It was fascinating to see how participants use with ease our communication platform to teamwork, communicate, learn and brainstorm - all in one virtual place over three full days (and nights for some of our participants). The same goes for our many amazing mentors who did not hesitate to join us in this adventure and support our brilliant students. Remote working is taking a new dimension due to the pandemic and I am glad to see that the next generation of graduates from the University is ready for this new standard. I was also relieved to see that there was no video lagging throughout the Ideation Camp, even during the ten sessions of mentoring which were run in parallel with over 100 participants, so I would like to thank the University IT department for their non-stop support on this Ideation Camp”.

 

About the Ideation Camp

Ideation Camp is an intensive workshop focusing on students’ personal growth, higher employability and learning new skills. After attending this workshop, students are often motivated to open their own enterprises. There have been six editions on campus with a total of 550 registrations, 265 participants and 234 experienced mentors. Some successful entrepreneurs that have resulted out of Ideation Camp series include: EdTech companies CheckMath and EduGamiTec; social start-ups GoldenMe and Visibility STEM Africa; FoodTech start-up Happy Local and GreenTech company OurChoice.

About the Entrepreneurship Programme and Incubator 

In 2017, the Entrepreneurship Programme and Incubator were both founded at the University of Luxembourg with the aim of teaching entrepreneurial skills to students, researchers and staff. Their common vision is to champion entrepreneurship education in Luxembourg and mentor future leaders to create economic and social value. Their mission is to build a bridge between the University and the professional world opening new career perspectives and opportunities to students.

The Entrepreneurship Programme offers business courses, masterclasses and entrepreneurial workshops to the University community developing skills beyond core education. Since its creation, it has channeled over 1,500 participants through its different initiatives. Its most notorious events are Ideation Camp and Build Your Own Internship.

The University of Luxembourg Incubator is a place where the University start-ups develop their ideas and receive guidance from mentors until they are able to start their own journey. The Incubator supports their business development through venture mentoring, by providing the networking opportunities and through its acceleration programme. Today, it hosts 35 start-ups. Since its launch three years ago, it has supported around 60 start-up ideas and created over 70 jobs. It has also created a start-up valuation of over 25 million euros in total.

The Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) at the University of Luxembourg Incubator has been created under the license of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and as an affiliate sister programme. VMS provides experts from the industry who match each venture’s needs regardless of their start-up stage. Today 35 mentors provide their support on a pro-bono basis.

The Entrepreneurship Programme and Incubator of the University of Luxembourg entered partnership with the University of Joseph Ki-Zerbo in Burkina Faso, with which it hosted the first international Ideation Camp, and Toutes à l’Ecole Association, which allowed four talented students from Cambodia to join an International Summer School in Luxembourg.