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Ideation Camp 10: an unforgettable experience

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Published on Friday, 02 December 2022

Last week University of Luxembourg Incubator and Entrepreneurship Programme hosted their 10th Ideation Camp, an intensive 4-days long hands-on course for which teams are selected through My Big Idea competition.

Ideation Camp 10 took place in Maison des Arts et des Etudiants on Belval campus and started on Tuesday, 22 November with an Opening Ceremony, where 13 teams were pitching their ideas in front of the audience for the first time. By the end of the course 7 teams were pre-selected to pitch during the Closing Ceremony on Saturday, 26 November in front of the executive jury: Director of Data and Partnerships at B Medical Systems Erica Monfardini, Founder and Chair of FARAD Group Marco Caldana, Partner at EY Ajay Bali, Programme and Innovation Manager at FNR Sakthivel Sundharam, Head of Social Programme at EIB Institute Luisa Ferreira, and CEO at Talkwalker Lokdeep Singh.

Ideation Camp 2022 opening

Opening Ceremony of the Ideation Camp 10

The winner of this edition is E-mpact Pharma team, which consists of the four students of the University: Queen Lenya (Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation), Naghmeh Rahimi (Master in Civil Engineering), Dilmurat Nurakhmetov (Master in Finance), and Utkirbek Ruzmatov (Master in Finance). E-mpact Pharma is developing an online platform where medications can be conveniently interchanged between pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesale distributors and the public. Their aim is to limit the number of expired or unused medications that end up in the ecosystem while making medications more accessible at a cheaper rate. The team won 10,000 euros in project funding which they will now invest into building their solution.

Ideation Camp 2022 winners E-mpact Pharma

Winning team of the Ideation camp 10, E-mpact Pharma

Ideation Camp was an experience we will never forget in a lifetime,” said Queen. “An experience that has taught us the value of working together for a common goal. We are grateful to our Guardian Angel Pedro Castilho who always stood by us even when we felt like giving up. We thank our mentors Nicolas Henckes and Rohit Kumar for putting us on the right track. We are also grateful of the the University of Luxembourg Incubator and Entrepreneurship Programme for our first investment to bring our big idea to life.

Ideation Camp 2022 mentoring

Mentoring at the Ideation Camp 10

E-mpact Pharma was also the winner of My Big Idea competition and the team won a 1,000 euros cash prize by FARAD Group which decided to spend a part of its philanthropic fund on the competition. At that time the team consisted of Queen Lenya and Naghmeh Rahimi. “As a former young startupper, I can only envy the possibilities that this project offers to young people who want to develop their entrepreneurial streak,” – said Marco Caldana from FARAD Group. “As a social investor and mentor, I can guarantee my support for the next edition of My Big Idea competition and invite other companies or individuals to support the project with mentoring and cash prizes to encourage and reward these young people”.

Ideation Camp 2022 winners E-mpact Pharma

E-mpact Pharma receives the award for winning My Big Idea Competition

The Guardian Angel of the winning team, Pedro Castilho said: “What a rollercoaster edition of the Ideation Camp! However, Ideation Camp is not about winning. Ideation Camp is about learning. Learning to observe, learning to question, learning to listen, learning to document, learning to explain and present. And at the end, maybe you win!”. Four mentors also act as Guardian Angels, consulting their few assigned teams throughout the whole Ideation Camp: Manager of the University of Luxembourg Incubator Pranjul Shah, owner of Verbalius Pedro Castilho, tech startups value creator and investor Shai Haim, and co-founder of Balloonary.com Brice Dondelinger.

Each day of the Ideation Camp started with a workshop (on finding product-market fit the first day, on pitching the day after, and on idea protection the last day), followed by teamwork, and intensive mentoring. Participants ate, slept, and lived on campus throughout the whole Ideation Camp. “I often compare the Ideation Camp as an experiential learning mini-accelerator of five days in which students focus entirely on getting their startup ready for real business,” said Siva Bactavatchalou, Manager of Entrepreneurship Programme of the University of Luxembourg. “All of them have been working hard, starting straight away with tackling real problems and confirming key assumptions with real customers such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, and some private companies. At the University of Luxembourg, we have always been committed in empowering this next wave of entrepreneurs from all types of background giving them the tools and resources for them to create, build and solve the promise they want to solve”.

The organisers of the Ideation Camp also welcome leaders of Luxembourgish ecosystem to support participants as mentors. “This 10th edition is probably the best Ideation Camp organised since 2017, with lots of improvements," continued Siva. “Nevertheless, there is something that has not changed for the last 5 years - the participants’ commitment. I am always blown away by the phenomenal participants’ resilience and diligence, working full days and nights and making us proud on Saturday for the final show! I am incredibly grateful to our Guardian Angels and over 30 other mentors for their time and support, as well as everyone else involved in the organization of this Ideation Camp.

Not to forget over 100 mentors who have been part of previous Ideation Camps,” adds Pranjul Shah, Manager of the University of Luxembourg Incubator. “We want to especially thank our sponsors, Fondation Norbert Friob & Fils, for their generous donation to make this Ideation Camp happen. With the Ideation Camps, we have now supported close to 100 teams through this unique methodology which has resulted in the launch of 25+ startups. Some of our most promising startups at the University of Luxembourg Incubator kicked off as an idea at the Ideation Camps."

Ideation Camp 2022 networking

Networking dinner for guests and participants of the Ideation Camp 10 after Closing Ceremony

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