This year everything at the TU Austria Innovation Marathon is online, there're no physical meetings. But everything really has worked so far. The team was really convinced before, that it could work, that was the sumption and now it is really nice to see, that things are working out as we planned them to.
The coaches are usually working in companies with companies. Now they're working with a team of students from all over the world. The huge difference? The energy you get from a very mixed and diverse student team with different backrounds and different studies. They challenge each other, they have very different perspectives because they're engineers, they're medical students, they have different backrounds and different cultures they're coming from. That's definitely good for some heat debates and very interesting ideas.
So far it was really exciting to see the students share their first ideas and the details of it, that they have been fearlessly working on with the company representat...
High above the rooftops of Graz, in the rooms of TU Graz's Rooftop Mensa, the organisation team has set up its Mission Control Center for this year's TU Austria Innovation Marathon. It's the place, where normally hundreds of students, researchers and lecturers from TU Graz have lunch, drink coffee, chill out, enjoy the view and exchange ideas.
Ideas are also exchanged here during these hours, with students from all over the world via Zoom. The virtual event works outstandingly well, which you can see for yourself on facebook.com/innovation.marathon.
The TU Austria Innovation Marathon is always special, but this year even more. Not only are we all under the spell of a worldide pandemic, but the students also face the challenge of a virtual marathon by forming teams across the world: from Cairo to La Paz, from Munich to Nairobi, from Lisbon to Graz, without knowing each other personally.
Punctually at high noon project leader Mario Fallast has rang the gong for this year's TU Austria Innovation Marathon!
We give you a glimpse behind the scenes! Experience and see the students and the whole TU Austria Innovation Marathon Team in action on facebook.com/innovations.marathon.
Videos of this year's TU Austria Innovation Marathon can be found on YouTube
Ivan Knechtl is a participant of this year’s TU Austria Innovation-Marathon at the European Forum Alpbach. Read about his expectations and why he can hardly wait for the official program to start.
My name is Ivan Knechtl, I study Environmental System Sciences at TU Graz and I come from Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia. Looking back on my life, I recognise four things that have accompanied me constantly: genuine curiosity, problem solving, perform to best of my abilities and the factor of awesomeness.
These are good qualities for the TU Austria Innovation-Marathon. By the way, what are your expectations?
I strive to bring my knowledge to the team in order to solve the proposed problems. I would be proud if we could find a really good solution that fully addresses the problems or maybe even disrupting the current standards in the selected industry. I would be happy to meet and get in touch with the amazing team of the organizers of the TU Austria Innovatio...
Finally we have entered the 24th hour! There is excitement in the room as the teams present their prototypes to the company representatives for the first time. After discussing the solutions which they have come up with in the last 23 hours, it is time for the big show.
There are two important rules for the presentation: 1.) no PowerPoints (or any kind of slideshow) are allowed, 2.) the teams have exactly 2 minutes to make their pitch during the show.
The audience is slowly gathering in the auditorium while the teams are transporting their prototypes to the scene of the pitches. I can already see the prototype of a huge drill, a fridge and an electric charging station next to the stage. What will they make out of it? We'll see in half an hour.
Don't miss out on the live streaming of the final show at 8:30. To join, just click here.
After the coffee machine has been reloaded, there are no obstacles in the way of a successful ending of the Marathon! :)
The atmosphere has been surprisingly relaxed and the teams have spent most of the time in a good mood.
Just before midnight the teams stepped over to the prototyping phase. This is when most of the teams got really energised - after the long understanding, analysing and ideating phases finally they got to the 'doing' part of the process.
The students received all kinds of materials, from straws through play-doh to huge pieces of cardboard. Then the experimentation begun.
The goal is to prepare tangible prototypes which can be presented on the stage and which are bigger than life-size so that they are visible for the audience sitting in the auditorium. Apart from having fun and enjoying the concepts coming to life, it is also time for the preparation of the pitches.
We'll get back to you when the prototypes are ready. :)
As in the past years, this time the teams are supported by our experienced Innovation Coaches, members of the Austrian Patent Office and by our wonderful coordinator, Mario.
Stefan, Julia and Christina are innovation consultants at Integrated Consulting Group and Roland is the leader of a small but powerful innovation team at Philips, so I dare say innovation runs in their veins.
But wait... what exactly are they doing as Innovation Coaches? Let's hear from the Coaches themselves!
'To challenge my team to come up with really cool solutions and at the same time keep the atmosphere going and keep their spirit up. Help the team work out their conflicts and to protect the team from team members who want to break free of all the rules but not to destroy the team dynamics.'
'I think my main job is to entertain the team and make it fun for them.'
'Sometimes it's like being a kindergarten teacher - sometimes they fell that they don't know what to do, I feel...