Energy of the future and entrepreneurship – EIT Digital Summer School

„Smart Energy Systems & Entrepreneurship“ - EIT Digital and KIT-Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology-Management and Innovation (EnTechnon) organized a two-week long international summer school. Between July 27th and August 7th, 40 participants from all over the world came together in Karlsruhe, Germany, to discuss innovations for the energy sector.

Through expert presentations and workshops, Master students, scientists and young professionals worked on future energy systems and innovative business ideas such as new energy systems, e-mobility and storage systems. One highlight of the two week was the excursion to juwi AG, a project developer for wind and solar energy systems, in Wörrstadt, Germany. After a tour of the premises and wind power plants, Matthias Willenbacher, one of the founders of juwi AG, gave valuable insight on how to start up a company.

During the first week of summer school the focus was put on energy relevant topics. The second week was spent with several workshops on potential business ideas which the participants developed in teams led by mentors. In the end each team presented their idea in a final seven minute pitch presentation to a jury. Despite many outstanding presentations, the jury chose the team of ‚Multi-Family Homes Flexibility Monetization‘ as winners. However, the most votes from other participants went to the team of ‚Power Check Plug‘. 

In the end, the Summer School concluded with an impressed jury and happy participants. Looking back, the participants gained lots of valuable insight and new knowledge over the two weeks in Karlsruhe. Anca Solacolu from KTH Stockholm, Sweden, explains: "After my Bachelor’s degree I did not feel prepared to start up my own company because I was missing the entrepreneurial skills. My Master’s degree at KIC Inno Energy and the School helped me a lot to work on those competencies." Anca especially liked the cultural exchange and informative part of the school and collected valuable experiences. Also Simon Salis from the University of Brighton looks back upon a very successful and positive two weeks and his reply is explicit when being asked if he’d recommend the Summer School: "Only two words: Yes, 100 percent!"

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