Located at a sports camp facility, the concept of hard training is a natural part of the Future Networking Solutions summer school in Stockholm. The organisers make sure that the students work hard from day one but they all enjoyed it and the outcome exceeded expectations! Mixing presentations from industry experts and recognised academic scholars with hands-on advice from entrepreneurs and business coaches seems to be a good recipe for innovation.
The topic of the FNS Summer School is Internet of Things considering how all “things” will be connected through wireless access to software-defined and virtualized networks that provide communication services with security, quality and reliability for cloud computing resources. The overall ambition is to give the students an understanding in how FNS technology areas may impact and enlarge the market and industry for communication systems and services.
The academic organising team, Professor Gunnar Karlsson and I& E coordinator Martin Vendel sent out preparatory material and assignments to efficiently use the time on site: Key areas in future networking solutions for internet of things, industry and markets trends, back casting: from vision back to execution, industry value chains, business analysis and modelling, lean start-up.
Find a business idea that can grow to exceed 10M € in turnover within 3 years
Once on site the 40 students were faced with the challenge of finding a business idea in the area of IoT with the potential of exceeding 10 million EUR in turnover within the next 5 years and possible to run by themselves ( i.e not changing any regulations, infrastructure, standards och policy etc).
To support them, the first week started with shorter assignments and lectures from industry experts such as John Fornehed, Ericsson and business developer Erik Duyck from iMinds. What is a lean startup was explained by Andy Cars (Lean Ventures) and why we need standards was asked and answered by Hermann Brandt, ETSI. Some experiences of being an entrepreneur were shared by Magnus Melander (Wbird) and Niclas Sahlgren from the startup company Yansi gave a demonstration of their IoT software platform.
As the groups worked further on their assignments they got to practise their pitches, got coaching on presentation skills and more input on how to work with the business model canvas. The students did work hard which showed in the final presentations – seven very high quality business ideas where presented at the Ericsson HQ in Kista on the final day. The jury, consisting of Niel Urquhart, Manfred Dasselaar , Andy Cars, Henrik Abramowicz and Göran Olofsson had a tough job but finally announced the Airometer team as winners.
And the winners are….Airometer! The winning team (Biniam Gebregergs Guulay, Janahvi Janardhan, Chen Kunhan, Nam Giang, Sun Shuai and Tamunomiebaka Dibi) was awarded € 2000, to be used to further develop “Airometer”. The idea is to offer parents to be able to constantly monitor the air quality their kids are exposed to. The runner up team (Ian Elmor Lang, Jurian van Dalfsen, Manish Sonal, Pierluigi Videsott, Sayali Kothari and Somshree Mukherjee) presented a smart digital photo frame, Framily, to improve the communication between international students and their grandparents back home.
We hope to see the winners at the Idea Challenge finals in Internet of Things in Stockholm on December 3rd, 2015. More information about the course, the assignments, the speakers and the students can be found on the blog: https://iot2015stockholm.wordpress.com/
Photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eitdigital/albums/72157657598555048
Here are some of the student testimonials also reporting on fun and sun:
“This course was the most interesting of all the courses I have studied so far. Not only did we get an insight into the hottest topic Internet of Things but also, technology entrepreneurship. For 2 weeks, we were coached on how to develop the perfect business plan, how to improve value proposition and also some technical aspects of the latest in this IOT industry. We had a lot of assignments, before, during and after the course but I enjoyed all of it…. It goes without saying that I am very grateful to our mentors who organised the summer school and who were an integral part of building our thought process and helping us out and encouraging us at every step. After this course, I am really considering technology entrepreneurship as a future prospect for myself. I am really glad I chose this summer school, and I wish it was longer than just 2 weeks !! :D”
“In this two weeks summer school at Boson, several interesting lectures took place along with an accelerating experience of teamwork. For the lecture part, I especially enjoy the one The M2M entrepreneur given by Magnus Melander from Wbird, where I learnt about identifying trends in the IoT sector both from an investor and from an innovator’s perspective….. I would recommend this course to those who have an interest in IoT and how it could help improve/simply people’s lives. The ideas can come from a broad range of industry but as long as it is both realistic and responsible, there is an obvious potential for its future. As well as those who want to come see Stockholm, enjoy top quality sporting facilities and swim in beautiful lakes.”