Great 3rd EIT ICT Labs Master School Kick-Off in Budapest, Hungary

Future start-uppers occupied the capital for 3 days.

More than 250 students from 35 countries - 10 from the two local universities in Budapest - start their studies in the academic year 2014/2015 at the EIT ICT Labs Master School. The three-day opening ceremony took place at the riverside university campus of the Faculty of Informatics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, on October 23-25, 2014.

First-year students arrived from European cities of entry universities of the Master School’s education system (Berlin, Delft, Eindhoven, Helsinki, Nice, Paris, Rennes, Stockholm, Trento, Turku, Twente) accompanied by academic representatives, who had a chance to give first-hand information to their students at the University Marketplace organised on the Kick-off site.

Students were divided into working groups with a specific topic on ICT challenges, and throughout the Students’ Challenge sessions they had to develop their idea into a possible business initiative. They not only had to learn how to work together and solve problems to succeed, or how to agree on a final solution, but also had to acquire the skills necessary to present their idea successfully in a pitch session. The competition of real business ideas provided a special opportunity for the first year students to prove their innovative potential. The I&E introduction lecture by Frédéric Renouard and Péter Dobay, the continuous presence of business coaches from the Corvinus University of Budapest as well as members of the EIT ICT Labs BDA team, all supported their progress. The lucky winner of the Students’ Challenge was the idea called Fretify, a music creator app to facilitate music learning.

At the plenary sessions, following a warm welcome by Carl-Gustaf Jansson, Director of the Master School, the local hosts, Éva Orosz, Vice-Rector of ELTE together with Zoltán Horváth, Dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Director of the Budapest APG greeted the audience of nearly 400.

Later on, successful Hungarian ICT startups and presentation trainers shared their experience on both ICT and entrepreneurial aspects of a successful company in their presentations. The contribution of Orsolya Nemes from Y Consulting, Dávid Szilágyi from GraviTalent and Tamás Soós from Sopreso represented a real added value for the students’ training. GraviTalent introduced their Virtuoso real time assessment game to measure innovative talent, Sopreso their new voting app to show in a clear visual and rapid way the close fight results of the student pitch competition. The necessity of taking diversity and cultural differences in communication into account was also highlighted for such a multinational and multilingual audience in the "Why Culture Matters" lecture delivered by Hanneke Riedijk. Last but not least, László Korányi from the National Innovation Office of Hungary and Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT ICT Labs talked about the actual initiatives on ICT education in Hungary and Europe, and provided a perspective view on the future plans of EIT ICT Labs and education related issues on key ICT areas. Finally, the programme provided space for the Alumni Foundation and Summer School winner teams as well to give their short presentations.

Special thanks to the selected team of voluntary second-year Master School students, who proved to be excellent hosts and helpers to their fellow students. The action-packed programme made sure that students got to know each other, the faculty and the EIT ICT Labs Master School organisation.

The social activities, a "Get-together-dinner" on Thursday and a "Gala-kick-off-dinner" on Friday evening as well as the highly successful Zumba Session ensured that all participants had a chance to meet and collaborate with their fellow students and colleagues, share concerns and solutions, establish new contacts and create networks across technical majors, universities and country borders.

Website of the event:

The 2015 admission to the EIT ICT Labs Master School is open from November 1, 2014.

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