International teams work on business ideas at the Urban Life and Mobility Summer School

“From Smart Cities to Smart Citizens” was the theme of the recent Digital Cities Summer School on Urban Life and Mobility held in Paris. It was organised by EIT Digital and was attended by 43 students from 27 different countries.

The Summer School addressed keys issues for smart cities including mobility, citizens and governance collaboration, city planning, and urban data economy. Next to technologies used to solve these needs, the programme addressed associated societal issues, including collaborative behaviours, new mobility usages, citizen empowerment and governance, urban planning, building trust in ICT, rewards and incentives, city resilience, and inclusion.

During these two entrepreneurial weeks, participants had the opportunity to listen to great presentations, talk to successful professionals and entrepreneurs about their experience. In addition to business modelling and entrepreneurship training, there was also time dedicated to networking. During the programme students were asked to work in small groups on ten pre-selected use cases, under the supervision of dedicated coaches. At the end of the Summer School each team presented their business ideas in front of a board of Digital Cities and innovation experts.

The Urban Life and Mobility Summer School was one of nine EIT Digital Summer Schools taking place in seven different European cities this summer.

Second-year EIT Digital Master School Student Mohan Krishna Ghanta Krishnamurthy talked about his experience of developing profitable solutions in response to use cases;
“In the beginning, it was very challenging for us to think out of the box and come up with a different business idea, as each of my team members had a different vision and direction to approach the problem. But in the end, we did it! For me this Summer School was an amazing experience. I have never been in any event before, where there were so many different nationalities in such a small group. Whenever I turned my head, I met someone new from a different country. The cultural diversity helped us to get familiar with the characteristics, regulations and problems of different markets. The team work helped in understanding our cultural differences and determining the success or the failure of a product launch in different markets.”
Mohan Krishna Ghanta Krishnamurthy, EIT Digital student - Entry: Stockholm, Exit: Berlin, ITA

“For me the best moment of the Summer School was working with a team under supervision of a business coach. We tried various business models and found one that worked best in our target market. The experience gave me a perspective to look at the business models behind every new startup and a product in the market. The event was very well organised, kudos to the team behind it. There was a good balance between work and the social activities. We had been around Paris, made new friends and visited interesting places. Overall a wonderful learning experience."
Mohan Krishna Ghanta Krishnamurthy, EIT Digital student - Entry: Stockholm, Exit: Berlin, ITA

“Our use case was to develop a meta platform that would combine the five existing carpooling companies’ platforms in Paris. The goal was to find a solution that was favourable for customers but also attractive for the companies. We investigated how we could make money on the service but also what the market really needs. I used carpooling services in China before, but did not know a lot about this industry. I learned a lot through the presentations and team work and I really enjoyed this project as it was a real case study. The diversity showed clearly that both Europe and other continents have a different way of thinking. I was very happy and satisfied with this programme and I would recommend it to students who are interested in real case studies.”
Xinye Fu, Chinise, Entry: Eindhoven, EIT Digital student - Exit: Stockholm, Data Science

“I am not enrolled in an EIT Digital Master programme as for the last four and a half years I have been working in the automotive data and business intelligence area. Having a strong interest in mobility and transportation, I wanted to explore this topic and acquire new knowledge. A great asset of the Summer School is definitely high-calibre speakers who covered a variety of aspects of smart cities and mobility: from carpooling to complex technologies like geo-mapping and projects involving the state authorities. Every student had a chance to choose a task resonating with his interests. During these two weeks I had an opportunity to interact with technology experts and startup founders. Teamwork under time pressure was another valuable experience. Nowadays new product development and innovation is tightly linked to an ability to operate efficiently and creatively in small teams.”
Darya Kamkalova, Russian, external participant.

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