Monday, September 9, 2013

eClub high tech competition

eClub is back, we are starting the next round. I would like to explain why we shoot for high tech projects. How is the competition organized this semester. I also would like to attract all students with great innovative ideas to join us. We will help you!

The Winter 2013 eClub will extend the tradition of our weekly meetings, but with some enhancements. Let me explain. The startup scene is getting bigger and bigger world wide as well as in Prague. Every global company has a sort of startup program attracting startups. We can see many new incubators. In Prague some have already a good track record - StartupYard and Node5. All this made me to think about our direction as a university club for students of technical universities.

I get in touch with many young people who are starting their professional career, making the first decisions. Basically there are three choices: working for a company, creating a startup or becoming a scientist and pursue the PhD. Most of the graduates will start their professional life as engineers in a company at various positions including sales. eClub tries to help students with their own ideas and enthusiasm, who are committed to change them to products. They have essentially two different ways how to materialize the ideas and get them to customers: through a startup or a technology transfer. In either case eClub will help. We will present know-how for creating startups as well as helping with innovation and technology transfer. This way eClub wants give you the opportunity to test your skills and choose the best future path.

This semester competition for CVUT and other universities students will therefore reflect these changes, see below. We plan as usual a competition for the best startup project. But the competition will also addresses students interested in high-tech, innovation, science and research too. We will welcome proposals for not only startup plans, but in addition, we will also support development and research projects. The only condition the proposed projects must lead to a clear industrial solutions. The entrants have to prove they are solving real problems and with a demonstrable impact. We will try to give away awards in both categories.

Who can enter? We will welcome students working on their baccalaurean, diploma as well as dissertation works. Yes, it will be difficult to decide what project to support. The variety will be very large. To ensure equal opportunities an fair decisions we will as usual put together a panel of international judges to decide. Therefore, traditionally all presentation are expected to be delivered in English. The criteria for startup projects will be the same as in the previous semesters. In the technology transfer we will focus on how innovative is the proposed project and what is the financial impact. The scientific quality of the proposed ideas is not the only part of evaluation. The problem formulation and how it solves industrial problems will have significant weight in the final project selection. Currently I am working on detailed competition rules. They will appear at the eClub pages soon.

And how about presentations? We will again deliver interesting and entertaining presentations. As usual we want to open in a grand style. We are lucky Prof. Pechoucek, the director of the local Cisco research office promised unwrap the whole block and deliver the full Cognitive Security story. CoSe is an enormous success not only for the CVUT but for the whole Czech startup scene. It is one of the first startups acquired by a large company as Cisco. What more, it is a research based, high-tech lab employing the top Czech brains. We need many more of these. Currently, we are also preparing the Geewa and Nejremeslnici presentations showing how to start and grow international and local business. This semester we will try to balance how to do business and the technical trends presentations. We noticed that the technological presentations were very popular last semester and this is another reason for this move. One of the first very attractive trends we would like to cover is Internet of Things inspiring a great number of new ideas and startup.

This is a first of the eClub blogs. Follow me, I will tell you more. Let me know if you have better idea or comments. I would like to set all to encourage the largest number of students to actively joining us.

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