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Bootcamp in Budapest with the teams for the finals

Why a bootcamp?

In 2012 the EIB Institute organised the first of its Social Innovation Tournaments. The competition attracted a lot of interest, with applications from many EU Member States. Sixteen teams presented their ideas and innovative projects at a final selection and award ceremony, which took place in November 2012 in Luxembourg (http://institute.eib.org/2013/01/best-european-social-innovators/). The 16 finalists in 2012 presented their ideas and/or projects using very different approaches and techniques. It became clear that they could benefit from mentoring, not only to improve the way in which they developed their proposals but also to better prepare themselves for the presentation. For the 2013 Tournament the Institute has therefore decided to introduce a new feature in the tournament – a bootcamp – which will help the teams to rejig their project plans and improve their pitches, and provide mentoring.

 Mentoring bootcamp

 The European Entrepreneurship Foundation was selected to organise a dedicated bootcamp for the 16 teams (http://institute.eib.org/programmes/social/social-innovation-tournament/closing-of-the-first-round/) invited to compete in the 2013 finals, to be held in October. The bootcamp was a two-day event and was held on 25 and 26 July in Budapest. It provided a very intense workshop-type programme, including a master class, pitching rounds, work group sessions, individual team reviews and a lot of constructive feedback provided by seasoned entrepreneurs. The following entrepreneurs acted as coaches and mentors throughout the programme:

The event took place at Demola-Budapest, the business accelerator of Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), which is operated by BME Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office and, as mentioned by Laszlo Bacsa, head of BME accelerators, this is also the home to “Hand in Scan”, one of the winners of last year’s tournament.

Which is the biggest room in the world? The answer to Peter Záboji’s question became the slogan for all the teams: “It is the room for improvement!”

This is what the participants had to say:

  • It was a wonderful experience!
  • There was a lot of information to take in, but the programme was well paced.
  • This boot camp approach was a very good investment for all.
  • We received an intense mentoring session on “the art of pitching”.
  • It was a great conference – the coaches were supportive and gave great feedback.
  • The organisation was really good, the event being held at an entrepreneurial venue.
  • What was important for me was to learn from the other participants, in particular the forms their presentations took.
  • We felt wonderfully inspired, by both the organiser and the other teams.
  • It didn’t feel like a competition, rather an inspirational process through which we all improved …