Building Trust in Science – UniVation 2023

UniVation in Graz was a dynamic and collaborative event that brought together around 90 university students, including students from FH Joanneum and FH Campus02 (Austria), as well as participants from Germany, Cyprus, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main objective of the event was to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the fast-changing and unpredictable landscape of our world.

The participants were divided into teams and given a unique challenge – to analyze digital impact ventures from around the globe, specifically from Ghana, Malawi, Belgium/Brazil, Lebanon, South Africa, and Lithuania. Working in teams, the students had a tight timeframe of 48 hours to assess the ventures and come up with recommendations for improvement in areas such as business models, marketing, and user experience. They got the chance to meet the founders of the impact ventures in zoom calls, getting the chance to talk to successful entrepreneurs, but also get more insights and input for the challenge ahead. 

Spacelend, Graz's first co-working space, resembled a bustling anthill, with international students working together. The results of their ideation sprint was presented during a nerve-wracking pitch session in front of an international jury. Each team had a mere two minutes on stage to summarize their analysis and present their recommendations on a flipchart paper. To enhance their presentation skills, Karin Hofmann, a graphic recorder, provided valuable insights on designing effective posters, including tips on colors, fonts, and drawings. The international jury faced the challenging task of selecting three winning teams, who were then celebrated at a festive award ceremony held at Murinsel.

UniVation went beyond the project work, offering innovation short talks by international experts. The topics covered impact entrepreneurship, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and digitalization. Renowned speakers like Walburga Fröhlich, a successful social entrepreneur from Austria, Marvin Huber, the Austrian youth delegate to the United Nations, and Geoff Huston, who provided insights into the history of the Internet, engaged the students with valuable perspectives.

The event also facilitated fireside chats where students had interactive conversations with founders from Brazil (Gica Trierweiler), Austria (Oliver Wimmer), and Canada (Denby Royal), along with Ines Suh (representing Science Park Graz) and Hannes Meixner (Intrapreneur at Raiffeisen). These sessions allowed students to gain real-world insights and practical knowledge from experienced professionals. Josine Bakkes facilitated networking and community-building activities, adding a touch of fun to the event. UniVation in Graz not only provided students with a platform to apply their skills to real-world challenges but also fostered a community of like-minded individuals passionate about making a positive impact in the world.

Explore the event pamphlet here and view event photos on our Flickr.

The Winning Teams are:

1st Place
Placecloud - FH Joanneum


2nd Place
Inspirelearn - FH Joanneum


3rd Place
My Parliament - FH Campus 02


3rd Place
M4Jam - FH Joanneum


Want to learn more about Univation?

UniVation, facilitated by WSA, is a global entrepreneurship program designed for students. It unites students from various universities to collectively evaluate tech ventures with a social impact, specifically those of past WSA winners.
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