Greetings from Italy! Week 1 of the European Innovation Academy (EIA) focuses on team formation, ideation, problem-solution fit, product-market fit and problem and customer validation. Some of us had formed a team online prior, while others networked to find a team to work with for EIA. A typical day in EIA starts when we leave the hostel at 8.50 to catch the shuttle buses to the venue (if we miss the shuttle bus, we will have to take public transport to the venue). Content is taught via keynote speeches from 10am-3pm with a lunch break in between. From 3pm-8pm, we work in teams and consult mentors for help. For 2017, EIA is hosted at the Politecnico Di Torino Lingotto, a place that used to be an FCA factory. On Friday, there was also a customer validation day in Milan, where we collected feedback to improve on our ideas and determined if there was an actual demand for it.

Weather in Turin is swelteringly hot during the day but rather cool at night. We spent a few days prior to EIA to explore the city, and it turns out that there were quite a number of attractions to visit. The accommodation is rather well appointed, with a supermarket just across the road. Getting around with buses/trains is rather easy, but buses can take rather long to arrive and service disruptions can happen. At the EIA venue, there is also a free flow of drinks to keep our energy up, which was a rather pleasant gesture. People in EIA are also rather friendly and try to help one another, which closely resembles SUTD’s culture.

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The program provides an opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and international start-up team. During the program you will benefit from the daily mentoring by Silicon Valley mentors and networking with like-minded individuals in a new culture. Participants will have the chance to pitch to a prestigious panel of investors (Amazon Capital, Intel Capital, Garage Technology Ventures)


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