Today is starting the last weekend of the third edition of our Inventor program, an intense prototyping boot-camp held at the coworking spaces Fablab and Toolbox.
Within Inventor, 40 participants are guided by expert mentors and facilitators through a 10-days-long productive cycle, from defining a problem to delivering pitch presentations. The experience resembles work on an early phase of an innovative start-up, with strong focus on teamwork, putting together students from diverse academic backgrounds. The ongoing edition involves a considerable number of engineers.
The adventure has taken off during the last weekend with insights into teambuilding and basics of entrepreneurship brought by SEI staff and guests with extensive experience as successful start-uppers who have joined us straight from the Silicon Valley. The aspiring makers were challenged to think outside the box in search of meaningful problems that could be alleviated by a new technology, be it a product or software, or an innovative process. Based on their personal priorities and natural synergies emerged during the first activities, the participants united into seven groups. The macro-problems identified include water saving, plastic pollution, privacy concerns, beach maintenance, outdated teaching methods, and food storage.
In the following days, the mentors introduced several frameworks and exercises to empathize with potential final users, customers and key partners, following the human-centred approach of business development. Young makers also learned the basics of laser-cutters and 3D printers and have tried their hands with the machines available at FabLab Torino.
At this point, all groups are finalizing prototypes and pitches . The fruits of their efforts will be presented on Monday morning at the Key Note Room at Toolbox. Stay tuned for further updates!