Twente’s European Regional Meetup

By Ghanashyam S

University of Twente, one of the first institution from Europe to become part of the uifamily, hosted the first ever European Regional Meetup from August 16-20, 2018. 28 people attended, including Fellows and faculty champions from the U.S. and India as well as UIF team members. Twente is hosting their second European Regional Meetup on August 11-20, 2019. Visit www.utwente.nl/en/uif/meetup for more details.

At the 2018 event, Twente Fellows and faculty champions did an excellent job of planning in terms of the exposure to the entrepreneurship culture on campus and in the region. On one day, they arranged a campus visit and a trip to the Enschede city center on the bikes, with several stops where the student representatives from various group on campus spoke about the work they are doing. The mayor of the Enschede, Mr. Onno van Veldhuizen, told the gathering how they want to make the region a hub for innovators.

Participants visited Nedap Headquarters, ASML headquarters, Gazelle headquarters and Grolsch Brewery, where they learned about  the innovations in the technology, bicycle brewery industries. The speakers in all these companies highlighted how the culture of innovation in the region has helped them to achieve the success and remain leaders in their respective domains. During the course of the event, attendees got an opportunity to hear from Kees Koolen, former CEO of booking.com; Ruben M. Wegman, the CEO of Nedap; and others.

We spent an entire day during the meetup on campus. The attendees split into 6 groups, and each group was given a challenge from the UN SDG. Each team designed a prototype to tackle the issue. Then the teams were made to rappel down a 4-story building and do a 90-second elevator pitch. Each group was diverse with representation from across the world which helped us empathise with the problem better and come up with apt prototypes.

During the Meetup, we learned so much about the culture of the institution and the region. It was inspiring to observe the various types of collaboration during the Meetup — between the Twente UIF team and other organizations on campus, between the school and the community, and between the Fellows in attendance.

Twente is hosting their second European Regional Meetup August 11-20, 2019. Visit https://www.utwente.nl/en/uif/meetup/ for more details.

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