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Combining Technical Knowledge with an Entrepreneurial Mindset @ Madrid Emerging Leaders Hackathon

Author: Robin Schiemer, PhD candidate at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany


On the 23rd and 24th of April, the European Emerging Leaders community met in Madrid for their first in-person Hackathon since the start of the pandemic. As this article is focused on the participant’s perspective, here is the concept of this year’s hackathon in a nutshell:

Every team, consisting of 4-5 Emerging Leaders, represented one of four different company types. The companies were manufacturers of a different type of product, using different business models and production equipment. Based on a fact sheet provided by the organizers, the teams shortly defined the status-quo of their respective companies and then went into the first part of the challenge. Given a fictitious budget of 800k $, the teams were asked to make investment decisions in 4 specific areas: Manufacturing Execution Systems, Quality Management Systems, Data Analytics and Predictive Maintenance. In the second part of the challenge, the teams were supposed to prepare a company pitch for a group of investors (represented by the Hackathon jury) building on their company profile and investment decisions.

After an initial presentation series on four focus topics, i.e. the investment areas mentioned above, the teams were assembled by the organizers and went into a definition phase. Driven by time constraints and a seemingly endless motivation, the groups needed to find answers to difficult questions in light speed. In the subsequent investment phase, decisions about acquiring new technology or equipment in the aforementioned areas were accompanied by heated discussions within the teams and with the experts.

In the profiling phase, the teams reassessed their company profiles and turned their previous decisions into a long-term operation strategy. After intense 24 hours, a delicious networking dinner and drinks, all teams were more or less ready to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges on Sunday morning.

Read about the winners of the Madrid Hackathon and the personal impressions of various participants in the Pharmaceutical magazine.

Christian Wölbeling, Dr. Melanie Austrup, Dr. Natalie Schützler, Roland Wölfle, Robin Schiemer, Zen-Zen Yen, Dany Shami, Dr. Paul Heiden, Fabian Bamps, Prof. Dr. Michelangelo Canzoneri
Vortrag Dr. Natalie Schützler
Profilbild Robin Schiemer

Über den / die Autor*in

Robin Schiemer, 

Doktorant, Karlsruhe Institure of Technology