European Innovation Academy – my experience

This post was written by Andrea Totaro: 2nd Year Student in Management with Entrepreneurship

3 weeks of intense work, passion, networking, empowerment. Those are just few words I can use to summarise my experience at the European Innovation Academy 2017 which took place in Turin from the 9th to the 28th July.

This experience taught me that every time there is an opportunity to grow, every time someone is giving you the opportunity to challenge yourself, you must do it!

I am grateful to the Management Department of Royal Holloway that gave me this opportunity and possibility to attend this event that since the first day tested myself.

European Innovation Academy is the world largest accelerator of the world which, every year, hosts more than 700 students from great universities all over the world. It gives you the opportunity to create a team of people with different backgrounds, cultures and age to start work together chasing the dream of building a start-up (over 120 start-up this year in Turin).

Mine is called ATPC – Active Tire Pressure Control, a technology that can set autonomously the optimal tire pressure on vehicles so that it is possible to reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, increase vehicle safety and tire life. During these 3 weeks, EIA gave us the tools to build business models, marketing campaign, landing pages and, eventually, prototypes of mobile apps. Furthermore, we had the possibility to visit Milan to do customer validation and Rome the week later for the Product Expo.

Hard work and passion allowed us to get, at first, in the top 50 and later in the top 10, having the opportunity to pitch in front of investors and managers from important Italian banks and tech companies.

I would not be here telling you this experience if I had not taken this opportunity, going out of my comfort zone and testing myself with students older than me.

My best advice is to always challenge yourself and your status-quo, both in case of failure or success, there will be something to learn. As Nelson Mandela once said “I never lose. I either win or learn”.

Thanks to the Management Department of Royal Holloway and especially Anica Zeyen in  the Student Experience Team for giving me the opportunity to attend European Innovation Academy, it’s worth it!

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