The Imperial Innovation Challenge was a week of workshops and eye-opening talks by industry experts aimed at equipping us with the tools to find innovative solutions for Sustainable Mobility. We were placed into 11 teams competing for two award categories – the most innovative and the most feasible solutions.
At the start of the week, I must admit, my knowledge of Sustainable Mobility and the environmental impacts of CO2 emissions was very limited. We were introduced to Sustainable Mobility and New Vehicle Technologies from a highly reputable professor at Imperial College’s Faculty of Engineering, Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas. I can now say I understand what impacts CO2 production and how a business can reduce emissions by solving problems associated with those factors. We were also encouraged by the Director of the Imperial Data Science Institute, Prof Yi-Ke Guo, to think of Sustainable Mobility solutions using Big Data. You can’t get any more innovative than that! In addition, Shell came in to speak to us about Disruptive Technologies in the Automotive Industry and what innovative solutions are currently being worked on. Let’s just say the Sustainable Mobility industry is much bigger than I had initially anticipated. Not only were we taught about the industry and the current technologies, we had speakers talk to us about Disruptive Business Models, the Venture Capital Industry and Imperial Innovations (Imperial’s very own VC fund).
After 3 days of presentations and workshops, we were given 1 day to think of innovative solutions that tackle our team’s chosen Sustainable Mobility problem and prepare a presentation for the next day’s competition. All the teams were busy having fun – I mean ‘working’ at the Business School vaults brainstorming crazy ideas and how one could implement them (haha).
I must say I was amazed by the problems and solutions that all the teams came up with. While watching all the presentations during the final day of the competition, I was proud of how far we have come as a cohort. In one day, all the teams were able to conjure great innovate solutions and present them so professionally and confidently. I was especially proud when one of the judges, a VC in the industry, commended us on our work and said that our presentations were better than most real life start-up pitches he has seen.
The ‘most innovative’ award went to a team of engineers and marketers called Team Vast who came up with a solution that significantly reduces CO2 emitted by airplanes. The ‘most feasible’ award went to WforW which aimed to empower women in emerging markets during their commutes while decreasing emissions.
Esraa is studying our Full-Time MBA programme.