EUROPEAN INNOVATION ACADEMY 2017 – PORTUGAL
The EIA has ended and it was time to go home. It was very hard to say goodbye, but I never expected to leave with so much. I am so glad and happy to have met so many amazing people, to have worked alongside the brightest, most passionate and determined people, and to have been a part of something so amazing.
These three weeks were intensive, but the most amazing and life-changing 21 days of my life.
From the team-formation, to presenting to the investors, many pitching practices, customer validation, networking and every super interesting lecture. Every moment spent in the program was an opportunity to grow and learn from people with different backgrounds, cultures, but the same passion for ventures, start-ups and being change makers.
What made the experience even better were the super organized program, incredible venues, real summer weather, the sun and the beach, and all the activities that were programmed for the participants. Since I arrived to Portugal, I was sure that this experience was going to be memorable, so I tried to enjoy every moment and give the best of me since the beginning.
I am so glad I was working in a team with super happy, passionate and easy-going people from Ireland, Austria and Rumania. It was a real pleasure to share every moment and learning with them. I learned that one of the most important things in a start-up is the team formation, so if you have a nice team, no challenge will represent a big issue. In addition, I was able to work and learn from different personalities and mindsets, and at the end, I think we all gain very good knowledge about team formation.
Many people can say that 3 weeks is a short period, but it felt like it was even longer. Seeing each other every day from 10 am to 10 pm or even later, sharing hotel, breakfast, lunch, parties, experiences, laughs, and every moment made us together as a family.
What was EIA for me? EIA opened my eyes to see the real entrepreneurial world. It gave me the tools and insights of how to develop my own start-up from the very start, to the very end. Nevertheless, the most important thing about EIA, it provided me the most amazing network of young passionate entrepreneurial people.
By the end of the program, I am confident to say that I have more than 300 new friends, and I am sure that some of them will be lifelong friendships. I know it was hard to say goodbye, but we are leaving with unforgettable memories and knowledge. EIA will be always a part of our life.
Marcela Ruvalcaba Medrano
Aalto University School of Science
Master of Science, Life Science Technologies- Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering