Over 60 students, staff and external participants met in mid-February at the University Library to develop ideas for transforming the ZHAW into a leading entrepreneurial university.
A packed programme awaited the participants. The whole day was spent thinking, discussing, presenting and laughing together at high speed. Whether group work, discussion rounds or presentations: The learning landscape of the university library in Winterthur provided the perfect venue for a "boot camp" to launch the ZHAW's first Innovation Challenge. This innovation process, launched by "ZHAW entrepreneurship", focuses on the development of novel projects from team building to idea generation and implementation.
"We want as many students, staff and external people as possible to take part in this open innovation process." Anita Buchli, co-lead of ZHAW entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurial Mindset wanted
The teams first had to find each other at the boot camp in the university library, then develop ideas together and convince each other of them. In an iterative process, the teams are now experimenting and testing their project ideas until they convince a jury in November of the added value generated for students and staff and of the feasibility of the idea. "This is how we proceed step by step and thereby develop things that are novel and that we may not even have thought of yet," explains Anita Buchli. Because in the future, the ZHAW will be faced with more and more questions, challenges and initiatives that require rapid action and that cannot be handled ideally in the usual processes and procedures and with the established methods.
"We launched this Innovation Challenge because we want to promote an entrepreneurial mindset among students and staff at the ZHAW, But we have not committed ourselves to a specific idea, but are looking for dedicated teams who are enthusiastic about their ideas and want to test them in reality!" Hanna Brahme, co-lead ZHAW entrepreneurship
Strategic initiative for entrepreneurship
As an entrepreneurial university, the ZHAW wants to be a meeting place for people who think and act entrepreneurially, so that they can expand their horizons, experiment and develop. That is why the strategic initiative "ZHAW entrepreneurship" was launched at the end of 2021. The first Innovation Challenge on the topic "How might we help students and staff develop and foster an entrepreneurial mindset?" is intended to accelerate the transformation of the ZHAW into a leading entrepreneurial university as part of an open innovation process. The teams formed at the Innovation Challenge bootcamp will now work on the selected ideas and solutions for a year as so-called "intrapreneurs".