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Mentorship Programme for purpose driven digital entrepreneurs

The European Youth Award (EYA) honored Europe’s most promising digital solutions with an impact on society of the year at the EYA Festival in Graz. Ten winning projects from seven countries are connected with experienced business leaders to support their future development as mentors.

The 8th EYA Festival (Nov 27-30, 2019) focussed on Europe’s current challenges from political participation to the climate crisis to digitisation. “The festival serves young European change-makers of digital and social innovation to network and present their solutions to the burning questions and learn from each other,” explains EYA initiator Peter A. Bruck, the aim and purpose of the three-day EYA Festival.

10 winners and 10 mentors

In the “Fostering Health” category the Winning Project is LiGENCE from Lithuania, which revolutionizes cardiac ultrasound examination using AI, deep learning and neural networks.

Mentor Wolfgang Schaffer, Senior Manager at bit media e-solutions, is excited about this project: “I’m sure that the integration in different ultrasound machines or Picture Archiving and Communicating Systems (PACS) has a great and positive impact for the Go-to-market strategy!”

The “Smart Learning” category Winning Project is imagiLabs from Sweden, their product makes coding fun for teenage girls. It offers a mobile platform, programmable accessories and a community to teach programming. Mentor Reinhard Mayr, Head of Information Security and Research Operation at COPA-DATA, says: “imagiLabs addresses one of the biggest challenges of the IT industry. Young women rarely come into contact with this job profile or choose it for their further professional qualification. Motivating young women for these kinds of professional careers is also a target we at COPA-DATA are embedding in our daily work.”

Germany based Eye Build IT Creator offers eye tracked 3D-modeling for everyone and includes physically disabled people into the worldwide digital society. The Winning Project has found a mentor in Michael Jiresch, General Manager of Adverserve Holding, he explains his passion for this winner: “Eye Build It allows people with limitations to create physical things, not with their hands but with their eyes, and therefore fulfil a basic desire of all humans, to build something and express yourself. The project shows that digitalisation has a huge impact for disabled people and therefore is a game-changer for social inclusion.” But the “Connecting Cultures” category saw two winners with the autobiographic narrative adventure game Path Out from Austria that retraces the journey of Abdullah Al-Karam, a young Syrian artist who escaped the civil war, also being awarded. Their mentor Martina Geisler, Senior Manager at EY, explains: “Being based on an autobiographic storyline makes the game very authentic and gives special insights. It is amazing to see the passion and expertise of the project team, who is fostering education through gaming solutions.”

The “Planet Friendly” category Winning Project Forest and Climate comes from Serbia. The team created an interactive map and an online platform to ensure effective afforestation. Farid Sigari-Majd, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer LLP, became their mentor because “Climate change is one of the hottest topics of our times. It is therefore great to see how the team behind Forest and Climate is joining the fight against it. I hope that their solution can be used beyond the borders of Serbia in other countries!”

The problem of political lethargy and disenchantment is addressed by the “Active Citizenship” category winners mCommunity from North Macedonia. Their mentor Mike Pichler, Branch Manager at Siemens AG, praises the project: “The citizens’ engagement app! Not necessary to mention, that every town council should provide something like this. What a great contribution to improve social collaboration on every-day life.”

André Perchthaler is the Global Marketing Director at NXP, he mentors the “Sustainable Economics” category winners Socialbnb from Germany who created an online booking platform connecting social and ecological NGOs or CBOs with travellers from all around the world. He says about his mentee project: “Socialbnb is an amazing contribution to society and a milestone for travellers who wish to contribute to the local economy while staying abroad. The platform perfectly supports locals to present their accommodation and also gives an overview how each stay is positively contributing to local society and the NGO’s projects.”

The Managing Life category saw two Winning Projects: Aivy is a mobile app that discovers hidden potential through engaging psychometric tests to help young people in choosing the right career. The German project also helps companies to connect with potential candidates, that feature convinced their mentor Thomas Lakner, Frontend Mobile Team Leader at Bundesrechenzentrum GmbH: “Aivy doesn’t simply provide career counselling it also closes the gap between applicant and employer by bringing them together. Companies can publish job advertisements via Aivy so young people can directly apply for suitable jobs matching their skills and vocational identity. Thus having also companies benefit from Aivy by getting the right and motivated employees.

FreeHour is a mobile application built in Malta that allows students to share their timetable with friends, solving the time-consuming challenge of finding free slots to meet friends on campus to study, to plan carsharing or grab a bite. Their mentor Tomislav Stipic is a tax consultant at the leading firm ARTUS, he says: “In a busy world full of algorithms, hashtags, comments, likes and followers, know the true importance of human connections! I have met many inspiring businessmen, I have accompanied a lot of start-ups and know exactly what company founders deal with in the first years of their journey. I am happy to share a part of my yearlong experience with FreeHour!”

From Israel comes the Winning Project in the Open Innovation category: Eyelight – the 3D real-time product for partially sighted and blind people offers a physical 3D illustration of the users’ surroundings through a smartphone-sized tactile surface. „I am convinced that Eyelight will help a lot of people and I am therefore amazed that this ambitious team came up with such an innovative idea.”, congratulates their mentor Günter Wellenzohn of Infineon Technologies.

EYA Young Digital Champion 2019

The EYA Festival Jury elected LiGENCE to be the EYA Young Digital Champion 2019!

“Our product supports the examining physician and achieves higher accuracy, it reduces the examination time by half and the costs by a third. The benefits for patients, doctors, and the healthcare system are enormous,” Justinas Balčiūnas, explains the advantages of LiGENCE in cardiac ultrasound examinations.