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UZH Innovation Hub

UZH Innovathon: Winners

The hands-on innovation course format offers a unique opportunity to enhance students personal and professional growth. One team impressed the jury with the most developed solution towards the challenge proposed and won not only the jury prize for the best concept but also the audience prize.

The Cabin Crew Team emerged as the winner of Innovathon 2023. The 4th edition of the open innovation program, focusing on “The Digitalization of Mobility”, featured a preparatory lecture series and a design sprint where participanting stundents addressed challenges provided by SBB, Flughafenregion Zürich FRZ, and Helbling.  

Helbling presented the challenge of crafting sustainable and future-proof approaches for goods supply chains, with a focus on efficiency, resilience, environmental protection, and reduction of unnecessary transportation, packaging, and noise. Flughafenregion Zürich FRZ was looking for solutions to meet the needs of the younger generation in the context of modern business networks, emphasizing adaptation to the digital landscape, leveraging alternatives to physical meetings while preserving a personal touch. Last but not least, SBB pursued to transform how Swiss youth perceive and use public transportation, envisioning a digital solution that sparks enthusiasm and retains them as lifelong customers. 

Nine interdisciplinary teams, each comprising four students, took on these challenges, bringing diverse perspectives. In a preparatory session, researchers from the Digital Society Initiative Mobility Community provided the students with insights into different aspects of the digitalization of mobility. One session was dedicated to the best practice for innovating as a team, as hands-on preparation for the design sprint. 

The design sprint, hosted by Chantal Schmelz at the offices of Ginetta, a digital agency in Zurich, saw intense teamwork after a motivating speech on innovation team dynamics by Kenji Nguyen und Jiske van Straaten from Ginetta. The final pitch occurred at Google’s office in Zurich, where a jury of representatives from challenge partners and researchers evaluated teams based on innovation, interdisciplinarity, impact, feasibility, scientific approach and presentation skills. 

The «Cabin Crew» Team won not only the jury prize for the best concept but also the audience prize. This team impressed the jury with the most developed solution towards the challenge proposed by Flughafenregion Zürich FRZ. These awards reflect their great talent, commitment and innovative way of thinking. We congratulate the winning team, Amos Calamida, Umechukwu Eke-okoro, Lilly Sciolli and Luca Pfyffer!  

Luca Pfyffer shared his insights: “One of the key takeaways of the innovathon for me was that new solutions don’t necessarily need to contain vast amount of complexity. Value lays in solutions which can be easily implemented and still provide value to the customer.” 

Lilly Sciolli reflected on her experience on LinkedIn: “What I learned from this experience: 1. teamwork is (actually) fun 😆 2. it's okay to discard the first idea and work on a new and better one 🗑️3. only by solving problems that exist do I have a chance of winning 🙃” 

We thank all our partners and participants for making Innovathon 2023 a big success.