“After the storm comes the bonanza!”, as the saying goes, but in the case of TecStorm we can say that after the storm of good ideas, comes the bonanza through many innovative projects. JUNITEC- Junior enterprises at Instituto Superior Técnico, organised the 4th technological marathon from 28th February to 1st March. 104 participants divided into 24 teams attended this year’s edition. Since the 1st edition, which took place in 2017, the number of participants has increased by 400%.
“The 4th TecStorm was a success. Participants from all over the country attended this event, as well as excellent mentors and trainers, prominent partners and also honoutable guests, such as the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, professor Manuel Heitor”, shares Sara Paisana, member of TecStorm organisation. Students from Porto, Guimarães, Guarda, Leiria and Portimão attended this year’s edition.
Tecstorm challenges university students to innovate and to transform ideas into prototypes that will result in projects with significant impact. Over 28 hours, the teams have to present a business plan and a pitch to the jury. “This year, the motto was ‘Launch your idea’, which refers to the opportunity that TecStorm offers its participants to launch ideas, where the sky is the limit”, explains Sara Paisana.
A monetary prize was awarded in each of the three categories: “Sustainable Cities”, sponsored by Ciência Viva, included projects related to the technological development of sustainable cities ; “Social Good”, sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, was related to the sustainable development of cities; and “5G – The Network of the Future”, sponsored by Vodafone, required the development of projects that use 5G network.
The winning project in “Sustainable Cities” category, included the development of a device that detects premature failures in public transport, thus allowing to optimise the management of urban transport networks. The winning project in “Social Good” category and the winner of the Best Prototype award (sponsored by Worten), included the development of an application capable of recognising the area surrounding the user, helping visually impaired persons navigate urban sites. The winning team of “5G – The Network of the Future” category, developed a fire detection system, using artificial intelligence, substantially faster and more efficient than the existing detection systems. “According to the judge, these three projects stood out in the assessment criteria: quality, pitch, business model canvas and prototype”, stresses Sara Paisana.
Técnico students left their mark on the competition. STOCHASTIC, the winning team in “Sustainable Cities” category, and OUT_TO_LUNCH, the winning team in “5G-The Network of the future” category, were composed only of Técnico students. The winning team in “Social Good” category, Mind7, included 3 Técnico students.
“We received very positive feedback. After months of hard hork and dedication we managed to organise this 3-day event and we feel a sense of accomplishment”, says Sara Paisana. “The quality of the projects has significantly improved. We think this is due to the use of high-quality materials and equipment, the prior contact with mentors, and a more transparent approach to the assessment criteria, using the Taikai platform”, says the student.
According to the organisation team “TecStorm is an opportunity for young students to launch their ideas, as does JUNITEC”. “As young entrepreneurs, we believe on the creation of projects that have a high impact on society, and TecStorm makes it possible”, stresses Sara Paisana.