AIT Swiss Camp – Day 1 and 2
AIT Camp Switzerland – The Lausanne experience
Lausanne, 25 April 2016 (Monday, day 1)
Lausanne is a beautiful city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, by the “Lac Léman”, with a great landscape and a gorgeous view to the snowy French mountains. It is the home of EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), an institution devoted to innovation and entrepreneurship.
In the first day of the AIT Camp, all the participants – Brazilians, Indian and Swiss young scientists – had a warm reception at EPFL Innovation Center, where the meetings were held. After a quick introduction, one person from each country was selected to pitch his/her ideas. To help us in our mission, Mr Jordi Montserrat (VentureLab) provided great feedback after the presentations, with determination, strength and a pinch of humor. Since every detail is fundamental in the business negotiation, his tips were taken and noted!
After a delicious lunch at the Cafeteria BC, we headed back to the lecture room for a nice workshop on Strategy and Roadmap, by Mr Montserrat. We learned the importance of defining clear and specific milestones to get traction for creating value and debugging the possible risks. After an intense activity, we were split in two groups: the IT participants were taken to a visit to Logitech and the biotech entrepreneurs joined a lecture on Abionic. We seized the opportunity to ask questions about the conception, development and maintenance of the companies and learn as much as we could.
So much information in the first day! After so much content our host, Mr Jonathan Voumard (VentureLab), took us for a tour in Lausanne. We visited the “Esplanade de Montbenon” close to the “Palais de Justice”, crossed the “Pont Chauderon” towards the “Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Lausanne”, with a incredible view from the city! We got a bit hungry from the walking and we stop at “Café de L’Évêché” for fondue and wine! Perfect way to finish the day!
Lausanne, 26 April 2016 (Tuesday, day 2)
With renewed energy, we started the second day of the AIT Camp with an excellent lecture from Mr Montserrat about the importance of culture interpretation in business. Understanding the differences between high and low context cultures is fundamental in a globalized world, where the distances are getting shorter every day. It is the first step for any good negotiation! Later, we established the importance of building a strong and complete team for our start-ups. The skills must be complementary and the group has to be committed with a common goal. It is not easy to find the perfect companions to join our enterprise and the choice must be careful and planned.
Following Mr Montserrat talk, Mrs Juliette Ancette (id est avocats) presented a great overview in the field of intellectual property and regulatory laws for start-ups. The importance of protecting our interests and ideas must be in the to-do list of every entrepreneur!
It has been a short but very pleasant visit, and unfortunately we needed to leave Lausanne. We got our bags in the hotel and headed to the train station, using the efficient public transportation available. After a few Rivella and some pretzels, we boarded the train to Zürich, passing by the countryside of Switzerland, with large open fields, small towns and incomparable beauty. The cold weather of Zürich greeted us as we arrived. At the hotel, a nice meal and a couple of beers prepared, body and mind for the next day of ideas, discussion and learning.
Lucas Secchim Ribeiro, B. Pharm, M.Sc., Ph.D.