World class education integrating entrepreneurship in technical programmes

Published Dec 05, 2016

This weekend more than 130 students gathered at KTH to receive their master’s degrees from EIT Digital, which is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. EIT Digital Academy is a collaboration of 20 technical universities and colleges in Europe and KTH plays a major role in the joint master’s programmes, Doctoral School and Professional School.

“KTH and EIT Digital have a very good and rewarding collaboration. We share the same views on entrepreneurship and the same enthusiasm in the development and internationalisation of higher education,” said KTH President Sigbritt Karlsson at the opening of the graduation ceremony for the 2016 graduate students.  

Among the university partners, KTH is the largest contributor of the programme with almost 140 admitted students for the first and second year in the Master School in 2016. KTH offers six of the eight possible tracks within the programme.

One of the graduates of 2016 was present both in the audience and on stage. Nora Tejeda from Mexico City launched her first start-up, Inicio, which she presented on her graduation day. Her specialisation track is Human Computer Interaction and Design, which she has studied the first year at KTH and the second at University College London (UCL).

Tejeda works with Mikaela Illanes, also a master’s student at EIT Digital, and Professor Mark Smith from KTH School of ICT. Inicio is a non-profit organisation based in Sweden which aims to help young students realise their passions and develop digital skills and applied learning to improve their study results and career choices.

Inicio develops methods, tools and platforms for an educational programme combining hands-on, technology-based learning, mentoring and practical experience from real life situations and examples in industry. Inicio primarily offers its services to students in Swedish secondary schools (16-18 years) and continuing education.

“I got the idea and inspiration during my first year of the master programme here at KTH in Stockholm. I also found that Sweden was a suitable country to develop the idea and the concept became the subject of my thesis, which I concluded at UCL in London,” Tejeda says.  

Now she has returned to KTH to continue to work with Inicio, which has private funding for the first year and has several pilots running with secondary schools in the Stockholm area.

“Sweden and Swedish schools are very good for pilots but the ambition is to be able to scale and bring the platform also to other countries,” Tejeda says.

EIT Digital emphasises entrepreneurship as an important and integrated part of the Master School programme. This emphasis was underlined and elaborated by the keynote speaker on graduation day, Professor and entrepreneur Linnar Viik. His is a well-known ICT profile in Estonia, where he was part of the foundation of Skype and a key figure in the foundation of EIT in 2008. 

Wilfried Dron, another entrepreneur with links to KTH, shared his learning journey on stage. He spent six months at KTH as part of the EIT Digital Doctoral School programme. Based on his PhD research and further support by EIT Digital, he has launched the start-up Wisebatt, which provides a tool to estimate battery lifetime – leading to improved and more secure designs of connected products and devices. Wisebatt is registered in Paris and has eight clients.

Jan Lindroth

About EIT Digital and EIT Digital Academy

EIT Digital is a leading European open innovation organisation with the mission to foster digital technology innovation and entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and quality of life in Europe. EIT Digital brings together entrepreneurs from a partnership of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes.

EIT Digital invests in strategic areas to accelerate the market uptake of research-based digital technologies and to bring entrepreneurial talent and leadership to Europe. The innovation and education activities are organised in and around our co-location centres, where students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs come together to drive the digitalisation of society.

The EIT Digital Master School is a two-year programme with eight technical Majors and a Minor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. 20 European top universities, renowned researchers and leading businesses are in partnership with EIT Digital to provide cutting-edge ICT excellence in combination with innovation and entrepreneurship training, leading to a double degree and an EIT-labelled Certificate.

Among the nearly 600 who are enrolled in EIT Digital Master School this year (both year 1 and 2) approximately 140 students chose KTH as one of the two years of the programme.

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