Miami University Students Part of Winning Team in Intercontinental Ideation Competition


A student cohort from the Department of Emerging Technology in Business and Design at Miami University participated in Ideation Camp 8 hosted by the University of Luxembourg. Participants had an opportunity to work in interdisciplinary and intercontinental teams while being supported by international industry leaders. The winning team of Ideation Camp 8 was the NexPerience team formed by students from both universities; Kyle McCorvey and Max Rattner from Miami University and Aymeric Le Drezen, Myriam Merz, and Yacine Abbas from the University of Luxembourg.

The top ideas were selected from 39 pitches that were presented at the Opening Ceremony on April 27, 2021. Teams of 4-5 participants were formed around each idea and assigned a dedicated mentor, or Guardian Angel, as they worked on the market research and business plan for their commercial ideas over the next three days and nights. The five mentors offered full-time support and included business development expert and founder of Spoticle Brice Dondelinger, public speaking expert and founder of Verbalius Pedro Castilho, startup growth strategist Rashmi Vittal, sales and marketing consultant Ruchi Jaju, and startup boot camp expert and serial entrepreneur Shai Haim.

The Closing Ceremony on May 1 featured 9 impressive pitches, covering diverse business ideas in GreenTech, Social, FoodTech, and other industries. All the pitches received very good feedback from the Jury; Head of Partnerships and Ecosystem Alex Panican, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at the University of Luxembourg Catherine Leglu, Erica Monfardini and Managing Partner of Elite Circle and Manager at SES Simone La Torre.

Max Rattner, a Miami student and member of the winning team, stated that "Ideation Camp was a great opportunity to share all the skills I have learned from my time at Miami. It was a startup weekend on steroids. It was really interesting to see the different dynamics having both Miami and Luxembourg students on my team."

The NexPerience team is continuing to work on their idea. They recently had a meeting with Simone La Torre, one of the jury members, who wants to support them in developing their startup idea. They all met each other in person for the first time at the Incubator building 

Glenn Platt, Director of Armstrong Institute for Emerging Technology at Miami University, commented: “We were eager to get our students involved in Ideation Camp for a number of reasons: to meet fellow University of Luxembourg students who share their passion for entrepreneurship, to learn more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Luxembourg and to network with and meet the mentors and Guardian Angels. We expected our students to be challenged by the top-notch mentoring and domain expertise of their fellow team members. We expected the experience to be enlightening about how entrepreneurship in Luxembourg is both similar and different from the United States. Our expectations were not only met but exceeded. Our students had an incredible experience”.

Sivakumar BACTAVATCHALOU, director of the Uni Lu Entrepreneurship program shared, “For us, it was an honor to welcome a delegation from the Miami University at the Ideation Camp for the first time two weeks ago. At the University of Luxembourg, we strongly believe in a multicultural approach and allowing our students to form teams with their colleagues from the other side of the world while learning new skills and having a hands-on approach was priceless. We are grateful to the Miami University for trusting us with their best students. It was great to see the dedication, professionalism, and enthusiasm with which these young entrepreneurs merged into their respective teams formed mainly of the University of Luxembourg students and went from an idea to a solid business plan together with perfect strangers in just three days (and nights). This first joint event really showed us the extent of potential in partnership between our universities and how much we can give to our students through such collaboration. The winning team of this Ideation Camp is a great demonstration of such potential as it was formed by the students from both universities who worked together hard, often until very late, and managed to impress the jury most at the end of the event, winning against 8 other strong teams.”

Ideation Camp is an intensive course at the University of Luxembourg focusing on students’ personal growth, higher employability, and learning new skills. After attending this event, students are often motivated to open their own enterprises. The first 8 successful editions have hosted a total of 761 registrations, 363 participants supported by over 300 experienced mentors. Some successful entrepreneurs that have resulted out of the Ideation Camp series include EdTech companies CheckMath and EduGamiTec; Social startups GoldenMe and Visibility STEM Africa; FoodTech startup Happy Local and GreenTech company Our Choice.

The Department of Emerging Technology in Business and Design (ETBD) explores how new technology can affect positive change in almost any aspect of society. The program, strongly transdisciplinary, comprises faculty from the worlds of business and design, obviously, but also from data science, engineering, programming, the arts, and the humanities. The program offers two undergraduate degrees, one in ETBD and one in Games + Simulation. Furthermore, the Master in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Technology (MEET) brings together innovators from all academic backgrounds in order to gain the marketable skills required by top employers and become a well-rounded leader who excels in both entrepreneurship and emerging technology. Graduates of the undergraduate and graduate programs often find themselves working as startup founders, digital marketers, growth hackers, social media marketers, UX designers, and more.