The participants and coaches assembled at the venue, ‘t Goed Quaethem in Deinze, on Thursday afternoon where they got to know each other and were divided into teams. As this year’s theme was “Innovation Festival”, the entire game was organized in festival style. For the names of the teams for example, the choice was made to go with stages of Belgian Festivals: The Barn, The Marquee, …. And in the true festival spirit: the students and coaches were asked to bring a tent to spend the night. Following some words of welcome, the teams were each assigned a little greenhouse to work on their case and got to work at around 8 pm.
5 teams means 5 cases and much like previous years, the topics were very diverse. Team Dance Hall worked on a tool for Roularta to summarise complex news articles into a few sentences while their neighbours of team The Marquee devised a way for Unilin to measure their digital marketing performance based on the performances of their competitors. The students of team Klub C helped our Recruitment team by working on a way to make it easier for job seekers to find matching vacancies, while team Shelter devised a way for RMB to award advertising spaces to companies based on how sustainable they are. Finally, team The Barn looked into ways how Cora can optimise the offline shopping experience.
Keep up the good spirit!
Naturally, you can’t come up with innovative solutions on an empty stomach, so the support crew had the participants and the coaches covered! First, everyone received a goody bag with plenty of bites to keep them going. Added to that were timely evening snacks and some savoury pastries for breakfast on Friday morning. As it turned out, those were very welcome as it had been a rather cold night. Robrecht, one of the coaches went to sleep in his car while Felix from team Klub C bit the bullet and spent the entire night in his tent. Speaking of commitment!
After a few hours of sleep (for some 😉), the work continued with regular visits from the coaches to ensure that the teams kept their eyes on the prize. Finally, at the 4 pm deadline, Caro, part of the organization, climbed the main stage and announced it was time to stop the work and start preparing the pitches for the final presentation. As the nerves began to mount, the coaches gave their final tips to prepare their teams with the dreaded 5 pm deadline hovering into view.
At 5 pm sharp, Caro assembled the students, coaches and the esteemed members of the jury in the pitch arena. During a 15 minute pitch, each team was given the opportunity to present their case and their solution to the jury made up of delaware experts, professors Serge Demeyer (University of Antwerp) and Erik Mannens (Ghent University) as well as Stijn Wijndaele (founding partner of Scalefactory) and Simon Temmerman (CTO of dScribe). Following each pitch, the jury had the chance to ask a few questions ranging from the technical aspects to more functional ones.
Despite some tricky questions, each team was able to hold their own and provide relevant answers. Good job on behalf of the students and the coaches! After 5 pitches, the jury’s most challenging task reared its head: deliberate and appoint a winner, which wasn’t going to be easy!