RSU Students Develop Business Ideas and Win Awards at Green Tech Hackathon
On 18 - 20 September, students from the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Faculty of European Studies Department of International Business and Economics participated in a 48-hour Green Tech Copernicus Hackathon, which was held at Liepāja University. 66 students participated in the event. For three days the 16 teams looked for solutions to 16 challenges under the guidance of mentors. RSU was represented by two teams who won second and third place and valuable prizes.
Third year students from the International Business and Sustainable Economy bachelor's study programme, Daniela Bekasova and Jeļena Kurova, together with their friend Nikola Škirmante, a business student from the UK, worked in the team Satellite Art and won second place. The prize consisted of 750 euros with an additional 400 euros to develop their idea in the Kurzeme Business Incubator.
The Satellite Art team. Photo from a private archive.
Using data from the Copernicus satellite, the women promoted higher education in natural sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics and raised awareness of Earth’s beauty and its fragile ecosystems by creating artistic design products.
The Satellite Art team presenting their idea. Photo from a private archive.
‘Participating in this event showed us that nothing is impossible. We understood what is means to work in a team 24/7, be responsible ourselves, as well as to share responsibilities. With the help of mentors we were able to develop an idea from scratch without having one going in.
We succeeded because during our studies at RSU we have acquired several important skills: the ability to quickly process large amounts of information, prepare a business plan and above all, to present to a jury,’ explained Jeļena Kurova from Satellite Art.
At the same time, Asnate Else, Patrīcija Beāte Vītola, Amanda Peirāga, Pauls Baikovskis and Edgars Lācis who are third year students from the same programme, joined forces with Oskars Bogdāns, a digital marketing student from RISEBA, making the team Algae World. Their team won 3rd place. They received 750 euros to develop their idea and 400 euros to use for business consultations at Kurzeme Business Incubator.
The Algae World team after the results were announced. Photo from private archive.
Algae World presented an idea for how to reduce pollution in the Baltic Sea. Their idea was to develop a platform and by using the satellite’s wind and water flow measurements, determine the exact location of algae and sell the location coordinates to companies that collect algae. In this way businesses can benefit the environment.
‘Our cooperation was successful from the very beginning. Each of us had specific tasks, which were delegated according to each team member’s strengths. into consideration. The mentors served as a great steppingstone, providing valuable advice. We had an idea, but we were not sure how to realise it. It was not easy, especially in the final hours when we understood that some details had to be improved on. Besides, nobody in our team had IT skills, but ultimately we did it!’ says Asnate Else from Algae World.
The Algae World team. Photo from private archive.
The students’ success proves that RSU is also a university for business and economics. There are various modern social sciences programmes at RSU. The most recent study programme that RSU is proud to have introduced is International Business and Start-up Entrepreneurship – a bachelor’s study programme implemented in English that is and also very popular among international students. From 2021, this study programme will also be implemented as part-time studies and as distance learning.
About the Green Tech Copernicus hackathon
Green Tech Copernicus Hackathon welcomed students who wanted to prove their abilities and skills in marketing, programming, data processing, business, etc. Together with their teammates and supported by mentors, participants had to find solutions to problems, or develop their own innovative solutions and present them to a jury of professionals. In order to win cash prizes, students had to use data from the Copernicus satellite. Further information.
The RSU Business Incubator B-Space will open soon
It will provide young entrepreneurs with a great opportunity to receive support to develop their business ideas. Young people with, or without an idea for a business are welcome to the Business Incubator, where they will be able to gain knowledge, skills and experience, find partners and like-minded people, develop a unique product or service. B-Space will provide the opportunity to gain support from experienced mentors and to meet like-minded people, who have already started to realise their ideas, or plan to do so.