ESI's student innovation program in cooperation with partners on 22 September held student entrepreneurship competition “ESI Impact”. University students were invited to create unique ideas for solving various challenges related to sustainability. Challenges were offered by program partners - "Rimi Baltic", "SEB banka" and "Printify".
Whole day event took place at the premises of Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and united around 120 students from 6 educational institutions and several regions of Latvia. The event kicked off with an inspiring keynote by sustainability advisor Kristīne Nagle, who introduced the concept of Sustainable Entrepreneurship, its principles, and endless potential opportunities.
Prominent key companies in corporate social responsibility and program partners, RIMI Baltic, SEB Latvia, and Printify presented real-world industry-related sustainability challenges. Next, an interactive ideation workshop was conducted to teach students how to craft innovative business solutions. Students were assigned with professional mentors from the Latvian startup ecosystem, including Riga Techgirls, Inovāciju Akadēmija, Magebit, and Tet.
30 teams eagerly solved partner-presented sustainability challenges. Topics tackled included avoiding greenwashing, streamlining the management of sustainability regulations, and minimizing the environmental impact of printing and others. But the most interesting part of the day was the pitch session, where teams showcased their solutions. The jury awarded teams in each of the partner tracks with exciting cash prizes.
Andris Vedigs, Enterprise agility & innovation lead at RIMI Baltic: “We were thrilled to participate in the event, especially seeing so many enthusiastic students passionate about sustainability and keen to tackle the given challenges. We deeply appreciated the dedication and efforts of the teams throughout the day, their innovative solutions, and their vision of turning those solutions into reality. Despite the limited time, the solutions put forward were exceptional. We were honored to award prizes to the top teams, who truly earned their accolades. The teams that tackled our specific challenges showcased immense drive, enthusiasm, and a burning desire to make a difference in the world!"
Viktors Toropovs, Head of Sustainability Development at SEB Latvia: It was great to see that teams were ready to come up with good ideas around the sustainability area despite the fact that it is complex especially when regulatory requirements are considered. Well done by many teams for the ability to structure ideas and come up with interesting proposals during a short preparation time. On behalf of SEB bank, we hope to see more and more sustainability area skills in the market as market demand for roles in sustainability will continue to grow.”
ESI student innovation program thanks all participating students and partners!
The ESI Impact Lab is supported by the ESI Student Innovation Program. "Rimi Baltic", "SEB banka", JSC "Printify" and the European Regional Fund. Project number: 1.1.1. 3./21/A/008.a. The program is organized by Stockholm School of Economics in RIga, Riga Graduate School of Law, Latvian Academy of Arts, Institute of Solid State Physics of the University of Latvia, Rēzekne Academy of Technology and other industry partners.