The entrepreneurial rollercoaster is on, and we start to enjoy the ride. It is day five in the IMD Innovation Challenge and our master coach made it clear that we are passing through the informed optimism phase, an excellent place to be. This week has been a constant spin of ups and downs, it started with the great excitement of an idea, it passed from the hard crisis of a reality check, to when we critically readdressed our project towards a new and unexpected dimension.

We are a team of six, composed of five MBAs and one design student from the Ecole Cantonal de Design in Lausanne. Our vision is to disrupt the way people see head protective equipment. Inspired by a strong personal story of one of our team mates, we rolled up our sleeves and worked hard to develop a protective helmet that could be worn by people at risk of traumatic brain injury as a fashionable item rather than a medical device.

Our day started this morning at 8 am sharp. We had a quick introduction to intellectual property rights and then we ran into the laboratory to finalize our prototype. The excitement was tangible and, at times, we risked getting lost in our eagerness to build and construct something tangible that could change the lives of people. Fortunately, a comprehensive team of experts was present and, on several occasions, helped us channel our energy in the right direction. After lunch, there was no 2 o’clock feeling and our energy was still at its peak. We knew we had come up with something valuable and we wanted to present the best presentation tomorrow.

As we walk through the inspiring alleys of Univercitè, we notice new prototypes popping up and we see companions celebrating eureka moments, it comes naturally to question if tomorrow we will be able to stand up to the competition and convey a remarkable pitch. Tomorrow morning we will be the first team to stand in front of our colleagues and to present our products to a jury of experts who will determine our fate. We are eager to break the ice, and we are not afraid of the test. We discovered, unexpectedly, that we crafted something that can make a difference to people and we are ready to defend our findings.

Andrea Bertino

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