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Virtual BayIND Summer School 2020: Motivation, inspiration and lots of positive energy

Covid-19 has turned our lives upside down: home office cancelled trips and cancelled events. The BayIND Summer School 2020 was not cancelled but took place digitally for the first time.

How often does Germany fit into India? Which Indian city is the capital of two states? What is the coldest temperature ever measured in Bavaria? 13 German and Indian students tried to answer these and other questions in a virtual pub quiz during this year's virtual BayIND Summer School.

During the summer school, the participants were introduced to the startup landscape in India and Bavaria, listened to inspiring presentations, interacted with founders from both regions and, with the support of Design Thinking coaches, found solutions for current social challenges. The focus was on digital education, mobility, health and well-being and waste management. For one and a half weeks, the participants were able to expand their knowledge of the Indian and Bavarian startup world and improve their pitching skills.

Julian Zix explained to the students how the German Indian Startup Exchange Program (GINSEP) supports startups. Stefan Rademacher described the vision of the Munich mobility Tech-Startup Veomo. Simar Kohli explained why the ruminant stomach of a cow became the model for wastewater treatment plants of the startup ECOSTP and Akshay Singhal reported how Log 9 Materials, a nanotechnology company in Bangalore developed a "CoronaOven" that disinfects objects within four minutes.

A mix of input and teamwork
Both the coaches and the external speakers were able to inspire the students with their expertise and experience. "The work with the coaches and speakers was great because some of them have already founded their startup and are successful with it," confirms Melanie, student of international marketing. Operational excellence student Sumit says: "I never thought that learning on a digital platform could be so interesting. Trong, a student of medical engineering, reflects "The BayIND Summer School was very intensive with lots of input, but it always walked along with a lot of fun!"

A variety of interactive modules helped students learn the basics of Design Thinking and pitching in a pleasant environment. "I am really grateful to have been part of this summer school because I met such amazing people! The various online platforms were a perfect fit for the activities and everything worked perfectly," says participant Natascha. Student Vishwas shares Natascha's opinion: "Although it was conducted digitally, nothing was missing from the summer school. The external speakers gave us valuable insights into the world of startups and the Design Thinking coaching was aced up by all the amazing coaches."

Kaiserschmarrn and Indian curry
During summer school, the laptop was the most important working tool for an online exchange. So it is understandable that sometimes the eyes got tired from staring at the screen. Breaks were made regularly. To refill energy the BayIND team came up with different energizers: Students could take a virtual tour through India's most famous building, the Taj Mahal, by wearing 3D glasses; they could dance in virtual SpatialChat rooms or play games and do yoga using Zoom video conferencing. "The yoga sessions with Vijesh were a highlight for me," says summer school participant Melanie. Every other day, the participants could practice different asanas. The students did not only work online. They could also read information materials and work on worksheets. Many of these activities were possible because BayIND sent a package to all participants in advance. The package contained, for example, black tea, ginger, fennel, a BayIND cup, postcards and bavarian salt pretzels.

How to make Chai Tea? How do you prepare Kaiserschmarrn and what is the secret of really good Indian curry or spaetzle with lentils? Besides the yoga sessions, cooking classes were also organised. The students presented traditional dishes and showed via Zoom how to prepare the food. "The whole summer school, where we met talented people, asked questions and were coached by an amazing group of people, was a wonderful experience," says Tanya, a computational engineering student.

Pitch Presentations
On the last day of the summer school, the teams presented their startup ideas. A jury of experts from the business world awarded prices for the best team spirit, the best presentation, the idea with the greatest impact, the most memorable one-liner and the most surprising idea.