Italy’s EIA summer program takes place in Turin, and it began on July 7th. Since then, more than 200 of our participants have been working hard to create startups in just  15 days. Curious to know what happened during the first week? Read up on the progress report below!

Day 0: Meet & Greet

Time to start! Participants had the chance to discover the venue and meet people from all over the world. It’s also the day on which teams were formed and participants got ready to buckle down for the weeks ahead.


EIA First Day EIA Moments in Turin EIA First Day - Participants Meet and Greet

Day 0 is also a major practice session for networking and communication.  See all pictures here.

Day 1: Team Formation and Ideation

With the teams formed, participants set about identifying empty, yet viable market spaces. These spaces represented the customer needs they would be seeking to address with new startups. After that, all five members of each team brainstormed concrete ways of meeting those needs. Day One was also the participants’ first opportunity to get inspired by keynotes from Anni Sinijärv, CEO of EIA; Rick Rasmussen from UC Berkeley; and Klaus Busse, Head of Design FIAT.

EIA Italy -Welcome
Welcome to the European Innovation Academy
EIA Italy - Fiat Head of Design
Klaus Busse, Head of Design FIAT.
EIA Italy - Anni Sinijarv
Anni Sinijärv, CEO of EIA
EIA Italy - Rick Rasmussen
Rick Rasmussen from UC Berkeley

Then, after a long day of work, it was time for some refreshments and a little preliminary networking!

Network event at EIA

Check all pictures of day 1 here.

Day 2: The Problem-Solution Fit

The goal of Day Two was to find a problem-solution fit. Teams researched industry trends and listed potential competitors. It was also a day to define unique values and any competitive advantages the startups might have. 

Day 2 at EIA Italy Participants at EIA Day 2 Workshop at EIA Italy

Matteo Antony Mistretta, Founder & CEO of Ingloriouz Coders; Frederico Mammano, Co-Founder of Teaching Entrepreneurship; and Andrea Roberto Bifulco, Director of Grindr, empowered participants with more keynote speeches.

Pic Gallery here.

Days 3 & 4: Customer Development and Customer & Problem Validation

Thinking about the product-market fit was the main goal of Day Three. To make this happen, participants had to work on the design of their customer persona and prepare an interview that was essential to the next day’s activities.

EIA Day 3

On the main stage, Peter Sisson, CEO & Founder of Yaza; Diana Dentinger, Entrepreneurial Coach; and Jeffery D. Abbot, General Partner at Wasabi Ventures Global, brought some amazing insights to our participants.

Customer Validation

On Day Four, it was time to hit the streets of Turin and talk to at least five potential customers.  This was a fun day where everyone got to test their ideas and explore the city.

Check Day 3 and Day 4 galleries.

Day 5: Prototyping & Solution Validation

After Day Four’s customer testing, Day 5 was dedicated to creating a Customer Journey and validating an initial solution using a paper prototype

Prototyping is an essential stage in the startup design process. To help with this task, teams have a design mentor from Day Five onward. 

Create a digital prototype

This is a very exciting day not only for participants but faculty members and mentors; it’s when everyone in the program starts seeing the business ideas coming to life!

Digital Prototype

On the main stage, participants could attend keynote sessions with Nina Stanley, Chief Creative Officer of MOD; and Ali El Amrani, Founder of Ibitiquar – Innovation Lab.

Pictures of Day 5 here.

Day 6: Digital Prototype & Marketing Strategy

By now, the teams had created paper prototypes and received feedback from mentors and potential customers. On Day Six, it was time to “digitize” and improve the prototypes. These new digital versions were essential to the day’s other priority: Development of marketing strategies.

Digital Prototyping - EIA Italy

Participants had the opportunity to attend keynote speeches from Karin Salu, UX Analyst at Nortal; Mari-Liss Karsten, UX/UI Designer at Nortal; and Gilles de Clerk, Founder and Growth Strategist of Ablaze Growth Studio

Day 6 gallery here.

Day 7: Startup Expo

Day Seven is a big day in the EIA Summer Program: Startup Expo Day! Participants got to pitch their ideas not only to mentors and faculty members but to external visitors.

EIA Italy Expo

The teams presented ideas, industry trends, and technical solutions for critical feedback.

EIA Italy Expo

Day Seven is also when participants launched their individual websites or landing pages to pull in real customers for their products.  Check pictures of day 7 here.

On the first day, participants had only a brief idea of what to do. Day by day, products are becoming a reality. Over the course of the second week, the teams will be taking things to the next level.

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