Great connections during our Digital Academy

  • Caecilie Hougaard Pedersen

    Caecilie Hougaard Pedersen

    Assistant Programme Manager

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20 Jul 2020

Title: Great connections during our Digital Academy

Over the course of eight days, our 30 Semi-Finalists came together for the Digital Academy – an intense learning and sharing experience to help encourage and inspire them as they continue to develop their projects before making their submissions to make it through to the next round of the competition. 

Any fears from participants over how the usually residential Academy would translate into the digital realm were soon squashed. Thanks to the wonders of technology, a cohort of enthusiastic Semi-Finalists and some great speakers as well as  special peer-to-peer break-out rooms and coffee meetups those great peer connections, which are always so valuable to our Semi-Finalists at the Academy were made. 

That was the greatest week of this year, sharing, learning with all of you. Thank you so much for the organisation, gave me so much energy.” Ludovic Bosse, Pulp Fashion

Thank you for coming up with very creative ways to connect us digitally, with the ‘innovation town’ or the ‘digital dinner’ [and] coffee talks. It was great meeting the Semi-Finalists, we connect like puzzles!” Nikolett Madai, Dyeluxe. 

2020 Digital Academy Highlights 

The Digital Academy kicked off on Monday 6 July with a welcome from Carolina Gario, Programme Manager at the European Commission, underlining the value of the Competition as a way to help solve some of the most pressing issues facing today’s society. 

The Diogo Challenge is a key tool we have at DG GROW to identify impactful entrepreneurs, nurture their projects and help them scale on a European level.” Carolina Gario. 

The following morning, we were joined by Research Professor at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, Sandy Black, and founder and CEO of the Amani Institute, Roshan Paul. In their session, Reimagine Fashion: Future visions for the fashion industry, they explored possible futures for the fashion industry by rethinking the role of entrepreneurship and accelerating impact through social innovation. A recording of this session is available for public viewing here

Other highlights included site visits to the House of Denim in Amsterdam as well as to 2014 Competition Winner Progetto Quid in Verona. As well as interactive workshops on a series of key topics such as communications, partnerships, intellectual property, impact measurement and funding routes. As well as a masterclass on pitching with expert Matt Boardman, helping the Semi-Finalists to shape and structure an impactful 90 second pitch. 

In the next stage of the competition, our 30 Semi-Finalists will take all of the knowledge learned from the Academy, as well as the other support they receive such as 1-to-1 coaching to create their Development Plan. Then the Judging Panel will meet again in September to determine the 10 Finalists. Watch this space for updates!