The 2nd edition of Nova SBE BOX Challenge took place between 17 and 21 January and brought together companies, students and innovation experts from Nova SBE Co.Innovation Lab.


The BOX Challenge asked 18 students, from nine different nationalities and four totally different areas, to respond with out-of-the-box ideas to real challenges proposed by three companies of the Nova SBE Innovation Ecosystem: Schr├ęder Hyperion, SIBS and Oceano Fresco. From the students' presentations, innovative concepts for new products and services emerged.

"I think this is an excellent initiative by the university, companies really need to have this connection with schools," said Gon├žalo Campos Alves, Director of SIBS, adding that "the biggest benefit is having fresh people looking at the problems and no longer having the generational gap┬áthat can exist, because typically we have very few people with a voice in companies who are recent graduates or who are in this age group. So things that are obvious to them, who are also consumers and users of services, are not obvious to us.

The SIBS Director also underlined that his BOX challenge resulted in "a very feasible idea that I would like to put into practice. I think that it was a very positive experience and that it can bear fruit".

Frederico Reis, Chief Commercial Officer of Oceano Fresco, also assured us that the initiative's balance is positive and that the company would like to participate in a new edition of the BOX:

"We are a start-up, we have few resources, and as part of the Nova SBE Innovation Ecosystem, we think that everything we do here is to be used. It was great! The quality of the three presentations was very good and you take advantage of really good things."

On the Schr├ęder Hyperion side, Tom├ís Almeida, Business Strategist & Public Affairs Manager, told us that the organisation is keen to remain involved in the Nova SBE BOX, especially due to the inputs from the younger generation, who are "the future of our companies".

"These young people who are studying today are going to be members, in the very near future, of companies like ours, and so this dialogue that exists allows us to get to know not only the academic community here at Nova, but also to be inspired by new concepts, new ideas, that these generations that are entering Nova can bring."

An enriching experience, both for companies and students, as guaranteed by Melanie Haket, who attends the Master's in Management at Nova SBE and who ended up being one of the winners of the challenge:

"I think it is a great way for students to get creative while applying aspects of their studies to real company problems. On top of this, students get the possibility to talk and build relationships with someone from the company.My experience with the challenge has been incredibly positive and personally this has been one of my favorite things at Nova SBE. The creative aspect and challenging problem made this a really fun experience and as mentioned before I would highly recommend it to everyone".
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