ImπACT GetTogether training week n. 4

June 26, 2023

Between June 12 and June 16, we held the fourth training week of our imπACT programme. The week was full of presentations, exercises, and stimulating discussions. The event also coincided with the mid-term review of imπACT. Let’s have a look at the highlights of every day:

Day 1

The first day of the training week we welcomed the imπACT Project Officer to the U-residence on the VUB campus. As part of the mid-term review, the day started with a presentation from Philippe Westbroek (imπACT coordinator) about the progress of the project and the achievements so far. The Project Officer also met with the postdoctoral fellows to discuss their views on the programme and to identify strengths and areas for improvement. This was followed by a group discussion.

Day 2

In the morning, Geoffrey Aerts (VUB Business Development Academy) gave a class on crafting a convincing pitch for investors, clients and policy makers. He started by screening a video interview with Edvar Heylen (CFO at HeyJobs) and by sharing his experience with developing a business plan. Geoffrey then presented the key components of the elevator pitch, with practical examples. In the afternoon, Philippe Westbroek, Qing Cai, and Liesbeth Bosmans (VUB TechTransfer) presented an overview of European, Brussels, and Flemish funding opportunities to inform the fellows about the funding channels available to them and to encourage them to apply.

Day 3

The third day of the training week started with presentations from our imπACT fellows about their business cases. Trainers Marc Goldchstein and Jacky Boonen (VUB TechTransfer) gave insightful feedback on these presentations, which showcased the variety of research interests within this excellent group of postdocs. In the afternoon session, Eveline Peeters (VUB Department of Bio-engineering Sciences) guided the fellows towards strategies for networking and growth. She helped them realize the importance of finding their unique paths to build a professional career, by identifying their personal mission statements. Eveline asked the fellows critical questions to stimulate their reflections: “Who have you become?”, “How have your mentors influenced you?”, “What is your superpower?”.

Day 4

The fourth day of the training week focused on European funding. Philippe Westbroek and Alessandra Rossetti (VUB TechTransfer) started the morning with tips and tricks about how to develop a strong and convincing proposal, guiding the fellows step by step through the key components of an application template. In the afternoon, the fellows received individual and tailored feedback about their research ideas, which will help them craft their proposals in the coming months.

Day 5

On the last training day, Thomas Crispeels (VUB Business Development Academy) gave a training on building an impact case, with a focus on the product-market fit. The presentation from Thomas was followed by hands-on coaching to help the fellows propose a product or service that can satisfy the market and capture value. These training events will help the fellow build the final presentations of their individual impact case studies, taking place in the last training week… So stay tuned! 😉