Campus Party Europe 2016: robotbaby’s, drones, VR & lots of young talent
The first Dutch edition of the largest tech festival in the world was a success
8,000 unique visitors, 1,500 students, 34 challenges and almost 180 speakers – Campus Party 2016 is over. And with a visit from Neelie Kroes, Sander Dekker and Prince Constantijn. More than 50,000 euros in prize money for innovative ideas, concepts and prototypes, the first European Indoor Drone Racing Championship and even a real robot baby, the first Dutch edition of the largest tech festival in the world. We can rightfully call it a success.
During Campus Party Europe, more than 1500 tech talents and innovators worldwide worked together for five days on future-oriented solutions in areas such as energy, education, refugees, food and healthcare – in hackathons, challenges and workshops. A special moment was the presentation of the world’s very first robot baby by Gutzi Eiben.
Of the 8,000 unique visitors, almost a quarter stayed for several days: the so-called Campuseros. Most of them are students. Although the majority of the Campuseros (65 %) came from the Netherlands, the rest of the world was also well represented. Not only European countries such as Germany, Belgium and Spain but also students from Mexico, the United States and Taiwan came to the Netherlands, especially for Campus Party. In total, the Campuseros represented only 35 nationalities.
Campus Party Europe was made possible in part by many partners, such as Utrecht Region, Jaarbeurs, Rabobank, Achmea, Exact and Capgemini, and many colleges and universities.
Challenges and hackathons
Among other things, the Campuseros participated in interesting challenges; in total there were 7 game tournaments, three business marathons and 24 hackathons on topics such as climate change, education and the refugee issue. The most innovative ideas, concepts and prototypes that emerged from this were rewarded with a total of more than 50,000 euros in prize money.
One of the business marathons was about Smart Mobility. Four teams worked for 48 hours on mobility solutions. They were supported by mobility experts and mentors from the business world. The goal was to translate ideas into concrete solutions. The winning team was ApiJam with the Your Smart Commute Assistant which helps you plan your trip ahead by taking into account weather, and historical and real-time traffic information, among other things.
The theme of the second business marathon was energy, in particular making apartments more sustainable. Team ‘Aten’ – which stands for Accelerating Transition towards Energy Neutrality – was eventually declared the winner. This team came up with a solution in the field of energy coaching. The idea is to actively involve residents in energy conservation, so that management is in the hands of the tenant. A win-win situation: residents literally recoup part of the savings, and the other part is invested in energy-saving measures.
The business marathons were made possible in part by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Mitros and other partners in the Utrecht region.
Girls in Tech & Family Day
Most visitors visited Campus Party on Saturday 28 May 2016, on which day the Girls in Tech & Family Day also took place. More than 700 children crafted hundreds of pop-up boats, most of them obtained their coding diplomas and could participate in demos from Facebook, Nemo and Cinekid.
Neelie Kroes, Ambassador of StartupDelta, was one of the guests:
“Many young talents came to Campus Party, among other things to learn how to program. In the future of our digital economy, these are skills that every child can benefit from. As long as programming and digital skills are not part of the fixed curriculum of schools, I am especially happy with initiatives such as Campus Party.”
But other visitors also managed to find the event in large numbers on Saturday. They came to experience virtual reality, attended interesting lectures and visited the very first European Indoor Drone Racing Championship. In addition, they could listen to nearly 180 interesting speakers such as Dan Shechtman, Dirk Ahlborn, Jeff Jarvis, Guszti Eiben and Eliot Higgins.
Albert Arp, director Jaarbeurs, in Utrecht:
“With Campus Party we have created a platform where the city and the environment inspire young talent, but also knowledge institutions and the business community – something that fits in seamlessly with the ambitions of Jaarbeurs and Utrecht. We are more than just a physical stage because it is precisely the driver of these kinds of initiatives with sustainable impact. And we want to do that more and more together.”
Jan van Zanen, mayor of Utrecht:
“The arrival of Campus Party confirms Utrecht’s position as a central hub in the field of applied technology, for example in healthcare. Campus Party brought together many talents and companies, and made the right connection between education and entrepreneurship. The event gives Utrecht a positive stimulus and we look forward to a possible next edition in our city.”
Pim van den Berg, deputy of the province of Utrecht, is also enthusiastic:
“We are proud of the way in which the region has presented itself as a breeding ground for talent and as a connecting element between government, knowledge institutions and the business community. We want to intensify this collaboration in the coming years in order to offer an optimal location for national and international companies and talents.”