On December 10, the top 15 teams presented their innovative ideas during the virtual Alter State Nordic-Baltic Women Innovation Sprint final event. After the tense and competitive pitch session, 3 teams were selected by the international jury board. The first-place winner was the "Know Your Food" team, which develops a solution to inform customers about the food products' sustainability indicators.
1st winner team - Know Your Food
Choose food products by understanding the impact of their production on the world
The "Know Your Food" online app will solve one of the biggest societal problems caused by global warming and climate change. "We want to educate food buyers about the environmental impact of the food they buy and help buyers choose better food alternatives that have less or no negative influence on our planet. The solution will allow the pages of online food stores to be expanded with additional functionality that would enable consumers to identify all information related to the environmental impact: country of origin, environmental friendliness of packaging, carbon footprint, use of fertilizers, and many more", - says the team leader Gintarė Rimolaitytė.
Innovation in rental and fertilizer production
The second-place winners were the "BoardMeMore" team, creating a platform for sports equipment rental, where private individuals can rent their equipment to each other (P2P). The "BoardMeMore" girls say they solved their problem when living in Copenhagen, faced with the problem of having to travel all over the city to rent equipment because there is no system to find items for rent from people who are closer to them.
The third-place winners were the "Algae Hive" team, which developed a solution for making organic agricultural fertilizers from algae.
The special award for the most innovative solution was won by the "Akurat" team, which creates technical watermarks for images and video content on the internet. The solution would protect the content from further changes and ensure authenticity and accuracy, helping avoid deep fake.
Efforts to promote innovation and female entrepreneurship are bearing fruit
"The winning teams and their ideas have become a good example that Nordic and Baltic countries become stronger in pursuing common goals. The Nordic countries are viewed as forerunners on gender equality and women's labor force participation. However, there are far fewer women than men starting businesses for many reasons. To change that, we have to support female mentoring schemes and networks, increase female entrepreneurs' access to capital and remove competitive disadvantages in certain industries, including young women. I am glad that among the best ideas in the innovation sprint were the innovations offered by the Nordic and Baltic teams. This shows that efforts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in our region are bearing fruit," comments Helén Nilsson, Director of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Lithuania.
Innovation Sprint made it possible to tackle global challenges without leaving home
According to Živilė Skibarkienė, Director and Member of the Board of the Organizational Development Service of Ignitis Group, despite the limitations, uncertainties, and challenges of the remote format, the Nordic-Baltic Women Innovation Sprint participants still decided to participate and overcome the sprints.
"I believe that learning in organizations will quickly develop into such forms of learning, where solutions are created, global problems are solved not only with colleagues in one company but together with customers, competitors, partners from other sectors without having any geographic limitations. Today, we are becoming global without leaving home. Therefore, it is a bit envious for the event participants not that much because of created innovations as for rapid growth and invaluable experiences they had", says Živilė Skibarkienė.
More women find time for improvement and invest in their future
Šarūnė Smalakytė, Head of the Financial Technologies and Sustainable Innovation Center of ROCKIT, also spoke about the learning opportunities given by the Alter State Innovation Sprint to participants and mentors, who stated that "the Nordic-Baltic Women Innovation Sprint provided more than 200 participants with opportunities to improve in innovation, strengthen idea generation skills, learn to use the gained experience and knowledge. Not only the participants studied but also myself. In less than a month, women of all ages got acquainted with the models and principles of business creation, improved their communication skills, understood the subtleties of working in multicultural teams and learned to listen to each other," said Šarūnė Smalakytė, Head of Financial Technologies and Sustainable Innovation Center
Technology & innovation representatives support the Alter State initiative
"We are glad that this year we have experienced such great involvement of participants in solving global problems. In fact, we see that topics such as sustainable inventions, gender equality, and the development of innovations are becoming more and more relevant and encourage people to unite", says Justina Klyvienė, Co-founder of Alter State.
The Nordic-Baltic Women Innovation Sprint is initiated by Alter State, an international platform that brings together individuals, teams, and organizations worldwide to gain leadership, innovation & STEAM skills through focused sprints, one step at a time. The project is supported by the international energy company - Ignitis Group, the financial technology & innovation center - Rockit, the innovation laboratory - Future Leadership, and the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania.
For the first time ever, Alter State organized an international Nordic-Baltic Women Innovation Sprint, which took place in a virtual environment from 19 November to 10 December this year. 33 teams of more than 200 participants from 21 countries presented their ideas in this innovation sprint. The participants were also accompanied by several dozen international mentor-experts. They shared valuable advice on adequately developing business ideas to combat global challenges in various industries, sell your idea and protect your intellectual property.
Written by Kristina Kirkliauskaite