Summit at ZEISS: Broad program from science slam to founder pitches to leadership discussion

On 29 and 30 June 2023, program participants, partners and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the DLR project management agency met for the summit at the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT. A total of 21 participants presented their research projects as posters, demos and in the Science Slam. In the Science Slam preliminary round on 29 June, Edoardo Mosca, Mansi Sharma and Aleksandr Perevalov were voted Top 3 by the audience. Aleksandr Perevalov asked the questions “Why isn’t my GPU melting when mining Bitcoins? How does boiled Schnaps taste? What does AI have to do with this?” and was able to score the most points in the grand final and won the prize: a pair of binoculars sponsored by Summit host ZEISS.

Dr. Max Riedel (Head of the ZEISS Innovation Hub @KIT), as Chairman of the Software Campus Steering Committee, ceremoniously bid farewell to 9 graduates and handed them with their graduation certificates. Graduates and alumni of the Software Campus shaped this summit like never before: For the first time, the founders among the participants were given a stage. Dr. Arya Mazaheri (PanocularAI), Dr. Veronika Gamper (WeDaVinci) and Dmytro Pukhkaiev (BRISE) presented their start-ups and spin-off ideas. Dr. Jonas Traub, chairman of the alumni association, led a workshop on 29 June that allowed participants to reflect on and improve their self-presentations.

Prof. Philipp Diebold, also an alumnus who co-founded the agility agency Bagilstein and is also a professor of business informatics at the IU Frankfurt, looked back on the development of his professional career in his keynote speech “Career is (not) a straight line” (Karriere ist (k)eine Gerade) and explained which decisions influenced it. In keeping with the theme, he also moderated the discussion panel “You’re doing management now too – 3 perspectives of Zeiss executives”. Dr. Lydia Nemec (Head of AI Accelerator, ZEISS), Dr. Tanja Teuber (Head of Algorithms, ZEISS) and Sven Wachsmann (Staff Expert, ZEISS) reflected together with the audience on their first management experiences and pitfalls on their career paths. At the end of the summit, representatives from Volkswagen, DATEV, Huawei, ZEISS, Holtzbrinck and TRUMPF provided information on various career paths at the HR networking event.

We thank all 110 visitors and guests who contributed to this Summit: our participants, alumni, Software Campus alumni association, program partners, DLR project management agency, BMBF, panelists, moderators, founders and ZEISS for hosting this event!

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