Tech Challenge

Join our 12-week Tech Challenge program to master human-centric innovation, ideation and exploration, feedback, pitching, project management and prototyping. Dive deep into real-world challenges, conducting user research, and crafting innovative solutions within interdisciplinary teams. Benefit from expert mentorship, access to cutting-edge technologies, and networking opportunities with industry leaders. Gain hands-on experience, academic recognition, and personal growth while tackling challenges head-on. Uphold ethical principles of integrity, teamwork, ownership, and confidentiality throughout the program.

Apply now
Tech Challenge Cover

Target Groups: PhD Students, Students

Area of Focus: Business Design, Scalable Tech

Next Date: April 23, 2024 - July 18, 2024

Times offered per year : Every semester, beginning of April or October

Duration: 1 semester (12 weeks)

ECTS : 6 ECTS (accreditation depends on the study program, Campus TUM ID: WI001180SE)

Language: English

Scope: 6-12h per week per participant

Learning Goals: Foster expertise in human-centric innovation, ideation and exploration, feedback, proficient pitching techniques, project management, prototyping, spotting opportunities, effective teamwork, and user research

Application Requirements : For students of all faculties & backgrounds; Enrollment as a student required, otherwise one should pay ("Tech Challenge Plus" Program)

About the program

Join Our 12-Week Tech Challenge Program!

Unlock your potential in human-centric innovation through our intensive 12-week program. You'll embark on a journey that covers:

  • Innovation & Ideation: Dive into the process of creating new ideas and bringing them to life.
  • Project Management & Prototyping: Learn the ropes of managing projects and turning concepts into tangible prototypes.

Engage in Real-World Challenges

Work within interdisciplinary teams to tackle real-world problems. Through conducting user research and crafting innovative solutions, you'll experience:

  • Expert Mentorship: Receive guidance from industry professionals.
  • Cutting-Edge Technologies: Get hands-on experience with the latest tools and methods.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with industry leaders and expand your professional horizon.

Grow Personally and Professionally

Our program is not just about acquiring new skills; it's about growing as a person and a professional. You'll gain hands-on experience, achieve academic recognition, and develop personally while upholding the highest ethical principles of integrity, teamwork, ownership, and confidentiality.

Next dates:

  • Tech Challenge Kick-off: April 23
  • Workshop on Problem/Solution Fit: May 8
  • Workshop on Customer Centricity: May 10 and 14
  • Workshop on Pitch Presentation: May 16
  • Workshop on Lean Prototyping: June 4
  • Tech Challenge Final presentation: July 16
  • Tech Challenge Winners Pitch Night: July 17

Summer Semester 2024 Challenges:

  • Energy Communities - Optimization of Resource Distribution in Neighborhoods - provided by NEB
  • Barrier-free City for all - provided by NEB
  • Connecting Munich: Innovating Solutions for Enhanced Municipal Collaboration - provided by NEB
  • Scaling Recommerce for Circular Textiles - provided by WiMi
  • Empowering Elderly Mobility: Innovating Sustainable, Tech-Driven Aids for Urban Inclusivity - provided by WiMi
  • Take a look into our last Tech Challenge!


  • NEW! Tech Challenge Syllabus Summer Semester 2024


  • Throughout the program, participants will develop expertise in human-centric innovation methodologies, including design thinking and lean startup principles. They'll learn to effectively pitch ideas, manage projects, conduct user research, and create functional prototypes using cutting-edge technologies.

  • Each semester, we present participants different challenges provided by partners across various industries. During the Tech Challenge, every participant will be matched in an interdisciplinary team that gets support from a coach and access to prototyping facilities.

  • We want to ensure that we form teams in the best possible way for the students, so we initially give students the flexibility to form their own team. We also provide various team-building sessions and specific matchmaking channels on Slack so that individuals can connect with others interested in the same challenges. If there are students who are not assigned to a team, we form teams based on the different skills, interests and preferences of the students to create balanced teams while ensuring collaboration and innovation.

  • Participants receive workshops and mentorship from industry experts, access to prototyping facilities, and networking opportunities with the entities providing the challenges. Each team gets support from a coach through all stages of the project. Additionally, participants have access to comprehensive course materials and online resources to support their learning journey.

  • To provide guidance and support throughout the semester, the Tech Challenge program offers online sessions and workshops. These sessions cover various topics related to innovation, project management, and technical skills, providing participants with valuable insights and resources to excel in their projects.

  • Yes, all presentations in the Tech Challenge program are online. Participants showcase their project progress, findings, and final outcomes through virtual presentations, allowing for seamless collaboration and engagement regardless of location.

  • The Tech Challenge program offers flexibility in time management, allowing participants to manage their own schedules effectively. While there's no mandatory time commitment from our end for program participation, previous students have typically dedicated between 6 to 12 hours per week, with variations based on individual levels of engagement. Each participant has the freedom to adjust the exact time allocation to accommodate individual preferences and other commitments.

  • At the end of the program, participants will need to complete a team pitch exam and submit their deliverables. The program mentors will be responsible for grading the teams based on the sum of the scores of their deliverables and the final pitch.

  • Yes, there is a winning team per challenge. The winners in each challenge track are chosen by their partners, this is, by the entities providing the challenge. This process runs independently from the grading, since partners may have different expectations and requirements. There are two major factors in a team's success on either side: (1) understanding and meeting partner and mentor/lecturer expectations; (2) the effort your team puts into the project.

  • Yes, we celebrate the culmination of the Tech Challenge program with an exciting onsite networking ceremony. During this event, we recognize the outstanding achievements of the top-performing teams who have demonstrated exceptional innovation, collaboration, and problem-solving skills throughout the semester. Winners receive certificates of recognition for their hard work and dedication to making a meaningful impact in the tech industry.


EN V Funded by the EU POS print
Screen Shot 2024 02 27 at 09 25 40
Screen Shot 2024 02 27 at 09 25 32

Contact Us


Kahina Olafsson

Project Lead in Tech Education & Entrepreneurship


Yolanda Marín Ventura

Project Coordinator

Valentin Sawadski

Valentin Sawadski

Lecturer and Experienced Founder

Richard Eckl

Richard Eckl

Lecturer and Experienced Founder