The Company visit at Google New York has been an awesome experience for the whole delegation as it was tremendously interactive. When we arrived we first of all had the chance to have a good breakfast offered by Google. We then continued with the presentation of Erik Troberg about Google Sprints or in other words the short but intense process of designing a certain solution for a given problem. After the presentation we started with our workshop exactly about that, the Google Sprint.

Throughout the workshop the delegation was given the task to create an app in order to overcome a problem given in a case distributed at the beginning of the workshop. In the end each of the groups who created such an app presented it and Erik gave a short feedback.

Before the Company visit at Google came to an end, Erik took us on a tour in the Google building of New York. All in all it has been terrific at Google, especially, because we had a very interactive workshop and experienced how it somehow has to be to work for Google.


Marc Schär: „For me, it was one of the highlights of the journey because it was not just a company visit. We also had the chance to get coached in a google design sprint by Erik Troberg, where I encounterd how challenging it is to design something with just a few information about the real problem.“

Consulate General of Switzerland

The visit at the Consulate General of Switzerland has been great. First of all we started off with the most important meal of the day, the breakfast. Offering donuts and Starbucks coffee the Consulate directly won the delegations hearts. After everybody has served himself with this delicious breakfast, Mr Schaller started his presentation about what the Consulate General is doing within the United States. Furthermore, he explained how he ended up in this position and how it is to be in such a position, where you have to travel a lot and how he handles it together with his family. At the end of the presentation Mr Schaller very openly answered all the questions of the delegation and even made further explanations about unclarities.

Celulas de innovacion, MIT Enterprise Forum, Global Shapers Guadalajara Hub Social Innovation projects

Celulas de innovacion

México Innovation and Design (MIND) is a building that hosts different industrial and business clusters such as fashion (shoe, dressing and jewelery), Gourmet, HighTech, Design, Bio-Medic among others.

We received a tour through the whole building to see and meet some of the partners and ecosystem network working there. Additionally, we received a presentation about the open innovation model, the Células de Innovación, CANIETI and other industrial sectors are working on.

„Since the Mexican tech-cluster used to lack an innovational culture, it was impressive to see the different approaches of MIND to overcome this issue. By gathering together people from various fields, MIND manages to create connections and experiences which are key to drive innovation.“ Manuel Güggi

MIT Enterprise Forum
The MIT Enterprise Forum is a organization established in different countries, where anyone with a social vision of entrepreneurship is welcome to participate in the actions promoted. They are a network belonging to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, inspired by its philosophy.

„The MIT Economic Forum in Mexico is developing and actively shaping the future of Mexico, so we had the chance to hear interesting insights into their projects. Furthermore, they were also very open to our questions, concerning the challenges Mexico is facing at the moment and in the future in order to compete with other countries.“ Daniel Egeli

Global Shapers Guadalajara Hub Social Innovation projects

Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. With more than 7,000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 376 city-based hubs in 156 countries. The Guadalajara hub is formed by a group of incredibly talented and diverse people, who seek to generate projects for anti-corruption issues, climate change, transportation, social inclusion, employment, education, and entrepreneurship.

„We have learnt that the main purpose of this community is not only to improve the local situation, but also to think about global implications. We have been able to hear about the challenging problems they address in Guadalajara, such a  s improving the situation of bikers inside the city, or helping the disabled live a better life.“  Kevin Neuschwander

Intel Design Center Guadalajara and Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education

Intel Design Center Guadalajara

The Guadalajara Design Center (GDC) is the largest engineering center in the Latin America Region (LAR). GDC was started in October 2000 and has grown to date to more than 1,000 people. We had an interesting introduction about the goals and values of Intel. The team that organized the whole tour through the Intel buildings were incredibly warmhearted and open.

„At the Intel Design Center it was interesting to see how Intel encourages innovations, how they adapt to new business fields and how they motivate employees to bring their ideas into the Intel community.
Furthermore, it was interesting ti hear how Mexico changed from a producing country into a country that creates new innovations.“ Anja Grob


Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Guadalajara

In the afternoon we visited the campus of the Monterrey Institute of Technology. In an amazing presentation we gained valuable insights into the university’s system and its philosophy. Furthermore, the delegation was pleased to see how much effort and focus the ITESM puts on innovation and innovative thinking. By supporting innovative start-ups they contribute a lot to making Mexico a place where you want to locate your company at.

„Today we had the chance to get some deeper insights into the mexican education system and how they adopt to the continuous changes in technology and needs. It is great how they push innovation and even better what facilities they have: thinktanks, open workspace, design thinking everywhere.“ Peter Grüner

DocuSign and Swissnex

DocuSign: Thinking out of the box while innovating a new product
DocuSign is changing how business gets done by empowering more than 250,000 companies and 100 million users in 188 countries to sign, send and manage documents anytime, anywhere, and on any device. DocuSign replaces printing, faxing, scanning and overnighting documents with the easiest, fastest, most trusted way to make every approval and decision digital.

„DocuSign gave us an impressiv insight how their business works. I am amazed that such a simple idea creates a massive impact and has a great side effect on sustainability. Their business model is just great: signed – paid – completed“ Bianca Cueni

Swissnex is an initiative of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), managed in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Swissnex San Francisco is part of a global network with nodes in the world’s most innovative hubs – here in San Francisco. Swissnex has over a decade of experience connecting Switzerland and North America through knowledge sharing. The overall idea is to bring people and ideas together in order to foster networking and to create a platform for exchange around various topics.

„Swissnex is the golden gate and is bringing Swiss start-ups to San Francisco, also supports these with a lot of knowledge and their network. Swissnex makes it easier for start-ups to build their own network in San Francisco by organizing events to connect with others“ Amir Dedic

Adobe, Renault and Swisscom Outpost

Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American multinational computer software company. Adobe has historically focused upon the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more recent foray towards rich Internet application software development. It is best known for Photoshop, an image editing software, Acrobat Reader, the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe Creative Suite, as well as its successor Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe employs about 15,000 employees, about 40 % of them work in San Jose.

Martin Bürgi (Senior Product Manager) presented us Adobes transformation from selling to subscribing. Additionally, he showed us how he, as a Swiss, is living in the Silicon Valley.


As one of the largest car manufacturers in Europe, Renault is dedicated to driving innovation, imagining the car of the future, and shaping sustainable mobility. Renault’s main focuses are on autonomous and assisted driving, zero-emission vehicles, and connected cars. In a shared facility with Nissan, the Renault Innovation Lab houses an advanced research center specializing in connected services, autonomous driving, and new businesses in mobility and advanced user experience. Renault aims to learn from and actively contribute to the Silicon Valley start-up ecosystem by launching several partnerships with start-ups, universities, and labs each year.

The Swisscom outpost in Silicon Valley was established in 1998. The outpost’s vision is to “empower Swisscom to bring  new digital services to the market“.


„When arrived at the Swisscom Outpost the first thing we noticed was the cute house where it was located. The purpose of the house is to recreate sorto of a start-up feeling.
It was very refreshing listening to him as he just freshly graduated from university himself.
Jeffrey who hold a presentation in the backyard of the house, told us some very interesting things about the history of the silicon valley, how it functions compared to european companies and the mindset which leaded the silicon valley to become what it is today. So he gave us some absolutly interesting insights adding a swiss point of view to the presentation.
Going further with the presentation we learnd various things about the work of the Outpost, for example how they can help Swiss start-ups as well as there function as trend scouter.
At the end of the presentation Jeffrey showed us how the challenges of the futur for the outpost and many of companys in the silicon valley might look like.
Closing up I can say it was a nice experience enhanced by the friendly and improvising Jeffery.“

Riccardo Cencherle

Nexus Preparatory Week 2018

All four international student projects had the chance to listen to very unique speakers during the Preparatory Seminar 2018. Read all about it in our joined newsletter. All of these articles, memories and learnings, would not be existent without our precious partners. We thank every one of them.

Click here: Nexus_2018_Feb


Inspiring presentation of Blaser Swisslube

Blaser Swiss Lube is the Sponsor for all four projects. Last Friday morning, the CEO Marc Blaser, held an inspiring presentation about the company in front of all the participants of the prep seminars.

Global Competitiveness

Logical and rational thinking will make a difference! Marc Blaser was telling us how people came to him and asked for lower prices. What he did instead was actually the opposite. He increased the prices but promised them, that they will make no losses but will reach gains. The lube price makes only 0.5% of the overall price in operating an assembly line. However, the lube improves the productivity and increases the lifetime of a machine, therefore, clients will save money.

It’s all about the people

The most important assets are the employees! The goal is to remain competitive and keep the leading edge. Next to all new technologies, the introduction of „smartBusiness“ and „Industry 4.0“, the people will stay the number one priority. Because trust is built through people and not through computers.

Marc Blaser inspired us to keep expanding our horizons and learning from other cultures. He mentioned the importance to discover the potential in yourself and to end up doing what you love.

Panel Discussion & Key Notes

Christa Markwalder, Swiss National Councillor, Cyrille Wetter, a Student from the FHNW, André Wolke, CEO & Co-Founder Validity Labs, Sven Mentl from the company Accenture and Prof. Dr. Knut Hinkelmann from the FHNW and Daniel Meier, from the company Huawei, were discussion and exchanging different examples and potential outcomes of the blockchain development and from the artificial intelligence. 

The panel discussion session was opened by the question what the most dynamic impacts are. 

Markwalder was convinced that technology will help improving daily life. What we do not know yet are the consequences of malfunctions or misuses of these technologies. Meier brought an example of a mobile that recognizes a dog on the street while the autonomous car is sidestepping, which demonstrated the powerful potential of A.I. 

Wolke pointed out the importance to have people that are interested in A.I. the question from this area is the legal side. Who is responsible? In case of a car accident with autonomous cars, who takes the blame, the car or the company? Fact is, A.I brings new technology, new business models and new life structures. Mentl mentioned that you always have to prefer material damage over personal damage. There is no allowance for discriminate between age differences for example. 

Hinkelmann talked about the new opportunities and possibilities nowadays. A phone that takes a picture of a Chinese menue cart and translates it in English is a great invention as view years earlier you would have needed to type it into your phone, but how would you type in Chinese signs? So there are many progressions. 

Meier pointed out the challenge, that the question of “what is next?” is always discussed. 

Also the tax issue arose during the discussion. Each token would be needed to be taxed. Not everything is just great. Before investing great amounts of money, it is crucial to understand how the new technology works. 

Mentl underlines the meaning of deep learning, which means a lot of input data is needed. But input data is biased which is a huge challenge. 

Influence of Digitalization on Innovation and Business

As our last presentation in the theme of technological innovation, the delegation could welcome Valentin Naegeli and Michael Schranz from Apps with love. This was a special honor, as Michael Schranz is one of the founding members of the connectUS project. When Michael was a student himself, he felt that he kept hearing how important networking is but could never gather any real experience. Therefore, he had the idea to create the project Networking New York. Before Valentin took over and told the delegation more about digitalization and innovation, Michael gave us one important advice for networking: “Give a lot, don’t expect to get much back”.

The following presentation was structured in three parts. Firstly, we took a quick look at how innovation and digitalization are influencing us today. Now, as we covered several topics during the week, Valentin just summarized the core points: The age of information has massively disrupted the way we conduct business. By showing us the most important companies, which only consist of tech companies, this point was made very clear to us. We also learned about the so-called network effect. This effect means that the more people use it, the more value it creates. If for example only a few people would use Facebook, the value for the people using it would be much smaller. The topics of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, innovation and transformation where only covered shortly, as aforementioned, these topics were already covered.

The second part of the presentation was about the Tomorrow. Interesting fields include AI, Smartness, the power of a company like Google (Alphabet), real-time communication and the Singularity. The discussion of these topics was very interesting, as Valentin added a critical view on the technologies. What are the social impacts of digital transformation? Will we always be recorded and all our data in the internet forever stored? What will happen if an AI that has a similar intelligence as a human will be created? With such questions and more, he gave us some food for thought.

In the third part, he talked about how to get from the today to the tomorrow. This can be summarized in a very short sentence: Innovate or die. Businesses cannot use the same business idea, same model etc. for decades, but have the need to constantly innovate.

Before ending the presentation, Valentin asked us to brainstorm some ideas, how we could innovate important Swiss business sectors like watches, banking, tourism or the chocolate industry and the delegation presented their ideas in groups.

The presentation of Valentin was very interesting, especially by bringing light to some of the ethical and social challenges we, as humankind, will have to face in the future.