1. What is my benefit if I participate?
First and foremost, the Falling Walls Lab is a platform for your work and ideas. Once you are selected among the participants you will be invited to share your project, research work or business ideas with other young and outstanding individuals who are dedicated to innovation and new ideas.
What you can win at the qualifying Labs:
The most intriguing presentations of each qualifying Lab will be awarded a wildcard for the Final Lab in Berlin on 8 November and an A.T. Kearney Scholarship for the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November 2012 (travel and accommodation costs included).
What you can win at the Final Lab Berlin:
The Final Falling Walls Lab on 8 November gathers the most outstanding candidates from an international field in Germany’s capital. The three winners will be invited to present their concepts at the Falling Walls Conference on the next day– together with some of the most distinguished scientists of our times. Accommodation is covered from 8 to 9 November. Please note that travel costs cannot be reimbursed.
2. Who can apply for the Falling Walls Lab?
The Falling Walls Lab addresses a broad range of people from various professional backgrounds and disciplines. As the Lab is a format for young innovators, applicants should be younger than 35 years of age.
We are looking for:
- Scholars, researchers and scientists (MA-students, PhD-/ doctoral candidates and post-docs
- Entrepreneurs and young professionals (Start-ups, inventions, initiatives and business ideas)
- Innovators from all areas – science, the humanities, arts, business and technology.
3. How does the application process work?
In order to apply you have to visit our website at: www.falling-walls.com/apply and follow the steps in the online application form. We ask you to fill in your basic data, explain your personal motivation and the topic you would like to present. You should also have your CV ready in a PDF format – we will ask you to upload it. Filling in the application form should not take longer than 10 minutes. As soon as you successfully finished your application, you will get a notification in your browser window and via email.
After the respective deadline has ended, a committee will make a pre-selection of candidates and we will get back to within a few days. If you are selected as one of the participants, we will then give you all the further details for your presentation at the Falling Walls Lab.
4. Are there any costs for participating?
After applying, the selected participants will be invited to join the Falling Walls Lab. There are no costs/fees for participating. Please note that travel costs cannot be reimbursed (exception: Falling Walls Lab Johannesburg 2013, see 5. Travel/Accommodation).
5. Do I have to pay for my travel/accommodation?
If you apply for one of the qualifying Labs and you don’t live near the city you selected, you will have to make your own arrangements for travel and accommodation. The Falling Walls Foundation cannot cover any of your costs. (The Falling Walls Lab Johannesburg 2013 is an exception: A.T. Kearney covers travel costs for the selected participants living outside the Gauteng province.) The winners of each city/Lab will be awarded a wildcard for the Final Lab on 8 November in Berlin and an A.T. Kearney Scholarship for the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November.
6. What does a day at the Lab look like?
All Lab starts with a short welcome and introduction speech. The Master of Ceremony introduces the jury members and addresses the participants with a final briefing on the schedule of the event. The presentations will take place in a certain order, which is indicated on a list handed out to all candidates in the beginning of the event. Each presenter has three minutes to deliver their idea to the audience – which consists of the peers and the jury. The presenters can visualize their concepts using a Powerpoint sheet. After each presentation, the audience can ask questions and make comments. When the time has run out, the next presenter takes over the podium.
After the last session, the jury evaluates the presentations and announces the three winners. The day will be concluded with a reception and the opportunity for further discussion and networking. All Labs will be held in English (presentations included).
7. I don’t have a breakthrough yet. Can I participate anyway?
By breakthrough we understand an idea, a research project, a business model or social initiative, which is at the same time original and new, innovative (overcoming old ideas and concepts) and relevant to the problems of the world today. This means that your breakthrough could be a project you already realized, a research topic you are developing or a business idea yet to be built up. Our jury members will appreciate authentic presenters with a vision and proof of concept.
8. To present my idea in 3 minutes sounds impossible. How should that work?
You will find out that it works – and preparing your 3-minute presentation will provide you with a new perspective on the topics you are working with. Having to shape your topic into a so-called “elevator pitch” is a challenging restriction on the one hand – but it also emphasizes what is most essential about the idea: What it is, how it works and what it can be used for.
9. By which criteria does the jury evaluate the presentations?
The jury looks at three different criteria: The “breakthrough factor” indicates if an idea is a real innovation, if it is original and catchy and has the potential to inspire other ideas. Secondly, they will look at the relevance and the scope of impact of your work. Does it make a valuable contribution to progress; does it address an existing or imminent problem or even offer solutions to it? The third category is related to the presenter and presentation itself: Did the participants deliver their presentations well? Did they explain their ideas in a clear and understandable way? Does the presenter show a proof of concept?
10. Is there time to discuss my breakthrough with the jury?
Every participant at the Falling Walls Lab has 3 minutes time to present her/his breakthrough. The jury is allowed to ask questions or to make comments during your speech. If you would like to further discuss your idea, research work or business idea, several breaks allow deeper discussions.
11. Can I attend the Falling Walls Lab as a media representative?
If you are a press/media representative and would like to attend one of the Falling Walls Labs, you are welcome to contact us:
Press and Public Relations
Tel.: +49 30 609 88 39 74