HOSTING A Falling Walls Lab – HOW TO LAUNCH A PITCH COMPETITION

Interested in launching a Falling Walls Lab at your institution, but do not know where to start? From acquiring partners to securing your jury members, learn what it takes to host a Lab by following these 10 simple steps!

REGISTRATION

The first step is to inform the Falling Walls Lab team (lab@falling-walls.com) about the planned date of your Falling Walls Lab so your event can be listed on our website as soon as possible. The Falling Walls Foundation does not demand any license fees, yet we ask you to secure a high standard in the selection of participants and jury to ensure the integrity of the competition. If this is in question, we may withdraw your permission to host a Lab.

PARTNERS

Falling Walls Labs can be hosted by academic institutions or in cooperation with an academic institution/science academy as the main partner (e.g. the German Academic Exchange Service). Potential co-hosts can help distribute the call for applications and nominate jury members. Please seek final approval regarding all partnerships from the Falling Walls Foundation.

LOCATION

Reserve a lecture hall equipped with a video projector. 100 seats are usually sufficient for participants, the jury, media representatives, and the audience. Please inform Falling Walls about your venue.

PARTICIPANTS

Invite Bachelor’s and Master’s students, PhD candidates, post-docs, and early-career professionals (18 years or older). All disciplines are welcome, including the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences. The easiest ways to distribute your call for applications are email lists, social media, your website, press releases, and posters. Usually this requires a great deal of effort. We therefore recommend you to start early. The goal is to have a minimum of 15 participants, well-balanced in terms of discipline and gender.

JURY

Your jury must have a minimum of 5 members. It should be comprised of highly respected representatives of academia and business, and must be well-balanced in terms of discipline and gender. Please appoint a jury chair. Gather all jury members for a briefing on their role and the scoring system. After the pitches, the jury convenes to choose the winner. If the jury fails to agree, the chairperson moderates the discussion until a final decision has been made. The evaluation criteria are: (a) The breakthrough factor (How innovative is the proposed idea?), (b) Relevance and impact (How relevant is the idea for the discipline and beyond?) and (c) Structure/performance (How convincing was the presentation?).

APPLICATIONS

To facilitate your efforts, all applications for your Falling Walls Lab will be submitted via our website. We collect the applications and regularly provide you with updates. Once we’ve sent you the final list of applications, a committee at your institution should select the participants for your Falling Walls Lab.

THE EVENT

Every participant has exactly 3 minutes to present – this is what makes a Falling Walls Lab a fast-paced and exciting event. Every participants must prepare 3 PowerPoint slides: 1 introductory slide including name, institution, and title of presentation, and 2 content slides. To guarantee fair and efficient time management, we suggest appointing a moderator who intervenes in case a presenter exceeds their time limit. The event should be open to the public.

THE WINNER

The winner of your Falling Walls Lab automatically qualifies for the global Finale and will take part in an extended programme of activities such as workshops and coaching sessions.

SUPPORTERS AND FUNDRAISING

Our aim is to keep costs as low as possible without compromising the quality of the event. We welcome you to acquire suitable sponsors for your event. Before you approach a prospective partner, you must seek final approval from the Falling Walls Foundation. We do not cover any expenses you might have.

FUN

Falling Walls Lab is great fun. It brings together bright minds with groundbreaking ideas that spark discourse and have great potential to impact our future. So please, have fun!

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