DEMOLA Latvia facilitates co-creation projects between university students and companies, either locally or internationally, with the aim to find innovative solutions to the needs of companies, institutions and organizations that are seeking for the spark of creativity, design thinking and new products. DEMOLA Latvia was launched in 2014 by Latvian IT Cluster with the support of Ministry of Economics and Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, and is operated by the NGO PULSE HUB, which unites DEMOLA Latvia facilitators. DEMOLA Latvia is located at TechHub Riga premises in the centre of the Old Town of Riga. TechHub Riga is a co-working space for new technology startups that can meet, work, learn and collaborate. Both for DEMOLA and TechHub it’s a unique chance to work together and interact in a mutually benefiting ecosystem since Techhub Riga represents the best of the Latvian startup scene and DEMOLA prepares ground for the future generation of startups and innovators.
Multidisciplinary DEMOLA student teams work on real-life cases together with partner companies. For instance, teams create and refine business concepts, develop new products, or build demos and prototypes. DEMOLA team ensures that the process is formatted, facilitated; work is systematic and runs on schedule and yields meaningful result. The partner company can purchase or license the team's creations, so there’s some money that students can make as well. Partners may also want to continue the project for further development. Benefits for partners from DEMOLA cycle: - Possibility to relatively simply and without financial risk obtain new, creative solutions as a fresh perspective on the edge of partner’s challenges which are developed by students under the guidance of professionals; - Get to know and hire or offer traineeships to young talented people; - Possibility to position the organization as open, innovation-oriented and student friendly employer; - Possibility to implement and develop project ides further after the end of DEMOLA season by continuing cooperation with the best students and teaching staff and utilizing research facilities of universities. Benefits for students from DEMOLA cycle: - Unique experience of new product, service and process creation in a multidisciplinary team; - New skills (creative thinking and design process, presentation skills, team work and others) and personal talent discovery; - Practical experience working on a real-life challenge provided by the partner organization and getting useful insight into the specific field of the project; - Business contacts and remarkable CV record; - Option to commercialize the idea and get rewarded by project partner if the case solution is of a good quality; - Making new friends, meeting new people and getting strong connections for future; - Valuable life experience, personal growth and first step to start a company.
DEMOLA Latvia is committed to achieve 100 projects by Latvia’s centenary celebration. DEMOLA Latvia also aims to provide a special independent C course for students from all Latvian universities with the possibility to gain credit points for participation in the course. DEMOLA Latvia currently is in the phase of re-designing its strategy and elaborating key performance indicators.
DEMOLA Latvia is currently run on a voluntary basis and is in search of funding, at the same time it is developing the business model which would allow DEMOLA to act independently, freely and more efficiently without having to rely on public funding and clumsy bureaucratic procedures. Currently DEMOLA Latvia is in the transformation phase looking to scale up its operation though a completely new management model and involvement of the most important stakeholders, especially universities. Until December 2015 DEMOLA Latvia was financially supported through the Motivation program of the ERDF implemented by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (~125K EUR), which partially covered the costs of the initiative in 2014-2015; large part of the activities was anyway run on a voluntary basis.
During the first five seasons in Latvia 30 teams have been working on projects challenged by industry leading companies, startups, creative businesses and national and regional authorities; 30 businesses and public sector institutions and organizations gave real industry challenges to students to be solved during DEMOLA seasons. In total, around 160 students have participated in DEMOLA seasons since its introduction in Latvia.