Program

Develop competences related to prototype development, project management, teamwork and intercultural management

Learning outcomes

Communicate effectively with professionals from other disciplines

Write a scientific or technical report

Identify the different roles that are involved in well-functioning teams and assume different roles, including leadership roles

Apply fast prototyping techniques and technologies

Pitch a product in front of different audiences

Define functional requirements of a connected device

Apply a structured approach to product development

Realize a functional prototype

Explore scenarios regarding user-centered design process

Apply a design process to the development of an IoT device

Develop the identity and branding of a technology product

Conduct customer interviews and analyze results to identify relevant markets

Conduct a cost analysis

Apply the business model and value proposition canvas

TIMELINE

Ideation week-end

END OF OCTOBER

This is where the magic happens. Friday evening, participants get to know each other. Saturday is focused on learning the language of ideation. Sunday is focused on practicing it. Be ready to draw, pitch, meet, ideate and have fun. Teams are formed at the end of the week-end.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

EARLY DECEMBER

Teams present their problem statement to a panel of experts. They envisage possible solutions after exploring the problem's environment. A seasoned coach will help participants polish their pitching skills.

Kick-off

MID-FEBRUARY

Teams gather to kick-start the prototyping process. They get an overview of the tools and tricks to manage the development of their connected device.

PROTOTYPING STAGE #1

END OF MARCH

Teams refine the solution interview results. They deliver the final functional requirements as well as the ideal and working specifications for each part of the project.

PROTOTYPING STAGE #2

END OF APRIL

Teams work on the positioning, visual identity and brand. They deliver a looks-like prototype as well the PCB and mechanical designs. In parallel, they keep working on the software and firmware.

PROTOTYPING STAGE #3

END OF MAY

Teams present their latest business model, app and landing page. They make a demo of their first PCB assembly and discuss the expected revisions. They complete the BOM and mechanical design.

Semester project

SUMMER OR FALL

Depending on each institutional requirement, students defend their semester project.

Take-off day

JULY

Teams gather to prepare for the big jump into the Hong Kong – Shenzhen eco-system

CHINA

Hong Kong

MID JULY

Teams fly to Hong Kong and spend time discovering what makes the city a unique element in Greater China when it comes to trade, logistics and innovation.

SHENZHEN

END OF JULY

After crossing the border on foot, teams settle at x.Factory to accelerate their prototyping. They are immersed in the world’s hardware capital and discover what makes China such a dynamic place.

SWITZERLAND

Demo Days

FALL

Time has come to showcase the projects in front of sponsors. It is also the moment to reflect on the learning experience.

You can experience things during CHIC that you would never be able to do in conventional educational settings.

Chenyue Xu - Team Hibachi - CHIC 2016

CHIC has been a unique experience, giving me the opportunity to take away more than just a grade from a project at EPFL.

Florian Maushart - Team Fimi - CHIC 2015

If taken separately, engineers, designers and business people, are probably good at what they do. If you mix them in a team, they will for sure find a way to transform a Shuttle launch in a piece of cake

Szabolcs Balási - Team Tikku - CHIC 2016

CHIC is absolutely a fantastic experience for me. I learned much more than I expected, from technology to start-ups incubation, commercialisation, and even some manufacturing procedures... Also, we became good friends."

Ziyu Zhao - Team Dory - CHIC 2015

CHIC is the door to a world of opportunities!

Raffael Tschui - Team Dory - CHIC 2015

The best you can get from an experience are the discoveries you make. CHIC is all about experience and discovery, from the first meetings to the very last day of the entire project I never stopped to learn and discover. Not only in terms of knowledge related my field, but in terms of team management, time scheduling and presentation skills: these are abilities that cannot be studied on books.

Ludovico Novelli - Team Tikku - CHIC 2016

I wish every day could be as full of learning, challenge and fun as a day with CHIC

Florian Lemarignier - Team FiMi - CHIC 2015

I have discovered a new world and a range of exciting jobs that seemed either unreachable or that I had never imagined before CHIC

Florian Lemarignier - Team FiMi - CHIC 2015

CHIC is not only a semester project: it is a human and cultural experience

Dina Elikan - Team Vesta - CHIC 2015

CHIC was a combination of a large number of discoveries, making contacts, knowledge sharing, an extraordinary teamwork facing a number of surprises and obstacles. In short : challenging! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at this stage of my studies!

Mélanie Zufferey - Team Dory - CHIC 2015

Working in team where each brings its own field of expertise was a very rewarding experience, especially since initially no one knew each others

Mikhail Vorobiev - Team Okeep - CHIC 2016

While CHIC has challenged me as an engineer it has also challenged my understanding of what it needs to launch a product and particularly what incredible possibilities HK/China offers to young entrepreneurs.

Florian Maushart - Team Fimi - CHIC 2015

Comptences in the team

Mechanical

You will have to select and implement mechanical solutions and related manufacturing processes. You will collaborate with the industrial designer to select the materials and respect the industrial design intent. You will also collaborate with the PCB designer for the integration of the electronics. You will refine the design in order to improve manufacturability and assembly. You will create specifications for production and assembly.

Electronic

You will need to perform the electronic component and modules selection in collaboration with the firmware developer. You will implement the schematic design, libraries and PCB layout. You will specify the files for the production and assembly. You will have to debug and test the board in collaboration with the firmware developer.

Firmware

You will participate in the selection of electronic components, modules and the overall hardware and software architecture. You will develop the embedded software in order to perform the defined product functions with the intended user experience. You will debug the hardware in collaboration with the engineer who designed the PCB.

Software

You will participate in the definition of the hardware and software architecture. You will develop the software back-end, front-end and or apps and debug them until they are fully functional. You will collaborate with the interaction / UX designer to provide the intended experience to the user.

Business

You will research potential business models, define related assumptions and test them. Your will have to refine the value proposition by running customer discovery interviews and mapping customer journeys. You will research the size of the opportunity and different possible ways to enter the market(s). You will have to apply project management techniques to make sure that the team performs well and delivers on time.

Industrial

Your will design the product. You will explore possible shapes and designs through sketching, rapid prototyping and experimentation. You will study, analyze and refine the different facets of the design (functional, ergonomical, etc.). You will create renderings and visuals to communicate your ideas. You will collaborate with the mechanical engineer to select the adequate materials and to transform the design into a manufacturable product.

Graphic

You will develop a visual language for the product, including work on naming, logo, color scheme, typography and layout. Your will create visuals that express the value proposition in a compelling way. You will also create a landing page in collaboration with your teammates.

Interaction

You will create and refine the user experience and interface through prototyping and experimentation. To do so you will collaborate with the rest of the team to perform interviews and tests on targeted customer segments. The objective is to create simple, intuitive yet effective interactions with the product, the application or any other interaction with the device’s ecosystem.