From Design Thinking project to successful company - new episode of the HPI podcast “Neuland” with Dr. Claudia Nicolai and Lucas Paes de Melo

In the Hasso-Plattner-Institute's (HPI) Design Thinking supplementary study program, interdisciplinary teams learn how to initiate transformation and innovation processes and how to design them in a human-centered way. The innovation approach helps to quickly find creative solutions to complex problems and encourages students each year to start their own start-up. But what exactly happens during a Design Thinking course? What do participants do after graduation? And how can they develop a successful business idea from what they have learned in university projects?


New podcast episode with Amparo
Dr. Claudia Nicolai, Lucas Paes de Melo and Leon Stebe record the new podcast episode.

For the new podcast episode Neuland, Dr. Claudia Nicolai, Academic Director of the HPI School of Design Thinking, and Lucas Paes de Melo, Co-Founder & CEO of the start-up amparo, talk with moderator Leon Stebe about how Design Thinking stimulates and accelerates innovation processes and how it is applied in real project contexts of a start-up (in German).

“We observe two major trends among graduates”, Dr. Nicolai says. On the one hand, after completing their Design Thinking studies, many are striving to find positions that allow them greater creative freedom, such as in management. "In addition, the study program encourages students to become active and to found their own company. In other words, to become an entrepreneur," says Dr. Nicolai. It is always important for the students not only to implement things, but to shape and develop them themselves.

The Co-Founder and CEO of amparo, Paes de Melo, can confirm this from his own experience. The company emerged from a student project in 2014 and now successfully produces innovative lower leg prostheses that are more cost-effective and easier to install. "Every day I look forward to continuing to work on my project. As a team, we use many different Design Thinking tools almost every day to collect different ideas - product, marketing or sales related - and then quickly test them." Even though he never saw himself as a company founder before participating in the Design Thinking program at HPI.

Well-founded knowledge about the digital world, explained clearly and comprehensibly - this is what the knowledge podcast "Neuland" with experts from the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) offers at: https://podcast.hpi.de, on iTunes and Spotify. Once a month, they speak about current and socially relevant digital topics, their research work and the opportunities and challenges of digital trends and developments.