The Challenge Files



by Nadine

The final Days, or: Why Passion Makes a Difference

The clock is ticking loud, as our time at Silicon Valley is almost over – today was our last full day here in San Francisco. Tomorrow, we will all board different planes and head to Munich for the final pitches of the #valleychallenge. No wonder the stress levels within our three teams are reaching new […]

by Katharina

As Routine as it Gets: The Last Sprint

Day 26: Meanwhile, a certain routine has settled in. The week – or as we call it here: the sprint – starts off with a joint workshop, where the participants further develop their Design Thinking skills. The following days, the teams continue to work on their ideas and validate their assumptions – foundation of their business models […]

by Katharina

Design Thinking Creates Tomorrow’s Solutions

Do you know the motto of Stanford University? It is actually German and says “Die Luft der Freiheit weht”. Translated from German, it means “The wind of freedom blows”. The “Farm”, so its’ unofficial name, is one of the worlds’ richest universities, based in the valley close to today’s tech giants and highly acclaimed both […]

by Nadine

Why Nothing Works without Curiosity

The third week of the #valleychallenge has started, and a lot has happened since we all arrived in San Francisco. The typical phases of collaboration and cooperation – forming and storming – are obviously under way. That’s nothing to worry about, as this is what naturally happens when you put 19 individuals who have never […]

by Katharina

Can you be Creative on Demand?

Often “creativity” is associated only in the context of art. Wikipedia puts that into a larger context: “Creativity is the ability of a person or group to make something new and useful or valuable, or the process of making something new and useful or valuable. It happens in all areas of life – science, art, […]

by Nadine

The Value of Working in International Teams

One thing that makes the #valleychallenge really special is our global approach: Everyone at WACKER had the chance to apply, from every region, function and position. The result is now a really divers set-up of participants: Our teams come from Germany, China, USA, Sweden, Vietnam, Korea and Brazil, forming a cross-section of the WACKER world. […]

by Katharina

What business model innovation actually means

As a traditional chemical company, looking back on a proud history, business goes as usual day by day. Clearly, there are challenges and hurdles the business teams must tackle. However, in the end, we continue to grow our business the way we have always been doing it. No wonder we often hear sentences like: “Das […]

by Nadine

The 10/20/30 Rule and How to Use it

A crucial aspect when it comes to finally having their ideas and business models assessed by our jury is their presentation: on pitch day, our teams will only have a few minutes to convince the ‘investors’ of the jury to finance their ideas…

by Katharina

A cultural experience

The spirit of Silicon Valley is driven by visions which can’t be big enough, acceleration and the constant desire for improvement. Also, Salesforce is based on these principles. Their founder, Marc Benioff, worked for two tech giants in the valley, Apple and Oracle, before founding his own company which pioneered cloud computing. He had a […]

by Nadine

Creative Collaboration in Co-Working Spaces

In the last days, our three teams have been elaborating on their first ideas, discussed different angles and worked on their first prototypes. For this, they are situated in special co-working spaces, which are currently quite popular. But why is that so?

by Katharina

The true value of prototyping

Prototyping is kind of fun part of every workshop. All participants love it. Working with your hands to create something real, something tangible. This is what makes us human beings truly happy – and by the way explains the success of any Home Depot store. Our three teams embraced this task after two days of […]

by Nadine

The Power of Ideas: Our first Ideation Workshop

“Everything begins with an idea.” This actually sums up pretty well today’s activities at SVC! Generally speaking, we have a clear goal: Looking for new ideas for business models. The problem is, ideation and innovation aren’t that simple. You don’t come up with great new ideas just like that! That’s why the three teams today […]

by Katharina

Wrap-up first week

“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” said once John Dewey, American philosopher, atheist and educational reformer. Throughout the weekend our participants had time to reflect on their first week – or as we call it in the program: on their first sprint. So many things have happened only in […]

by Nadine

What’s so special about Silicon Valley?

When we started setting up WACKER Digital’s Silicon Valley Challenge, I caught myself thinking: “Why Silicon Valley? What’s so special about it anyway?” – just like probably some other people wondered, too. Well, today, we did a tour through the famous Silicon Valley. And I’m starting to get a first glimpse of what it is […]

by Katharina

Why we are here

First day of SVC: we all get to know each other. Today’s kick-off session started with a classic introduction round here everyone talked about why they applied, what skills or unique talents they bring to their teams and what they hope to get out of this journey. The answers I could hear mostly centered around […]

by Nadine

Silicon Valley Challenge – we are getting started!

Finally, we’re here: More than four months after launching the project and inviting people to apply, after working through 368 fascinating, inspiring and exciting applications, after preparing a demanding yet stimulating agenda … finally, we are all here in San Francisco. Tomorrow, WACKER Digital’s Silicon Valley Challenge will officially start!