Students Business Informatics organized their first Service Jam

Three weeks ago, the students from ‘business and information systems engineering (BI)’ at Hasselt University organized a service jam #servicejamhasselt.

“A service jam resembles a musical jam session: you take your instruments and start to experiment. The idea is to make fun and start creating, not only brainstorming.” says Geert Tewissen, service designer at Boondoggle.

Many times the creation of new products starts from the possibilities these products can offer: the solution. Yet ideally, a new product should stem from a problem. This is certainly the case for IT-driven products and services. The stream of design thinking provides counterweight to this solution-based approach. A solid service design pulls you back to the origin of your business: which problem of which person(s) are we going to solve?

On October 27, our students were introduced in the world of design thinking, with concepts as ‘service design’ and ‘user experience’ being the main keywords of the day. After a short theoretical introduction, it was time to work: students had to design a first prototype of a new service, related to the theme ‘ways to improve campus life‘.

Their thinking process was supported by expert design thinkers from the field, who facilitated this service jam. It was a pleasure of having Geert Tewissen from Boondoggle, Dennis Gommé from Thanksys, and Stephanie Hojniak from Mobile Vikings on board as facilitators.

Also the jury comprised of people with unique expertise: Saskia Buntinx from Mobile Vikings, BI-alumnus Niels Peetermans, co-founder of his own start up ‘Conversation Starter‘, Roel De Meester, COO from Thanksys, and Els huysman from Student start-up.

After a day of hard work, the students had to present their new service to a jury. The jury challenged the students’ pitch, the presented service and its business model: could this service indeed form a solution to a potential problem, related to campus life? Would the jury members themself invest in this story?

For all teams, the service jam was an energetic day of working in a real-life setting on true problems. They were facilitated and challenged by experts in the field. I think we can say it was a successful introduction in co-creation and entrepreneurship, that might even have triggered interesting vibes for future business ideas. Up to next year’s service jam!

Students summarized the day as “teamwork” “challenge” “inspiring” “informative” “creativity” “opportunity”


PS: The winning team presented ‘AirKot’, a platform to connect landlords and commuting students. Landlords often have empty rooms available, whereas commuting students sometimes are in need for a place to stay for a short periode of time.  The presented platform aims to connect supply and demand in this specific context.

Students discussing their ideas, supported by tools to structure their thoughts.

Students discussing their ideas, supported by tools to structure their thoughts.

Design thinker Geert Tewissen, exchanging ideas with students

Design thinker Geert Tewissen, exchanging ideas with students

Hard work? Energy needed....

Hard work? Energy needed….

1 team - 1 zone

1 team – 1 zone

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About Mieke Jans

Mieke Jans obtained a PhD in the domain of Accounting Information Systems at Hasselt University. Her PhD topic on process mining for forensic purposes led her to a carreer start in consulting at Deloitte Belgium. As part of the data analytics team, she worked on very diverse topics, ranging from predictive asset management to supporting IT audits. The common denominator of all projects was business analytics. In September 2014, Mieke returned to the academic world, pursuing the research that interests her most: how to turn process analytics techniques into workable support for financial auditors?

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