EPFL Changemakers

A programme designed to support smart, driven, and curious students transform their ideas into reality.

Open City Research Platform – EPFL – Alain Herzog

The EPFL Changemakers programme has been built to help ignite a spark – to plant the seed of innovation and help our students drive future change through their ideas.

This 6-month programme is designed to boost the leadership and entrepreneurship skills of students through a series of learning sessions, community exchanges and access to expertise, resources and further tools.

Throughout the programme, our Changemakers will be offered a chance to challenge themselves, be exposed to new ways of thinking, learn from their peers, and be part of a community passionate about shaping the future.

The first edition of the programme will run from October 2020 until February 2021.

The EPFL Changemakers programme includes the following:

Sessions scheduled throughout the semester:

  • An immersion bootcamp to help you understand your purpose, your mission, and your vision
  • Interactive workshops to help you embrace the concepts behind project success – from solving an unmet need to prototyping to systems thinking. We will also have a midterm session to learn and practice how to tell the story of your idea in a way that’s compelling, concise, and influential
  •  A closing ceremony where you will present your project and progress

Community Support:

  • Each Changemaker will have the opportunity to be matched with an EPFL alumni buddy – someone who’s been there before and can offer valuable advice on successfully managing a project
  • If your project needs a specific expertise, you can access the EPFL alumni expert pool
  • For peer-to-peer exchanges, the EPFL Entrepreneurship Club will provide additional connection points and manage the online community sharing
  • Through the Changemakers network, you will make connections with your peers and potential partners

Resources and tools:

  • Access to the tools at the DLL Centre for prototyping
  •  Funding opportunities dedicated for prototyping and user testing (eligibility on a case-by-case basis)
  • Further opportunities will be announced soon

EPFL Changemakers are smart, driven, and curious. We want to harness your energy, help you strengthen you skills and empower you to grow your promising ideas into something more.

By the end of the 6 months, you will have:

  • a better understanding of where your project may fit into the market
  • developed a journey to move your idea to feasible implementation
  • mastered the skills to tell your story – allowing you to pitch your idea to the outside world

EPFL Changemakers is not another academic programme. There are no credits but lifelong learning. Your progress and success will depend on your own motivation and commitment. We look beyond performance on paper and instead focus on your capacity to bring forward exciting projects.

Applications to this semester cohort are now closed.

Stay tune and sign in to our newsletter to know about the next application period!

  Date Location
Immersion Bootcamp 17.10.2020 tba
Workshop: “Where To Play” 27.10.2020 tba
Workshop: “Prototyping” 10.11.2020 tba
Midterm Pitch 19.11.2020 tba
Workshop: “Systems Thinking” 24.11.2020 tba
Workshop: “Community Wrap” 18.02.2021 tba
Closing Ceremony 22.02.2021 tba

Note that the programme might introduce additional workshops/webinars should there be a significant demand for specific training.

Are you ready to take the next step?
Meet the 2020 Changemakers


What is the application video?

We want to departure from solely paper-based applications to learn a bit more about you. The video should be 1 minute maximum and you should explain: who you are, what your idea is and what your motivation behind your project and beyond for the Changemakers programme is (in other words: what drives you to do this?).

What do I need to enroll?

To be able to participate, you need to be actively enrolled at EPFL during the application process. Please note that if you are finishing your studies midway, the priority might be giving to a student who is enrolled throughout the program. To apply, please follow the instructions stated on the website.

What type of ideas are accepted?

We welcome students with projects that are tech or non tech driven (as long as it’s not purely service-based) as well as profit or not-for-profit. However, please bear in mind that your idea needs to be financially viable in the long term. Please note that the project idea must be consistent with applicable law and ethical values.

How advanced do I need to be with my project?

You can come to us at any stage of development.

We want to join as a team, can we do so?

You can, however note that each team member that wants to take part in the program needs to fill a separate application form including the application video presenting themselves, the project idea and most importantly, your personal motivation. The changemaker status is personal.

I am not sure I am able to join the mandatory sessions, what can I do?

To take most out of the program you need to be present at at least 3 out of 4 compulsory workshops.


Should you have any question, do not hesitate to reach out!

Alessandra Rojas

[email protected]