What InCube is About

The world faces many complex problems that heavily impact the way individuals, companies and institutions interact. Entrepreneurship can help address some of these challenges by driving innovative and unprecedented solutions. Universities are in a unique position to inspire their students to acknowledge real-world problems with an entrepreneurial perspective. Providing a dynamic environment and cooperating closely with corporate partners are necessary prerequisites to realize this vision.

InCube helps to bridge this gap, by bringing together universities, students and companies in an inspiring environment. Working in a confined place provides a special setting where innovative ideas are proposed, planned and executed by driven students. The complimentary educational journey ensures that students are equipped with the proper methodologies, tools and skills to evolve an abstract idea into a prototype that they can develop further.

InCube 2021 - stay tuned

InCube 2020 - Alpine Edition Challenges

Team Matterhorn
Climate and Development

Finding ways to spur economic growth and alleviate poverty while at the same time improving resilience and adaptation to climate change in developing countries.

Expert : Linn Borgen Nilsen, Senior Scientist, ETH4D

Team Castor
Health and the Elderly

From surviving longer to leading a longer, quality life: Improving the quality of life of healthy elderly people to uphold their autonomy and enable independence.

Expert : Samuel Rom, Executive Board Member at Föderation der Schweizer Psychologinnen und Psychologen (FSP)

Team Dufourspitze
Food System and Sustainability

Leveraging technology to conceptualize a more efficient and sustainable food system.

Experts : Phillipe Schuler, Global Movement Coordinator at TooGoodToGo & Martijn Sonnevelt, Executive Director at ETH World Food System Center

Team Alphubel
Higher Education and Intercultural Dialogue

Using new approaches to improve diversity in higher education by leveraging the power of intercultural dialogue.

Expert : Aditi Kothiyal, Scientist at Computer-Human Interaction Lab for Learning & Instruction EPFL

InCube Alpine Edition Participants

Program InCube Alpine Edition 2020


September 20, 2019

The weekend before InCube all participants are attending the Pre-event called OutCube. Here they learn valuable things for their time in the Cubes and get background information for the Challenges.

InCube Launch

September 26, 2019

The event is launched on Thursday night. The challenges get explained and all key players of the event introduced. The participants learn where they will spend InCube and on what challenge they will be working on. At the end of the night, the Cubees leave to their Cubes.


September 27, 2019

On Friday the teams need to face the public for the first time in order to narrow down the problem and define a customer. They will move to ideating for a solution and finally constructing a prototype to test on Saturday.


September 28, 2019

Saturday starts off by having the teams test their prototypes with the available public again. Based on this they will repeat the process again. The will reiterate on the problem statement and come up with different prototypes.


September 29, 2019

By Sunday the teams have been inside the cube for 72h. Eat, sleep and work at the same place. On Sunday they’ll reevaluate on their previous prototypes and include now the business side as well. They develop a business model for their chosen product and bring it to the next level.

InCube Final

September 30, 2019

On Monday the teams need to pitch their presentation at the final event. They will present at the same time in front of the local juries in Zurich, Boston and Singapore. The prizes will be assigned by the combined voting of all the local juries. All the pitches will be made available on our channels!

Get in touch with us!

Or visit us at the Rocket Hub.

The Rocket Hub is the ETH Entrepreneur Club’s coworking space for early stage startups. It is the heart of the club and always open for entrepreneurial-minded people or those who would like to be. 

Impressions from the 2020 Alpine Edition

Impressions from 2019

In September 2019, InCube took place for the third time with cubes in Singapore and Zürich. Five cubes with different Challenges and 25 eager participants made the third edition of InCube a success.

Imagine living during several days with 4 students in order to tackle a societal challenge? That’s what Incube is about. This student challenge is intense, entrepreneurial and stimulating. But what makes InCube unique is the bond you create with your teammates along the journey. InCube is not a classic business game, it’s above all a human experience!
Tom Winandy
2019 Participant, EPFL student
It was an experience of Challenging the challenges! I learnt that Innovation can be a result of constraints and determination. Working towards one goal of solving social needs with 4 new people and in just 4 days was an unforgettable experience in my life!
Kaushik Selva Danuk
2019 Participant, ETH student



You will be matched with other motivated people and placed in a mountain hut for five days. You will be presented with an industry challenge that you will solve using the skills learned during PrepCube and OutCube to find an innovative, and interdisciplinary solution. At the end of the fifth day, you will present your solution to our Global Jury and the winning team will receive a grand prize to encourage the continued development of their idea.

Yes, transportation within Switzerland is covered for all participants.

The costs of travel to Switzerland are covered for international participants.

The event will start with Outcube on Thursday, 10th September 2020 in the afternoon and will end on with the final event of InCube on Friday, 18th September 2020 in the evening. The event will take place in mountain huts distributed across the beautiful canton of Valais in the Swiss Alps. 

For international participants: Your availability is required for the entire duration of the event as well as from the 9th of September to the 20th of September in the evening to allow time for travel.

Each team will tackle a different and unique challenge. Each hut will provide a solution to a real world problem proposed by our industry partners.

Previous editions of the InCube Challenge took place in glass cubes in various international urban locations. Because we want you to interact with the people passing by. The glass stands also for transparency of new technologies with the public. Your work will hopefully inspire the people or at least ignite some thoughts. Ultimately, you will be showing a live example of how Innovation takes place, in this way helping to fill the gap between technology, advancement and social change!

This year, in light of current COVID-19 situation, InCube 2020 will take place in the great outdoors to both ensure the safety of our participants, and help to inspire sustainable innovation.  

You will have 24/7h access to a kitchen, bedrooms, showers and toilets. We want you to do most of the work inside of the hut and you are also going to sleep there.

The hut will be your office and bedroom for those five days!

PrepCube is an online program which takes place in July and August. It will guide you through multiple online courses in order to provide you with essential entrepreneurial adroitness such as: negotiation skills, creativity, problem solving and decision making, and emotional intelligence. These skills will be handy for both your participation at InCube as well as your future as an entrepreneur.

OutCube is a workshop for team-building, workshops and will provide you with the necessary tools for InCube, your future as an entrepreneur, and international networking.

Our focus is to ensure to create diverse, and interdisciplinary teams. Therefore teams will be assembled based on the decision of the InCube Organizing Committee. It is wise to keep your schedule all free for all nine days of OutCube and InCube! 

Each hut will be the workplace for 5 students (called Cubees). Together with you, there will be two facilitators to give guidance and answer question on the process.

All students (BA, MA, and PhDs) are welcome to apply! If you are eager to experience a new, crazy challenge and have an entrepreneurial and open-minded spirit, then you are exactly who we are looking for!

We just need your time and commitment for all nine days. You should bring your own computer with a charger, as well as enough clothes to last nine days, but please do not bring your whole closet in order to keep the hut tidy. 

It will be an incredible experience with a lot of learning, fun, interesting teammates and opportunities to make contacts with relevant industry partners.

You will have the chance to create your first (or next) start-up concept and potentially see your project come to life with support to follow-up on your idea!

Although we cannot promise that the new unicorns will be created, we will provide you the first fundamental tools to become an entrepreneur!

Of course! You are welcome to join the closing ceremony, more information will follow on this website. We will also be live streaming the event on the ETH Entrepreneur Club Youtube channel.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The results will be revealed in mid-June and you will receive a confirmation email.

Industry and academic experts will be present during InCube to provide insights and support during the challenge. Industry representatives from sponsors may be present at OutCube to provide workshops, depending on their schedule.

The grand prize is designed to incentivize teams to continue the development of their prototypes after the event. During the InCube period, there will be no stipend for prototyping, but sufficient materials will be provided.

Your application is not binding, however once selected you will need to decide relatively quickly if you participate in order to organize your complimentary transportation and to ensure your slot is not given to someone else. In case you are accepted we will give you a few days to sort out logistics (e.g. class conflicts). As soon as you decided, you will be required to sign a document that you will participate. InCube is scheduled for the beginning of the semester for ETH students.

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