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Semi-finalists

Global Entrepreneurship Summit comes to the Netherlands in 2019

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In the first week of June 2019 the Netherlands will be buzzing with excitement as it is transformed into a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Together with the United States of America, our country will be organising the ninth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) on 4 and 5 June. At the GES, around 2.000 entrepreneurs, investors and other participants from all over the world will come together at the World Forum in the Hague. The summit aims to promote international entrepreneurship and recognise entrepreneurship’s influence in the development of concrete solutions to global challenges.

GES will be a one-of-a-kind experience, energised by a festive atmosphere, with a high-level conference and market place where ideas are transformed into actions. Over the course of two days, participants will follow a unique programme consisting of top keynote speakers, expert panels and matchmaking activities. Investors and innovators will be brought together through different creative environments, spaces and events. They will go beyond just productive discussions and take concrete action towards tackling challenges within five main sectors: food and agriculture, water, energy, health and connectivity. The future of work and access to finance will serve as the two main overarching themes of the summit.

More than an event
GES is more than an event. It is an annual gathering where solutions are discussed, connections are made, and outcomes are achieved. This year GES will develop a creative approach to discussing challenges faced in each of the industry sectors and then showcase solutions.

Fostering entrepreneurship and innovation
The United States and the Netherlands are both recognised globally for their culture of entrepreneurship. GES is one example of the commitment to work with other countries to foster entrepreneurship and innovation while developing concrete solutions to global challenges at the same time. U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will lead the U.S. delegation to the Netherlands for GES. The Netherlands will co-host the conference, with Minister Sigrid Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) having been appointed as the acting chairman for GES 2019.

Activities throughout the Netherlands
Up to 200 Dutch entrepreneurs and investors will participate in the GES. To enable wider participation, events will be organised across the Netherlands before, during and after the summit. In an effort to make the GES a truly inclusive event, those who take part will not be required to pay an attendance fee. € 15 million has been put forward by the Dutch government to cover the costs of organising the summit.

Sign Up
From mid-December 2018 interested entrepreneurs can register online to participate in the GES at www.ges2019.org. Additional criteria for participation, and further details on the selection process, will be updated on the website within the coming month.

Ideas from Europe announces its third Value Track!

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Starting off in Knights’ Hall on April 24 where 12 great entrepreneurs shared their innovative solutions, an on- and offline consultation has been done to see which theme resonates the most with Europe. Also the SME envoys of all 27 EU member states advised on which theme should be facilitated by Ideas from Europe in its further development.

We are very happy to announce that “Renewing Urban Energy and Environments” will be the subject of our third Value Track!

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From Unicorns to Zebras. How can we stimulate sustainable (investment) business models?

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24 april 2018, From Unicorns to Zebras.

Ideas from Europe shows that a growing number of entrepreneurs is working on innovation for a better world. These companies focus not only on profit, but also on societal impact. As one of the Ideas from Europe side-events, the European Commission’s DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and the Impact City of The Hague organised a workshop to explore how to stimulate the growth of business that aim to ‘do business and do good’. In particular, what is the changing role of investors who want to explore a more sustainable and responsible  growth models by building on the approaches already used in the impact investment field, in addition to searching solely for exponential growth companies.

The workshop brought together around 30 participants with very different backgrounds. The speakers were:

The Impact City of The Hague, who introduced their journey in developing an innovation and entrepreneurship programme reflecting their strength as international city of Peace and Justice. This resulted in the emergence of the Impact Economy programme and the ImpactCity community.

Then, ‘Zebras Unite’, a bottom-up global movement identified the emerging needs of businesses pursuing purpose as well as profit (and invited everyone to join zebrasunite.com!).

Finally, NLimpact and Sens Foods described investment challenges and opportunities from an investor and start-up business perspective. As an example of a changing investor perspective NLimpact assesses their investment not only in terms of profit, but also their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Inspired and enthused by the speakers, participants were then invited to work in small groups on what they considered opportunities and challenges for ‘zebras’ (a working name for companies that want to scale and do good) both financially as well as in terms of impact. And what could be done at European level to help this movement.

Some challenges identified were the impact on the balance sheet and where to start looking for (the right type of) funding. Impact investing is an immature market and perhaps too much modelled on mainstream VC practices. A longer term or ‘more patient’ capital is needed. A related challenge is how to put a ‘monetary value’ on ‘values’ that such companies exercise on all levels of their operations – from products or services offered through their value chains to reducing negative spill-overs from their operations. Creating a European corridor for soft landings and easier access to ecosystems when expanding to different countries were mentioned. How can government be acting as the first investor – what is the role for public procurement. The workshop’s outcome will feed into the Commission’s Start-up and Scale-up initiative and continued during the SME Assembly in Austria later this year. Let us know if you are interested!

A way to cure the common cold

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It is still one of the most common diseases in the world; the common cold. We spend nearly five years of our lives coughing and having clogged noses. Most remedies are only mitigating the symptoms of the disease. But Panoxyvir from Italy has found a revolutionary way to really cure the disease.

“Our spray is based on oxy-teroles, molecules produced by our body that have the ability to modify cell membrane composition,” says Lembo. “Their action, in short, is directed toward our cells, which makes it very unlikely to develop cold-strain virus strains that can withstand the drug,” said General Pathologist Guiseppe Poli, managing director of Panoxyvir.

The spray could become the first drug to cure colds and prevent the onset of symptoms and the transmission of the disease. So no more handkerchiefs in your pockets.

Guiseppe Poli will be on stage to explain the workings of Panoxyvir during the semi-finals of Ideas from Europe in Tallinn on November 22.

Faster diagnoses with simplified techniques

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People working at heights need to have perfect balance. To diagnose problems with balance, Ear-Nose-Throat-doctors (ENT-doctors) need to comb through vast amounts of data to come the right conclusion. If it is up to ENTy from Romania, that will change rapidly.

Currently, ENT doctors must use a large diagnosis device that produces mainly visual information. ENTy aims to empower Ear-Nose-Throat-doctors to issue data-based assessments and proposes a radical simplification of the equipment needed to diagnose balance through Ear-Nose-Throat consultations for people working at great heights.

“Our solution consists in a lighter, portable, lower cost device that generates numerical indicators, easy to interpret. It will be developed in collaboration with ENT doctors, allowing fine-tuning and calibration in order to maximize its relevance for present-day medical professionals,” saiys Flavia Oprea, founder of ENTy.

At the semi-finals of Ideas from Europe, she will present ENTy’s new technology and represent Romania on November 22 in Tallinn.

Taking on surplus waste and helping vulnerable groups

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More than 20 percent of harvest every year gets rotten and unused. Millions of tonnes of good food are wasted. Violeta Masteikienė of GMM Projektai has created an easy to use food sharing platform and an innovative line of products that are produced by using harvest surplus and including socially vulnerable groups into the process.

One of the spearhead projects of Violeta and GMM Prjektai was the ‘Friends Jam initiative’. Friends Jam is an organization that connects big families with gardeners or arboretum owners. They all together collect excessive harvest – berries and fruits – either using it for big families needs and saving a family budget for a food either make tasty jams and sell it to make extra money.

These activities not only build new communities, they also save excessive harvest from rotting on the ground and provides some additional skills and knowledge about managing personal finances, family businesses, entrepreneurship. And, of course, together with Friends Jam’s brand-building activities they are raising awareness about food wasting.

 “I feel the responsibility to represent Lithuanian social business in Europe and a great desire. This will require a lot of work, and one field is not a warrior, so the first job is to team up,” Violeta said after she was chosen to represent Lithuania at the semi-finals of Ideas from Europe in Tallinn on November 22. Want to hear more about her platform? Tune in to the live stream on November 22 and listen to Violeta’s ideas to better social business.

Making electric mobility understandable

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Electric mobility is the future. That is why eCars from Bulgaria not only works on making sure the Electronic Vehicles (EV) get the best power units to charge them, eCars also wants everybody to understand the importance of electric mobility.

“We make electric mobility easy to understand, desirable and accessible,” says Mark Marinov of eCars, Mark is keen on green and a tech savvy serial entrepreneur and business developer. ”We have the largest online media for electric mobility in Bulgaria, were we produce our own TV-series and manage an EV charging mapping network across the country.”

eCars also created a workshop for students to get more involved with electric mobility. The goal of the Electric Mobility for Isperih – project is to inform them about the news transportation technologies, how electric vehicles help save the environment, cultural heritage and people’s health in the community.

Mark will tell all about eCars and the projects they have done to promote electric mobility during the semi-finals of Ideas from Europe in Tallinn on November 22. He will be the representative for Bulgaria. If you want to watch his talk and that of the other speakers, be sure to tune in to the live stream on November 22.

Warm and fresh air with solar energy

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Air is one of the most important components of our health, and it has to be of high quality. Since people spend 70% of their time indoors, indoor climate and fresh air inside are one of the main factors of a building. SolNavitas from Estonia has the solution to provide fresh air indoors, using renewable energy.

They have created a smart ventilation system that offers a better interior climate for the house at no additional cost. This is an autonomous supplemental heating and ventilation unit that operates with a solar exterior. It absorbs solar thermal energy through sheet metal and uses sunlight to produce electricity that powers ventilator fans and the remote control. In sunny weather, the panel absorbs the sun’s thermal radiation and starts to supply heated and filtered outdoor air into the building through a built-in 12 V ventilator fan.

“We can make our customers happy, preserve the environment and change the way the society thinks. We are also raising awareness among people about green energy,” says Margus Kullerkup of SolNavitas.

He will represent SolNavitas and Estonia during the semi-finals of Ideas from Europe in Tallinn on November 22. Watch his pitch and those of the other candidates via our live stream.

Using stem cells from plants to create ingredients

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Plants are a vital resource. They are used for food, industrial and medicinal purposes. However, despite their importance and wide applications, access to many of them is still limited. Alternative Plants from Latvia develops plant stem cell cultures for sustainable production of botanical ingredients.

Plant stem cell technology makes inaccessible ingredients from rare medicinal plants accessible. It powers Alternative Plants to turn inconsistency into invariable quality, excluding seasonality risks, and it all without harming nature. “Our technology is easy to scale and highly sustainable – we do not exploit land and there is minimal use of energy and water,” says Anna Ramata-Stunda, co-founder and CEO of Alternative Plants.

“With the botanical ingredients that we produce, we are first targeting cosmetic active ingredients market. Our ingredients undergo scrupulous chemical and biological characterisation, which allows us to provide our clients not only new rock star ingredients, but also regulations compatible ready-to-use efficacy data.”

Anna and Alternative Plants were chosen by the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia in cooperation with the Latvian investment and development agency to be their candidate for the semi-finals of Ideas from Europe in Tallin on November 22. Watch their pitch live via the live stream.

QTrobot helps children with Autism

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Autism affects 1 in every 68 children, and millions of their families with huge social and economic burdens. Often, children with Autism have high interest in technology. Dr. Aida Nazarikhorram, Medical doctor and co-founder of LuxAI has found an innovative way to help families and children with Autism. With QTrobot, an interactive humanoid robot.

QTrobot is an exceptional therapeutic aid that benefits children with Autism. It is an engaging and interactive humanoid robot, which can attract the children’s attention to teach them new life skills. The QTrobot can take different roles, depending on the needs of children, their therapists and the content of the lessons. It can be an educational tool or actively play a role of a tutor or an educational play partner.

The cute robot has an expressive face, capable of showing various facial expressions and emotions, and that versatile face facilitates the process of teaching emotions to children with autism. Having a humanoid body enables QTrobot not only to teach facial expressions and emotions, but also to teach body language to children with autism.

Dr. Aida Nazarikhorram and QTrobot will represent Luxemburg during the semi-finals of Ideas from Europe in Tallinn and tell their story on stage. Want to see QTrobot’s story and all the other innovative solutions that will take on global challenges? Watch the live stream on November 22.