November 14, 2012, HOPE (Holland Program for Entrepreneurship) organized the "Get in the Ring" event in the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam.
Previously 8 startups were selected in 16 countries all over the world and during the event they pitched to international investors for an investment up to €1,000,000.
The final was hosted by James Digby.
Keynote Speaker: Jonathan Ortmans (President of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, senior fellow Kauffman Foundation),
The Champions (jury) were: Frank Peters (USA), Melih Odemis (Turkey), Michael Friebe (Germany), Michiel Muller (Netherlands).
The finalist were:
Whatchado, Austria; Storytelling throug film and digital media. Mainly aimed at employer branding. In 10 months 5 mil cust
Graduateland, Denmark; Free career portal for universities.
CrystAI-N, Germany; Developing and producing single-crystalline aluminium nitride (AIN) for high-performance electronics devices.
Holland Haptics, The Netherlands; Make touch available over the Internet. Devices in shops in May.
Cookisto, Greece; Online community to find great food prepared by local cooks near you.
Risparmio Super, Italy; Compares grocery and electronic store prices and tells you where to shop.
Zentrick, Belgium; Interactive video development and distribution cloud platform. 9 people ion company.
Innovader, The Netherlands; App that takes photos and videos from event participants and uploaded to cloud for publication.
The setup was Battles, so one against one. 5 times 30 sec rounds per finalist AND in a boxing ring!
Visual presentations of Whatchado was really cool, they entered the ring as real Boksers.
Winner: Graduateland; would not be my pick. I'm sure storytelling is the future.
Holland Haptics, The Netherlands (tune: I want to hold your hand from the Beatles).
Winner: CrystAI-N despite it is a very technical subject. I guess the risks of Haptics are to high as they did not yet do user testing.
Risparmio Super, Italy
Strangely enough they were more or less similar to some startups that presented during the Accenture Innovation Awards
Cookisto was simply the Greece version of thuisafgehaald and Risparmio was more or less the on-line version of boodschapp.
Winner: Risparmio Super; also my pick.
Innovader, The Netherlands
Zentrick entered with a tune from Daft Punk (Harder, better, faster, stronger). My first reaction was that it is exactly the same as Blue Billywig (which is a KPN partner) and also one of the VIPs made this suggestion (whom I spoke later on to understand his bussines and they were also running a Video platform company). They already several corporates as customers (like Unilever) and they are also talking with Google and Twitter for reselling.
Innovader: Vincent Evers entered the ring in a white suit and with a bride to explain the events they want to support with their solution. I think Facebook is already the competition; they could better build upon that.
My choice would be Zentrick
Winner: Zentrick because of the B2B model.
After these battles the public could vote on the jury selected.
Quottes from the keynote by Jonathan Ortmans:
All new nett jobs come from <5y old companies
Science of startups is being investigated:
1) It is about teams, because it is a social experience.
2) Networks; become exponential important.
3) Iteration and collecting data from customers. Work on the formula until it is exactly right.
Average age of US born entrepreneurs: 39
Entrepreneurs create VC and not the other way around!
Revenue is the new Venture Capital
Most companies use the Bootstrapping method in stead of the get the capital. And those bootstrapped companies are more successful.
Winner social Media award: Avidas (came a bit out of the blue, without introduction)
Winner Get in the Ring 2012: Risparmio Super, Italy (she received a real boxing belt)