E.I.N.S, the E³UDRES² Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network for Smart and Sustainable European Regions, aims to support and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to do business differently by focusing on sustainable and social challenges in society. On December 14, 2022, six student teams from the E.I.N.S. partner universities presented their Start-up to each other and to an international panel of Entrepreneurship & Innovation experts. They successfully shared experiences, learned from each other and received supportive feedback from the expert panel.
The pitching event featured various Start-ups from many European countries and institutions:
Second Time Around
Robbe Verhaege and Simon Claeys explained how they started “Second Time Around”, where they fabricate beautiful and very unique interior and design objects by upcycling old products.
Christoph Dorfmeister & Isabella Haag from St. Pölten UAS told the audience how their recruiting platform “SkillSwap” wants to tackle discrimination in the job search market, and at the same time help HR departments by facilitating the recruiting process.
MAM (Mygar Akvapónia Manufaktúra)
Boglárka Szerb from the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences explained how she will conquer the world with “MAM”, or Hungarian Aquaponic Manufacture, which are aquaponic systems for at home, schools or public spaces.
Students Nistorescu Maria Alexandra, Ambrus Andreea Georgiana, Badea Paul Avram and Boroica Vasile from Politehnica University Timisoara presented their quality technology to grow plants indoor, under the name “ARPA”.
Adriana Isabel Roseta Soares from Politechnic Institute of Setúbal and Maryam Al-Durra from St. Pölten UAS developed “CO-LAB” in the context of the E³UDRES² I Living Labs. It is a digital collaboration platform for students, universities and companies.
Ralfs Rogen and Sintija Kurzemniece from Vidzeme UAS work towards a sustainable future with the startup “Global Green”. Sustainable energy, and more specifically hydrogen, has no more secrets for these students!
All partners within the E.I.N.S. consortium were represented, both among the students that pitched their idea, and in the expert panel. All student teams provided a strong presentation with particularly the branding (company name and logo) on point. The most common feedback from the expert panel was to work on a clear USP. In order to stand out in this global world and also to communicate clearly to customers and partners, a distinctive USP serves as a huge advantage. Some Start-ups have already established collaborations through the E³UDRES²/E.I.N.S. network. For example, Second Time Around, the Start-up based at UC Leuven-Limburg UAS, Belgium, is collaborating with OilRight, a company in Romania that produces candles from waste cooking oil. They got in contact through the E³UDRES² network. CO-LAB is another example with founders from Politechnic Institute of Setúbal, Portugal, St. Pölten UAS, Austria, and UC Leuven-Limburg UAS, Belgium.
This is also a key message for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur or an innovator for a more social and sustainable word: Collaboration is key! That is why this pitching experience was organized as a pure learning experience, and not as a competition with a winner - successful sustainable entrepreneurs are the ones who reach out for partnerships in achieving their goals. Katrien Vandael and Lotte Ovaere, the organizers of the event, are enthusiastic about the exciting ideas and very satisfied with how the event turned out: "To address today's challenges, entrepreneurs need to collaborate and learn from each other. For this reason, we decided to steer away from organizing a competition where teams would need to compete against each other, but instead focused more on sharing and learning from each other."
The team behind the E.I.N.S. Start-up pitching session would like to especially thank Hortense Santos (Politechnic Institute of Setúbal), Arnold Csonka (Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences), Ulrike Wieländer (St. Pölten UAS), Balzhan Orazbayeva (UIIN), Vlad Mihaescu (Politehnica University Timisoara) and Juris Čeičs (Vidzeme UAS) for their constructive feedback and their insightful comments. The students most definitely got a boost for their startups!
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