Friday November 21 we closed both Global Entrepreneurship Week and our Women in Business week with 3 spectacular final events: the Women in Business Challenge final, the Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen final and the international final of Get in the Ring: the Investment Battle. BiD Network played a major role in all finals, which were held in the beautiful Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam.
Women in Business final
Our 9 Women in Business participants were on a business trip in the Netherlands this last week. The BiD Network team prepared a busy schedule full of B2B meetings, training sessions and networking moments for each of them. During the final event on Friday, the 5 finalists had to pitch their businesses for the jury and audience. The finalists were Yuli Torres from Peru with the business Sumaq Qara, Suzana Moreira from South Africa with her business moWoza, Ana Barrera from Colombia with her business Aflore, Claudia Esparza from Peru with her business Nasas y Amas, and Dora Karani from Burundi presenting her business Garden City.
The final event was opened by Hendrik van Gent, director of BiD Network, followed by a word of welcome from Leon Wijnands, Global Head of Sustainability at ING. The topics women entrepreneurship and financing were further in-depth discussed by Saskia Vossenberg, researcher at the Maastricht School of Management, and Zairah Khan, founder of VIVEinvest. After this it was time for the pitches of the finalists, followed by Q&A sessions with the audience. All 5 finalists gave impressive pitches, on which they had a lot of training and practice in the days before. Finally, it was time to announce the winner: it was a close call between Claudia Esparza (Nanas y Amas) and Suzana Moreira (moWoza), but based on the innovativeness and impact of the business the jury picked Suzana to be the winner of the 5th Women in Business Challenge. Suzana won € 5,000 to grow her businesses.
Huge congratulations to Suzana for winning this year’s Challenge, and to the other finalists and participants for the impressive pitches and hard work and dedication they’ve put into the Women in Business week. We’d like to thank ING for being our partner in this business plan competition for already 5 years. Also thanks to Happy Gift for being our prize partner, the jury, guest speakers, volunteers of the Women in Business week and the team of BiD Network for all the hard work they’ve put into this competition.
Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen final
At the same time as the Women in Business final, the final event of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen took place: the business plan competition for Dutch entrepreneurs with border-crossing business plans in Africa, Asia and/or Latin America. In several battle rounds the finalists competed against each other, hoping to become this year’s winner. After 5 exciting battles it was time for the public voting and a Q&A session with investor and jury member Martijn Blom of De Investeerdersclub. Finally, the winners were announced: congratulations PectCof for winning the jury prize and Coral Gardening for winning the public prize! Besides the pitching battles there was a market place where successful previous participants and finalists of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen showcased their businesses, such as African Clean Energy and Traced Good.
Get in the Ring: the International Final
In the evening it was time for the international final of Get in the Ring: the Olympics for startups and the biggest event of the day. As the regional host of this year’s Get in the Ring Africa, BiD Network was supporting our African Champion Justin Coetzee from South Africa with his business GoMetro. Besides GoMetro, one of our other African finalists was lucky enough to be Get in the Ring’s choice for the wild card in the international final: Mehdi Alaoui from Morocco with his business ScreenDy. In 5 exciting battle rounds that took place in the boxing ring, 10 promising startups from across the globe competed against each other in front of a champion jury and a big audience of investors, hosts and experts. GoMetro did an amazing job in the ring and won the battling round against Dutch startup Snappcar, thereby getting closer to becoming worldwide champion of this year’s Get in the Ring. However, after the public voting and the jury’s consultation it became clear who was going to be the final champion: Indonesian startup eFishery was the big winner of Get in the Ring 2014. Not to worry for BiD Network though, as we did not go home completely empty-handed: we won the Impact Award 2014 of Get in the Ring! We feel very honoured to have hosted this year’s regional final of Get in the Ring Africa and would like to thank the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship for giving us this opportunity and for winning the award, and of course we are very proud of our very own BiD team for making it happen and turning the event into one of the most exciting startup events in Africa this year.