We live in a capitalist society where money is the driving force that powers social developments and where entrepreneurship plays a vital role. It is at the origin of new products or of improvements to existing services, new production processes, it develops new markets, new resources and new enterprises, to generate a profit, but also to benefit society. That's why each year, the best and most innovative European entrepreneurs are rewarded in various events to celebrate their growing leadership in today's Europe economy.
The latest edition of Europioneers, rewarding the innovations of European web entrepreneurs, took place on November 12, 2015, in Helsinki, Finland. Organized by the European Commission, Deloitte, an international business consulting firm, the European Young Innovators Forum and LEWIS PR, the 2015 Web Entrepreneur of the Year Awards of Europioneer, following the Startup Europe initiative, has rewarded the competing entrepreneurs, elected by a combined public and jury voting, in three distinct categories:
The best web entrepreneurs compete in this category which rewards the creation of new digital products and services using the web and mobile technologies as indispensable elements of their innovations. The best web entrepreneurs compete in this category which rewards the creation of new digital products and services using the web and mobile technologies as indispensable elements of their innovations. Estonian Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann who were presenting TransferWise, a secure intermediary bank-to-bank money transfer web platform, won the competition in 2015. Launched in January 2011, the UK-based peer-to-peer money transfer service, with headquarters in London and offices in Tallin, New-York and Singapore, had seen a total of $3 billion transferred on its platform in more than 300 currencies at the time the competition was held. TransferWise offers a cheap international money transfer service for a small commission by taking advantage of the status of being a bank intermediary and of the exchange rates inherent to this strategic position, unlike traditional services that sell and buy exchange rates and whose brokers take the differences between proportions.
Always in the same vein, and is its names suggests, the Young European Web Entrepreneur of the Year rewards innovative entrepreneurs under 30 years of age. Italian entrepreneur Domenico Colucci was rewarded in 2015 with Nextome, an Indoor Location-Based Service. The startup's mission is to develop a localisation system for indoors infrastructures, grappling with the problems posed by the various indoor environments it services such as ceiling heights, multiple floors, inter-device interferences, and so on. Nextome brings revolutionary solutions making it possible to map partnering infrastructures, receive, categorise and analyse signals and geolocate compatible devices and identify the user's position in the room with a 1.50 metres accuracy. The company's ambition is to provide indoor geolocation to guide the billions of people transiting through the world's airports, train and metro stations, and shopping centres each year.
Women are also honored by the competition with the Female Web Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This category where at least 50% of the running companies' founders must be women to compete, rewarded Danish-born entrepreneur Ida Tin and her German-based startup Clue. The company based in Berlin is on a mission to help men and woman all around the world to benefit from comprehensive and educational insights into female health. Transforming complex data algorithms and scientific research into a user-friendly application compatible with Apple IOS and Android devices. Clue users benefit from a menstrual cycle tracking system that helps them and their partners to monitor menstruation, fertility and other critical criteria of a woman's life. The application enables women around the world to have a better understanding of their cycle and to easily communicate on the subject with their loved ones.
We regret to see that the Europioneer competition has not been held since its last edition of 2015. However, the European Union and its initiative Startup Europe is still very active and will hold its award ceremonies of the Startup Europe 2018 Awards at the end of Q4 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Startup Europe is a European Union initiative aimed at bringing together startups, entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, corporate networks, universities and media into an interconnected network of ecosystems conducive to the development of startups in Europe, to improve their ability to compete and invest with players in other international markets such as the Silicon Valley and India. It is in such spirit that the StartUp Europe Awards (SEUA) are held, thanks to the Finnova Foundation in partnership with the European Commission and supported by many European institutions and representatives. The SEUA rewards the efforts of European startups in no less than 18 categories covering various sectors of economic activity such as agriculture, health, media, gastronomy, finance, space programs and many more.
The Green category aims at rewarding startups offering the best innovating products, services or methods providing solutions to today's environmental issues such as, amongst others, resource efficiency, low carbon economy, renewable energy, and so on.
In this category, entrepreneurs are rewarded for the innovative solutions they bring to the intelligent management of European cities regarding energy efficiency, waste management, mobility, water distribution, etc.
The creative category of the SEUA rewards the best startups in the artistic creation fields of audio-visual, architecture, visual arts, design, fashion and music, where only the projects having the potential to reach a European or even global audience are rewarded.
Here, projects proposing the best solutions to tackle tomorrow's European energy consumption challenges. Energy efficiency, renewable energies and technology transition solutions are the keywords of the competition's category.
This category rewards innovative ideas in the areas of education, childcare, health care, training, acting, social rehabilitation and job search.
The startups rewarded by the internet of things (IoT) category are those proposing innovations to improve the competitivity of Europe in the field of the increasing digitization of our society and its economy.
The tourism category of the competition is awarded to startups who offer projects dedicated to the development of European tourism through the creation of products, services or methods adapted to the sector.
Water is the competition category that rewards startups who aim to develop sustainable solutions to improve our relationship with this invaluable resource.
The startups showcasing the most advanced products, services and digital products in the field of healthcare connected to new technologies will be rewarded by the eHEALTH category.
Fintech is probably one of the hottest industry today, and with the ever-growing expansion of new mobile technologies and web services, it is sure not to slow down any time soon. The Fintech category of the competition will reward the startups contributing to the industry's success.
The best media partner is precisely about what the name of the category suggests. Startups have to rely on media to gain attention from investors, partners and customers and the SEUA will reward the best at that.
This award recognizes the efforts of the administrations of any European city or region put in the promotions and assistance to entrepreneurship.
This category recognizes the efforts startups put in the field of agriculture, and the innovations brought to our relationship with food and our processes of food production.
Cybersecurity is at the heart of any self-respecting businesses today. The SEUA rewards any startup that helps to make our connections to the internet safer and our transactions online secure.
We live in a world where technological advances are such that they do not fall into current legislation. The SEUA rewards all startups that offer practical solutions so that new technologies enter a legal context on the international scene. Quick example here are the fully licensed betting sites, which are regulated by the gambling commissions.
Europe is one of the major players in space conquest, and the SEUA is rewarding all the innovations that help develop the European space program and continue to put us on the leading edge of the aeronautical scene.
The EDTECH category is awarded to startups who bring, with their products, services and methods, new education platforms and professional training.
This category recognizes startups that offer sustainable solutions to the problems posed by current climatology. Innovations in the fields of clean energy, wastewater recycling and alternative energy are rewarded here.
Fashion has always shaped society and SEUA is rewarding innovative ideas that help us better understand trends and improve production and distribution methods.
Last but not least, the SEUA gastronomy award category recognizes startups that reinvent the methods of food production and distribution that come to our plate every day and bring sustainable solutions to the challenges that European and global nutrition represent.
Many other institutions reward entrepreneurship nationally and internationally. Entrepreneurs, whether we like it or not, those who shape our society and as we approach the third decade of our millennium, startups are more than ever at the forefront of what the future holds for us.
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