As this year’s Young Entrepreneurs Programme (RG YEP) final pitch event took place virtually, making it our first ever large scale event to be successfully delivered digitally, we hope that technology and entrepreneurship will come out this pandemic crisis as winners and convert it into an opportunity for resourceful and agile solutions.
With over 850 young people engaged in the 3 stages of the programme in a number of different cities across the UK, Greece, Cyprus and the Netherlands, we feel proud for the impact Reload Greece has created for a 4th consecutive year we are running this international pre-accelerator.
At the first, IGNITE stage, between October to December 2019 we heard 173 business ideas and finally enabled the development of 65 business ideas at our physical workshops. Then we selected the 12 strongest teams to receive 7 weeks of intensive 1:1 mentoring and a series of masterclasses on growth hacking, intellectual property & patenting and pitching at the ACCELERATE stage. Reload Greece’s committed pool of inspiring mentors and domain experts played a game changing role in supporting the talented teams to grow their early stage ventures.
Cohort and winners!
This year’s finalists were a very advanced and passionate group of aspiring entrepreneurs, originating from 11 different countries and with diverse backgrounds, from Masters Students to Ph.D. Researchers, Young Professionals and MBA students. The finalists came from the Healthtech, TravelTech, Consumer Goods, Sports, CleanTech, Social Care and AgriFood sectors and with a diversified set of experiences and walks of life.
All teams showed great progress and commitment, delivering high quality pitches and answering precisely to the demanding judges’ questions. The judges panel for the final PITCH event consisted of Anthony Barzokas, Board Member at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Associate Professor at the University of Athens & Senior Visiting Fellow at LSE; Denise Xifara, Co-founder and Investor at GMG Ventures and Angelos Benos, Partner at PwC Greece and their criteria including the scalability of the business model, customer acquisition strategy, competitive advantage, financials and the connection to Greece element. After careful consideration and deliberation, the judges chose the final award winning business ideas:
Rising Star Award Winner
Nanoshield, creates a dragonfly-inspired material that protects surfaces and medical devices from resistant bacteria. The startup team, who joined the programme through Imperial College London, won a place on RG Challenge20, Reload Greece’s intensive 10-day accelerator programme, which supports startups to become investment ready and consulting services by PwC. After winning the award, their Founder Estelle Botbol said: “As a scientist, the mentoring I received on RG YEP was invaluable in helping me to establish a strong business plan, financial model and exit strategy. With strong mentoring, Nanoshield went from a simple idea to a promising biotechnology company.”
Innovation Award Winner
GlucoLive is developing a non-invasive detection of diabetes type 2 through a digital device within a toilet which informs when glucose is detected. The team of MBA students and NHS doctors, joined the programme through Warwick Business School and won an innovation tour in Geneva and a retreat experience in Crete/ Athens by Travel Panda Agency. Dr. Adam Pilarski, Co-Founder of GlucoLive, said: “We all found RG YEP tremendously useful. We’ve been able to take what was just the spark of an idea from the initial workshop, and turn it into a fully-fledged business plan. Our mentor was instrumental in challenging us on aspects of our business model and how the idea would work in practice. We’re all really excited to be taking the business plan to the next stage.”
Social and Environmental Impact Award Winner
Solex is developing the next generation intelligent monitoring platform for the early detection of faults in Photovoltaic (PV) systems. The team has already filed for a US patent and the technology offers low cost, seamless and continuous monitoring maximising energy output and minimising electricity cost. Solex joined the programme through the University of Cyprus and the local partnership with Cyprus Seeds. The award entails a set of brand foundation sessions by Joe Future, a global strategic studio based in London. After winning the award, their Co-Founder Prof. George E. Georghiou, said “We acquired useful advice through the RG YEP mentoring and masterclasses about intellectual property, growth hacking and pitching. Winning the Social Impact Award will help us develop our branding and it was fantastic to gain exposure to potential investors.”
We are thankful to our community for embracing the digital pitch event so warmly and sharing so much positive comments with us and their network post-event!
- If you have an early stage startup and look to fast track your business and raise investment, the application deadline to RG Challenge20, Reload Greece’s 10-day London-based accelerator programme, has been extended until September– learn more and fill-out your application HERE!
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Until next time take care, stay safe and keep your creativity levels up!