The two-day JA Europe Enterprise Challenge 2017 culminated on Thursday night in Helsinki in the awarding of the best JA Start Up companies. An international jury followed 19 startup companies from 15 different European countries.
The participants of the European final competition have founded and operated their own companies as a part of the yearlong JA Start Up learning program (NY Start Up in Finland). Every year, over 14 000 college students participate in the competition. In Finland, the JA Start Up program is in use in five universities and 13 universities of applied sciences.
The business ideas of the companies from Europe told a story of bold visions, open-mindedness, and values of sustainable development. Finland was represented by a team from Turku selling insects as food, Entis.
The best JA Start Up company in Europe was INTACT™ from Malta. The business idea of the company, founded in October, is to help motorcyclists in dire emergencies. Their INTACT ™ system connects a sensor attached to the helmet of the motorcyclist to a mobile phone application. In the event of an accident the system calls the relatives of the motorcyclist and tells them the location of the accident.
“Winning the award is overwhelming, it happens once in a lifetime. From the beginning we wanted to have a positive impact on society and our focus was to improve safety for motorcyclists on the road. Participating in the JA Startup programme was a practical experience of our studies in entrepreneurship. We learned team work, how the real business works and how to present our company. We’re going to keep on working on our system for further success”, said INTACT member Katryna Briffa.
The jury praised the multicultural and multilateral team of founders of the company. The entrepreneurs had understood branding and marketing well and set goals for their company.
In second place, the jury raised Agrimare Bio SB, which makes use of natural resources in oceans. It strives to bring additional value to its customers in the agriculture sector through sustainable development.
In third place came App’Ero from France. These college students have developed a smart phone application that can be used to make an order at a bar or restaurant which can then be picked up from the counter without needing to wait.
“It was extraordinary to see so many talented young people. I’m so grateful to JA Europe and JA Finland for inviting me as a keynote speaker and jury member in this competition. These companies not only know how to run a business, but they also want to make money, help a lot of people, and most importantly have a lot of fun”, said jury member David Meltzer, CEO & Co-Founder of Sports 1 Marketing.
The event was organized by Junior Achievement Finland, anon-profit organization, and its umbrella organization JA Europe. JA Europe is Europe’s largest network offering learning programs to improve young people’s entrepreneurship, working life skills and financial literacy. The network reaches over 3,2 million young people in 39 countries.
JA Europe Enterprise Challenge Winners
European Signature Awards
NN Social Innovation Award
Winner: LIGHT, Spain
Visa Award for Connected Commerce
Winner: City Check, Portugal
Local Signature Awards
Roschier Client in Focus Award
Winner: INTACT, Malta
Microsoft Innovation in Technology Award
Winner: IOBee, Belgium
Nordea Sustainability Award
Winner: LEGIOAGRO, Spain
Alumni Leadership Award
(awarded to individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership skills which impact their team and the JA Startup)
• Iida Hokkanen, Finland
• Lucas Arndt, Luxembourg
• Wissem Chouk, France
• Henrik Krogh, Denmark
• Elfrid Skjedal, Norway