On 21st September the Grand Finale of the 2nd Edition of Erasmus University Challenge took place at the Excelsior Stadium and it was bigger than ever. Adding to the existing categories of Ideation and Prototyping was a new Start Up Category, for more established ventures. This year’s competition saw a record number of 74 teams participating, bringing a focus on logistics, energy transition and making societal impact.
Recyclable running shoes and hydroponic farming solution
Team ReRun were announced as winners of the Ideation category, with their idea of recyclable running shoes. Habbi won the Prototype award with their hydroponic farming solution for a more sustainable planet. For the first time the Start-Up award was won by Playfool for their creative app solution to reduce cravings such as smoking. As Ed Brinksma, President of the university's Executive Board, said “The finale was a great showcase of our vibrant student entrepreneurial community. All of the 15 finalists presented innovative forward-thinking ideas and I am looking forward seeing the impact they make.”
The future of innovation
Member of the jury, Saskia Mureau, Director Customer Digital with Port of Rotterdam shared her thoughts on the huge task faced by the finalists “What an amazing thing to be part of, I can't believe how well all the finalists did with their pitches, it was very cool way to see the future of entrepreneurship”. Saskia joined in the student fun, awarding a year of free beer, coffee or tea to Nacalu Crafts. Other winners included The Audience Award of €1000, voted for live and won by Accuselect, which offers an end-to-end service for home batteries. The category winners were awarded cash- Ideation won €3000, Prototype €4000 and Startup €5000.
For everyone involved, the finale was a chance to see the huge progress made by the teams since the program began in April. “I was really impressed by all the participants and seeing the teams grow and improve together throughout the process has been a highlight” observed Han Go, Director & Co-Owner of Go-Tan “What an impressive challenge to be part of!” with Marie- Jose, owner of BREYTMANS BV saying “As a jury member it is nice to see how hard all the teams involved have worked, and I was really glad to be part of celebrating their achievements. All of the participants should be very proud of themselves.”
The 2023 Erasmus University Challenge has been a huge success. For the winners, they have the chance to make international impact at Berlin’s Stage TWO competition. This year with double the participants and double the entrepreneurial fun of the 1st edition, it has been a clear demonstration of how bright the future of innovation is.