Entrepreneurship E-Festival: Celebrating innovation virtually

Every year in November, our campuses are buzzing with entrepreneurial excitement. The Entrepreneurship Festival happens simultaneously in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and soon Turin – but 2020 is not a usual year.

When life gives you lemons…

The Entrepreneurship Festival is a one-day event that is co-created by ESCP students, alumni, entrepreneurs and innovation experts. It gathers panels, talks and workshops, which explore different aspects of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation in Europe. This year, we did not only bring it to the virtual world, we also managed to align five festivals into two on 19 November.

Hence, you were cordially invited to the Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Turin Edition of the Entrepreneurship Festival, which was a co-creative efforts by current Option-E students and Blue Factory ESCP, as well as to the London Edition, which was hosted by Prof. Davide Sola and revolved around the theme Developing New Opportunities in the New Normal. Davide’s research and teaching focuses on corporate transformation, applied enterprise economics and scale-up phases of exponential technologies.

Prototype presentations at the Entrepreneurship Festival

In 53 crisp 30 minute sessions, Option-E students from Berlin, Madrid and Paris presented their 23 prototypes to other students and experts. The projects tackled challenges regarding sustainability, circular economy, education, food, health & wellbeing, smart cities & organizations, financial inclusion and gender equality.

In London, 6 student start-up teams showcased their projects in a virtual fair: Bike Around, DARU Cocktail Cubes, Go Guru, SmartSole, Stop scrolling and WHOUT. All teams collected valuable feedback and are now able to further improve their projects.

Inspiring keynotes

Later in the evening, the Entrepreneurship Festival audience joined engaging conversations with entrepreneurs from the European startup ecosystem. The London Edition invited Guido Meardi, who is co-founder and CEO of V-Nova, a leading company in data compression and Artificial Intelligence. Guido is a keen innovator, entrepreneur and investor, with relevant business building experience and half a dozen exits. He contributed to the foundational development work for the V-Nova Intellectual Property portfolio. He is the joint inventor of several essential aspects of coding standards, with over 200 patents filed.

In the Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Turin Edition, Riccardo de Bernardinis joined as speaker. He is CEO and founder at Ernesto, a web platform for home services. Riccardo especially pointed the audience to the importance of SEO and self-education for everybody who strives to be an entrepreneur. Afterwards, Edouard Caraco, CEO and co-founder at The Bradery, talked about his journey as an entrepreneur. He embodied amazing resilience and shared how the long friendship with his co-founder Tim makes their story special.

Award ceremonies

For the most celebratory part of the evening, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Turin enjoyed an inspirational talk by ESCP Executive Master in Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership Alumnus Oliver T. Neumann, who is founder and managing director of cargo.one. Afterwards, the five best teams from this year’s Blue Factory START Programme pitched their business ideas. In front of over 100 Entrepreneurship Festival participants including ESCP Alumni, experts and students, they competed for the Alumni Start-up Award. The teams of Quiet, Clap, EduEnhancement, NutriHUNT and Swag were competing for the prize money of €5,000.

At the end of the night, Quiet was announced as the winner, the second place was earned by Clap, EduEnhancement came out third. We congratulate the winners, as well as all start-ups who competed for our awards. Moreover, a big shout-out to all teams who presented their projects during the day. We also thank all alumni, experts, ESCP students and other participants for their inspiring feedback. Until next year!