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The four young businesses that will compete for a top prize of €20,000 Euro (US $22,600) in the national final of the Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands awards have been announced.

This year's four finalists were selected from an entry of 13 companies by an expert panel of judges who assessed the entrepreneurs on their innovation, business acumen and growth potential. The final four include: an innovative ankle band for sportspeople; shared gaming for young patients in isolation wards; robot carers to enable elderly people to live independently; and, a business that uses space technology to draw CO2 out of the air.

The top Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands Award is presented each year to the finalist who convinces the panel of judges that they are the most innovative and entrepreneurial. There is also a prize of €5,000 Euro (US $5,600) awarded to the business who tops a public vote.

The four finalist businesses are:

Marcel Fleuren
EXO-L from Delft

A revolutionary ankle band for sportspeople that prevents ankle injuries, without restricting the athlete's freedom of movement.

Job Jansweijer
KonneKt from Delft

A creative shapes game that enables young patients, who are being nursed in isolation, to play games with each other.

Maja Rudinac
Robot Care Systems from The Hague

Robot LEA (Lean Elderly Assistant) helps elderly people to continue living independently in their own homes, by providing support with everyday tasks.

Alexander Gunkel
Skytree from Amsterdam

Adding space technology to appliances here on earth, Skytree aims to reduce the greenhouse effect by drawing CO2 out of the air.

The four finalists were selected by a panel of business experts at a special judging day at Shell’s offices in Rijswijk. The judges included: Arjanneke Teeuw from Healthy People, who chaired the judges; Yousef Yousef from LG Sonic and national winner of the Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands Award in 2014; Maurice Benning from Shell; and, Fons Schootstra from the Chamber of Commerce.

Arjanneke Teeuw explained why each finalist had won a place in the final:

“Skytree is a superb initiative, showing how to apply space technology to tackle social challenges.”

“KonneKt shows that you can do business very successfully using your heart.”

“EXO-L impressed the judges with their business plan and their innovative capability.”

“Robot Care Systems provides a perfect example of how to use technology to solve a significant social problem.”

Delighted by his success in reaching the national final, Alexander Gunkel from Skytree said, “We will be the first company to turn the worldwide storage of CO2 into a commercial product. We are delighted that we're through to the national final.”

Marcel Fleuren, from EXO-L, said, “We have worked extremely hard for this and are very happy that our efforts are being rewarded. We fit in between all these cool companies. LiveWIRE now provides us with support in increasing our international exposure and generating attention.”

Maja Rudinac, from Robot Care Systems, said, ”We are happy that our product is receiving the attention it deserves, and that people are recognising how important it is for elderly people to receive the care they deserve.”

Job Jansweijer, from KonneKt, said, “I am very pleasantly surprised, I hadn't expected this. I hope that through LiveWIRE I can make KonneKt available to even more children.”

Commenting on the standard of all the finalists, Wouter Weyers, Chamber of Commerce LiveWIRE Programme Manager, said, “Today there were 13 entrepreneurs with significant innovative capacities together on the stage. It's wonderful to see how ambitious and innovative young entrepreneurs are.

“In the areas of welfare and well-being, strong innovative entrepreneurs are of benefit to us all. LiveWIRE supports them with advice, online tools and the expertise the Chamber of Commerce has at its disposal. In this way, we are able to help fantastic entrepreneurs progress further. On a day like today, we are especially proud, and we offer our heartfelt congratulations to the four finalists.”

Celina Wang, Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands Programme Manager, said, “Today we witnessed once again that innovation is a broad concept that not only applies to products and services, but also to your own business.

“These ambitious entrepreneurs contribute to the Dutch economy and LiveWIRE facilitates fast growth. A connection to the extensive networks of Shell and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as the international LiveWIRE programme, places you on firmer ground as an entrepreneur.”

The national final will be held on the 3rd of December. People can vote online for the public prize from November 5 via www.livewire.nl/getwired.

 


 

Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands announces its four national finalists
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