After a lot of hard work putting their ideas to paper and ironing out the smallest details, seven teams of IE University students gathered to pitch their up-and-coming business ideas at this year’s edition of the annual Business Plan Challenge.
In the event hosted by Isabel Sánchez and IEU Labs, a panel of experts was tasked with evaluating each team’s presentation to determine which groups would walk away with the winning prizes.
While all seven teams impressed the jury with their innovative business solutions to a wide range of today’s challenges, only three could be chosen as the winners. After lengthy deliberation, Joe Haslam—Executive Director of the Owners Scale-up Program and Chairman of Hot Hotels, Íñigo Cavestany—an adjunct professor at IE University and a partner of the IE-born startup Netspot, Cristina Santamaría—entrepreneur and founder of a variety of ventures in the textile industry, and Alejandro Santana—CEO of Perennius, decided to award the investment money prizes to startups SmartenUP, RAIA Group, and Farmer’s Basket.
SmartenUP presented themselves as plastic recycling solution providers, while RAIA Group made their pitch as an online platform for young people to connect to the news. Farmer’s Basket explained how they would revolutionize organic food home-delivery services.
Keep reading to find out more about how all seven teams of up-and-coming visionaries plan on disrupting the business landscape:
Angela Selzer, Elsa Arnaiz and Adriana Rodriguez represented RAIA Group, explaining that they are working to capitalize on think tanks and the online media industry to more effectively engage individuals in world affairs. Targeted at young people, the startup uses social media platforms to engage with readers to make the news more digestible. Along with their team members, they promise to offer a new take on international affairs that focuses on individuals and their subjective decision-making.
Citing that one in five women is a victim of violence, Nieves Delgado, Bubelo Mlilo and Cheyenne Uribe pitched ProHere as a jewelry brand that offers security in a beautiful way. Not only are they creating earrings that can easily contact authorities, they are also diving into this untapped market of combining elegance, security and ease, and building an online community where women can share their stories and support each other. Teresa Artaza rounded out this team that is showing a high ability to scale going forward.
In today’s fast-paced world, many people are struggling to find the time to eat healthily. On behalf of her colleagues, Ana Ibarra pitched Farmer’s Basket as the solution to a problem that affects millions of people throughout Spain. She highlighted that this online startup will allow users to order custom-made, healthy meal options directly to their homes. She even detailed that deliveries will be made on Mondays in order to help customers start the week off healthily. Partnering with Segurfrío, Farmer’s Basket is already on the ball.
As the climate crisis continues to rear its head, Sarah Al Atiyat and Danielle White pitched smartenUP as the solution to the plastic waste problem. They aim to improve efficiency in recycling by diving into the untapped market of upcycling. smartenUP will take care of all the logistics, helping organizations be more environmentally friendly by taking plastics and recycling them so they can be upcycled into new products.
The ecoopera team understands that one of the biggest issues facing Spain today is depopulation in the country’s rural areas. That’s why they’re working with 200 hand-picked farms in Spain to empower farmers to grow sustainable food throughout the country. When you see the ecoopera label in the grocery store, you’ll know that you’re not only choosing high-quality food, but that you’re also helping build a community of farmers to combat Spain’s rural depopulation crisis. Anna Bonfigli, Asmaa ElBaz, Cecilia Lloves, José Angel Porrero, Marina Sánchez, Sakshi Trivedi and Cyrile Vanthournout are bringing a lot to the table, in more ways than one.
As university students themselves, Guia Quagini and Yuniko Van Thillo can relate to the stress students feel when looking for a job that fits into their busy schedules. To fight this problem, they’ve created UNIVU—an app that guides users step by step to help them find what’s next on their professional journeys, whatever it may be. With a wide range of customization options, UNIVU aims to enable future leaders to have the best career. The app itself is free—you only pay once you land your job—and easy to use.
Landon Konzen, Valentina Roca, and their colleagues at LocSki want to make sure you can enjoy your next winter adventure with peace of mind. This startup aspires to partner with ski brands to create a built-in lock that will help prevent skis being stolen. What’s more, Landon and Valentina explained that users will be able to control the locks remotely, in case the skis do go missing. With a go-to-market strategy already in the works, LocSki will first be focusing on the European market before expanding around the world.
By promoting events like the Business Plan Challenge, IEU Labs is proud to provide students with the tools and support they need for success on their entrepreneurial journey. The whole IE University community congratulates all of the participants of the Business Plan Challenge 2020. We can’t wait to see what they achieve next!