Women startup competition winners are breaking the taboos

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Out of the best teams, who got through the seven semi-finals in the past six month: Polish, British and German teams landed on the first 3 places. Breaking the taboos with the newest pelvic floor muscle trainer, innovation in food waste management, a revolutionary toilet paper for environment conscious people, a new digital platform for fashion designers and optimal solution for heat energy storage are only few groundbreaking ideas from Women Startup Competition Europe 2017.

The event hosted female led startups from all around the world the fourth time this year. The main goal of the competition is to highlight the importance of creating gender diverse work environments in the startup sector on both leadership and executive levels and to provide young companies with the unique opportunity of presenting their business ideas in front of potential investors.

Despite the name, the competition is not only open for women, but to all companies who’s founders made of female members primarily or at least 50%. The organizers would like to encourage new company owners to keep gender diversity in mind when hiring workforce or choosing business partners. It is safe to say, that only the experience itself can be motivating, for the participants regardless of the rewards and it can also help to fine tune some of the most vital ideas.

In prior of the competition final, the teams participated in a five days long Bootcamp, where they received personalized mentoring from internationally acknowledged business entrepreneurs, focusing on optimizing, overthinking and fine tuning their current business plan and company introductions, so called the “elevator pitch”. In form of team lectures, the teams received tuitions in various subjects, such as product concept development, market strategy, financial practices, investment law, communication, body language and branding. The team was selected by Gabor Dehelán, lead mentor were Sindy Foster, Managing Director at NY-LON Marketing Ltd and founder at My Small Space Ltd; Kurucz Andrea, innovator, branding and marketing specialist; Szántó Péter – serial entrepreneur, TEdx speaker, lean startup specialist; and Alexandra Isenegger, CEO at Linkilaw, innovator and problem solver.

After the 2 minutes presentations, each team received questions from the jury regarding the viability of their ideas. Presentations had been viewed as both business and personal concepts where the team dynamics can be just as important as their business potential. Among the prestigious jury sat Dr Lajos Reich from Quantum Leap Incubatorl; Bory Főzy, representing HiVentures; Paul Dowling, founder of Dreamstake Ventures; and last, but not least Bo Ji, chief representative of CKGSB Europe.

The first 3 teams presented the following ideas to the jury:

1. PELVIFLY (POLAND) is an e-health pelvic floor muscles training equipment, with the use of a wireless intravaginal probe cooperating with the mobile application. The concept is supplemented by a remote, daily feedback provided by physiotherapist based on data transmitted from the device via the smartphone to a computer database. https://pelvifly.com/en

“During the training we were able to review all aspects of our business model and redefine some of the current activities. We participated in open and inspiring discussions with other founders and had the opportunity to exchange knowledge, share our passion, make new friends and even to start some collaboration. It was a huge energy boost that will allow us to work hard to help women around the world to exercises pelvic floor muscles safely, effectively and privately at home.” – Urszula Anna Wójtowicz, one of the CEO’s of Pelvifly

Check out our Interview with the winners, Urszula and Gabriel: http://bit.ly/Pelvifly_interview

2. FOPO (GERMANY) gives new life to expiring fruits and vegetables from groceries by drying & powdering them, preventing food waist. Currently available in 7 different flavours with world-wide shipping. The team organized feeding day in the Philippines where they provided drinks and snacks made with FoPo to almost 400 children affected by typhoon. FoPo is currently developing pilot production in Kenya, working closely with almost 500 smallholder farmers, sourcing “2nd class” not perfect looking, but perfectly delicious products. Together with their local partner, Miyonga, farmers are being trained for fair agricultural practices. Each pack of FoPo prevents 265 g of CO2 to be produced and saves about 20 liter of water. https://www.myfopo.com

„WSC was an unforgettable experience for me. I left with a feeling that we created a really special community of super women, who are very professional and focused on their goals but who are also caring and supportive to each other.”- Adriana Bałazy, Co-founder, FoPo

3. TWIPES (UNITED KINGDOM) are anti-bacterial, eco-friendly toilet wipes that are fully waterdispersible. Since they are alcohol and paraben free, they don’t dry out and most importantly, each Twipe is 100% dispersible in water within 3 hours, unlike traditional “flushable” branded wipes, that can take up to 3 months or even years.
“It was great to meet so many new women doing such exciting things, I learnt a lot about myself during the 5 days and grew as a person during that time.” – Elle McIntosh, Co-Founder and Director of Operations at Twipes.

The Chinese Surcharge went to HEATVENTORS (HUNGARY) whom introduced the idea of an innovative thermal energy storage with phase change materials, which can increase the energy efficiency by 20% and decrease the size to the 1/8th. It is suitable for solar collector systems, heating/cooling systems and for the industry on a larger scale as well. HeatVentors can offer free cooling and top tear operation security. This team had been rewarded with the opportunity to present their idea in three Chinese cities, in front of investors, such as Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group. https://www.f6s.com/heatventors

The Audience Prize landed with FASHIONTOURI (AUSTRIA) a mapping and shopping platform that connects tourist attractions with popular, local fashion gems. The startup supplies new roadmaps that may lead to a rethinking to established local well-known, famous brands and inconspicuous treasures. http://www.fashiontouri.at/

The teams we have seen Today set a great example for the next generation of startups to come in terms of ideas and execution- said Tamás Müller founder of WSC – We are planning to continue to provide even more support for our participants by organizing more events and expand our educational “unplugged” trainings and semi-finals in numerous country. Besides us, continuing our activity as Women Startup Competition, we are launching our 3 to 4 month incubator program in the end of this year and begin the training of 10-15 ambitious teams. Teams are going to learn new skills that are necessary to conquer the international market. Of course, we are grateful for the support of our corporate and investor partners with whom besides their “smart” sponsorship packages; we work together in dedicated startup innovation and integration projects.