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Blue Battery, Laevo and NettCity are the winners of the Dutch finals of Get in the Ring, organized by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. The three companies will represent the Netherlands at the European region final in London, respectively in the light-, middle- and heavyweight class.

In a crowded Rotterdam Science Tower six entrepreneurs competed in front of an audience of 1000 people for a ticket to the London regional final. This audience was a mixture of investors, entrepreneurs, students and innovation professionals. “We have chosen to organize Get in the Ring together with the How To Get There Summit, an event aimed at corporate innovation professionals. This way we have made it possible to get 750 innovation professionals and 250 startups together in the Rotterdam Science Tower to gain new connections. New collaborations between startups and corporates can grow from these connections” says Hendrik Halbe, founder of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. During the day, 400 speed dates took place between startup founders and corporate innovation directors, and a total of 2500 people visited the events in the Rotterdam Science Tower.

For the first time, the pitch battle was divided into three classes; the light weights, with valuations of up to one million euros, the middle weights, with valuations of up to ten million and the heavy weights with a rating above. The champions, the jury for the event, chose the winners together with the audience. This jury – Ben Verwaayen, Pieter Zwart, Corinne Heijn and Jan Kees de Jager – proved quite divided.

In the lightweights competition, Blue Battery-founder Emil Goosen convinced the champions with his alternative renewable energy storage. His batteries are running on water and table salt. He defeated Berry Kriesels of Omnigen, a company that provides DNA analysis for individuals.

The champions were unable to agree on the middle weights. Both Boudewijn Wisse of Laevo aswell as Stefan Spanjer of Kite Robotics convinced two champions, which meant a draw. The back supporting harnesses of Laevo eventually defeated the window cleaning robot from Kite Robotics thanks to the fifth vote of ex-Prime Minister, and partner at EY, Jan Peter Balkenende, who was manifested as fifth champion.

The heavy weights competition saw the “dullest startup of the Netherlands” on stage, as founder Jeroen Volk introduced his company Invoice Sharing. Nonetheless, he put down a lively battle with NettCity’s Rob Vasbinder. The invoice service lost to the sustainable machines from NettCity, but managed to score a personal meeting with champion Pieter Zwart, CEO at Coolblue. Winner NettCity changes green waste into energy and other products.

Get in the Ring the Netherlands is organized by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and powered by EY, ING and APM Terminals. In the Netherlands, local Get in the Ring events have been organized throughout the year in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Zwolle. The ultimate Global Final in Medellin, Colombia, takes place in March 2016 during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2016.

Get in the Ring is the world’s greatest startup competitions. In just a few years’ time, Get in the Ring has grown from a local event to an international phenomenon with national events in more than 80 countries. The national winners meet each other in 12 Regional Finals all over the globe, building up to the grand Global Final in Colombia in 2016. More than 10,000 startups worldwide take part every year in the Get in the Ring competition.

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