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During the Second High-Level meeting of the United Nations in Nairobi, Ms. Ploumen, Dutch Minister of Development, stressed the importance of startups for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. The minister called for better connections between startups and governments, corporates and NGOs.


The minister said this during a pitch battle between 8 different startups from Africa and Europe. The pitch battle was organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Get in the Ring Foundation and Junior Achievement Kenya.


The participating startups were selected during the Road to Nairobi, StartmeUp Africa and Get in the Ring Nairobi. In these selection rounds, startups got a chance to present themselves for governments, corporates and NGOs. Among others, HRH Prince Constantijn was present during the selection event of StartmeUp Africa, and the Road to Nairobi tapped into the startups of 8 different countries during the bus tour. The winners of the competition will participate in the Global Final of Get in the Ring.


The focus of this special edition of Get in the Ring was on companies that can have a positive impact in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies were selected on the impact they can have and how they can combine people, planet and profit in a sustainable way. The winning startup Sanivation, excelled at this according to the Jury. Sanivation is a social enterprise that not only turns human waste into charcoal, but also contributes to the overall sanitation of urbanizing areas in East Africa.  For the jury, Sanivation as a winner was decisive.


The other finalists were Kukua, Kazzi Corp Tech, Insight Mobile Imaging, Starlight, Fuuzo, Manyatta Rent, and SuperMom Kenya. They were strong competitors according to the jury, and with the stage-time they got, finding the right partner should be easy.


Minister Ploumen gave the opening speech for this special edition of Get in the Ring and stressed the importance of startups for the global challenges discussed at the High-level meeting:


“Today in this arena eight entrepreneurs will enter this boxing ring to challenge each other. Their ideas serve to remind us that a better future for young people is not only determined by the ‘oil-tankers’ – governments and multilateral organizations. It often starts bottom-up, with innovative ideas by youngsters themselves, by the ‘speedboats’. We need to link up these speed-boats with the oil tankers, to improve the connection between global strategies and concrete on-the-ground initiatives.”.


Jochem Cuppen, Global Director of Get in the Ring, expressed to be very delighted with the collaboration:


“Get in the Ring is a global podium for startups to present themselves in front of investors, potential clients and experts. Through this collaboration we were able to do this in multiple countries in Africa, stressing the importance of impactful startups”.


Concluding the pitches, Jochem raised the attention for a new initiative by Get in the Ring: the Global1000. Through this initiative, the Get in the Ring Foundation stresses the importance of collaboration between startups, corporates, governments and NGOs, acceleration of innovation can be realized through collaborations. The goal of the Global1000 is to realize 1000 collaborations before 2030, aimed at innovations to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. There is no mere focus on innovations, but on impactful innovations we so desperately need, by which the Get in the Ring Foundation aims to support in realizing the SDGs.

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