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In Sept 2021, the Get in the Ring Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour launched as an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Unknown Group. The competition aimed to identify and scale up some of the most innovative startup solutions in the fields of water, energy and food. The preliminary rounds of the virtual event were conducted in the MENA, Asia Pacific regions, the Netherlands, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. The global competition concluded in two pitch battle showdowns being held at the Netherlands Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai yesterday. Amongst the top 20 competing ventures, the four most promising solutions battled in the live event held at the Netherlands Pavilion.   

Wednesday, 19 January 2022, Dubai – With 10 billion expected inhabitants by 2050, the solution to meeting the increasing needs of our population within the limited resources of our planet lies in the hands of bold innovators. As part of the Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour, the grand final of Get in the Ring Expo Dubai was held at the Netherlands Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai yesterday.  

The event kicked-off with an inspiring speech from Roald Lapperre, Vice Minister for the Environment, Netherlands. He said: “ All three sectors – water, energy and food are closely related to climate change. Climate change is one of the key global issues of our period today and so is the need for clean energy and adequate food supply for a growing population. We need fresh, innovative and creative ideas to bring a change to resolve global challenges together. We need more of such competitions and to make more connections worldwide. At the Netherlands Pavilion, you will see some of the finest examples of innovative solutions that unite water, energy and food sectors.” Quoting the Prime Minister’s words, Vice-Minister Roald emphasized that the only way to move ahead is to consistently follow three steps, ‘Action. Action. Action’

With Ringmaster Remco Temmink, the most promising startups battled in the ring to prove their impact solutions can meet the increasing needs of a growing global population and add value to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The four finalists were SOLHO (the Netherlands), Entoprotech (Israel), Gazelle Wind Power (UAE) and Digital Energy (UAE). The competitors went through five rounds of only one minute each to convince the jury about the potential of their project, presenting their achievements and business model, but also highlighting the weaknesses of their opponent. As jury members, Lucy Chow – Senior Senator to UAE at World Business Angels Investment Forum, Yousuf Caires Senior Vice President of Expo Live and Jeroen van den BoschChief Commercial Officer at Unknown Group joined yesterday.

After two intense battles, the jury decided to award Sasha Babitsky, CEO Entoprotech and Jon Salazar, Founder and President Gazelle Wind Power Limited as the Global Winners of the Uniting Water Energy Food Finals.

H.E. Carel Richter, Commissioner General of the Netherlands Pavilion was very impressed and said : “It is extremely vital to encourage and nourish new business ideas that will develop into impactful, smarter, sustainable solutions that help tackle global challenges today. The Netherlands Pavilion is a platform for connecting such innovative founders. Look around our pavilion! The sustainable techniques that connect water, energy and food within the pavilion are a result of futuristic thinking Dutch architects and expertise.  Congratulations to Unknown Group for a very well organized hybrid event even during this pandemic and to each finalist for showcasing premium quality projects.”   

Over the last decade, Get in the Ring has grown to become the world’s most global startup competition with events in over 100 countries and one of the most credible avenues to be noticed by investors, reaching countless startups and their founders every year – in the last year over 25,000 startups from 109 countries applied to Get in the Ring events. 


Be inspired by cutting edge technologies from all over the world and stay up to date with the latest opportunities for startups.

“At Unknown, we love the opportunities to collaborate with embassies and governments to support startups. We’ve proven in the past that our approach of identifying and doing deal making with the most promising startups in a country is the most effective way of boosting its innovation ecosystem and solving major challenges” concluded Jeroen van den Bosch Chief Commercial Officer at Unknown Group. To further support the selected startups of the Uniting Water Energy Food Finals, ImpactCity and Berytech are joining in to help scale impact solutions in The Netherlands and MENA regions.

Winning Pitches 


Entoprotech develops biological pesticides based on food waste. They use the black soldier fly to convert food waste into advanced products such as defatted insect meal, which is used as animal feed and is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers. 

Gazelle Wind Power Limited 

Gazelle designs a hybrid attenuated mooring platform, an evolutionary step-change in the design of floating platforms. Lighter, smaller and more agile than current designs, the Gazelle delivers unmatched stability and capacity. Moreover, our design benefits from modularization, time-tested manufacturing processes, and can easily be assembled at port facilities worldwide. 


Watch the pitch battle showdown between the most promising solutions from three continents HERE.