INCEND receives the Know Award Special Prize 2014 at the European Youth Award Opening Ceremony, in Graz (Austria)
In the course of three days, the European Youth Award Festival surely doubled the number of nationalities represented in Graz, the Unesco City of Design & Human Rights. Looking around, a mix of cultures mingled as they shared one mission: building a project with a real social impact. Projects were divided into eight categories:
- Healthy life
- Smart learning
- Connected cultures
- Go green
- Active citizenship
- Money matters
- Future living
- Special category: the Know Award
Meeting and discussing with young European entrepreneurs was by far, the most pleasant networking event. No matter who you talked to, there always was an experience shared, a similar challenge faced, or a familiar debate known. It was this weird feeling of knowing someone without having met before. When leaving, I brought one extra prize in my suitcase for INCEND and a full load of lessons learned from fellow entrepreneurs.
"No matter who you talked to, there always was an experience shared, a similar challenge faced, or a familiar debate known."
Advice and lessons learned at the Festival
Morten Bak Kristoffersen presenting the Neuromotus solution.
Morten, coming from the heart of Scandinavia, is working on a digital solution to reduce the phantom limb pain of amputees. Currently at a research phase, Neuromotus has the ambition to put virtual reality at the service of those who need it the most. Morten's main advice is as follows:
"If you want to make a lasting impact, you need to love what you do, because changing the world is never easy."
Andreas Viehhauser, Barbara Schön, Michael Mayrhofer-Reinhartshuber on stage for BuddyMe.
Andreas Viehhauser comes from the heart of Europe, and is the co-founder of BuddyMe: a web application counteracting urban loneliness and cyberbullying. At the EYA Festival, they were the only team coming from the host country!
"I found it very interesting how networking with entrepreneurs from other countries can put your own problems into perspective. Also, it is amazing how with little to no money often amazing things can be achieved for the good of many people."
With YouthForce, Iman Fadaei and Marten Wetterberg set out to fight youth unemployment in Europe.
Iman and Marten come from the heart of the UK, and won the 'Money Matters' Award with their project YouthForce. The freelance platform fights youth unemployment by connecting talented unemployed youngsters with businesses who need them. What they enjoyed the most during the Festival was connecting with other entrepreneurs from all over Europe, meeting people in the same position as them, working in the same space as them.
"We learnt so much from the participants, and the diversity, that coming back to London we do so with broadened horizons and countless new opportunities. If I’d summarise the lessons learnt in one word, that would be “focus” - it often seems to be the key to success."
Filipa de Barros presenting Esolidar
Filipa comes from the heart of the Iberian peninsula and presented eSolidar: an innovative e-commerce solution for charities and nonprofits to raise funds (for which they currently spend three quarters of their time). Like many others, Filipa keeps great memories from the Festival:
"I can not pick a lesson learned. It would not be fair. I have learned so many things that I can't express with words. Often, I find myself remembering faces, voices, expressions, attitudes, songs like if they were part of a slow motion movie. EYA 2014 was the best experience I had during this year. If you say the word EYA, I will smile for sure."
Clément Chenebault for Dreamy
Clément lives at the heart of France, and pitched for Dreamy: a tablet game with a super-hero universe developed for children to re-enchant their monotone and lonely hospital stay. At Graz, they received feedback on their project, and had the chance to met inspiring and talented people, coming from everywhere in the world:
"EYA opened our mind, and we now know what are the next steps to continue Dreamy. There is not only one best moment of these 3 days, but we can say the worst : Waiting for our plane to leave Graz, EYA, and all these new friends we made..."
Paul Hughes' 10 Meters of Thinking
If I had to pick one lesson learned, I would choose the concept of "reveal" in presentation design. This changes the entire approach to presentation design and rehearsal. For a presentation to feel like a story being told, it should entail elements of suspense and "reveal" clues along the way. Thank you Paul Hughes, who performed his 10 Meters of Thinking presentation in Graz. Fabian Schröbel who presented the Mosaik project (by far the most beautiful website I've seen to learn HTML and CSS) also enjoyed Paul Hughes' presentation - in particular the quote from Buckminster Fuller: "The best way to predict the future is to design it". This is what he learned during the conference:
"For me as a internet/tech-fanatic, the advice of Manar Al-Hashash was helpful: "The internet is just a tool. Don't forget that it's all about content and people."
Christoph Gäng and Fabian Schröbel for Mosaik
How about you, did you learn something new during the conference in Graz? Can you relate to the lessons shared by the entrepreneurs in this article? We want to hear your voice!