This is it. We’ve reached the finals of the Blue Tulip Awards 2020, a year-round ecosystem-driven program aiming to accelerate innovators, build powerful collaborations, and drive breakthrough innovation.
On June 11th, 10 innovation finalists in 8 categories will present their final pitches to the gathered judges, who will then proceed to choose a winner. For the past couple of months, we spoke with previous winners, current jury leads and experts in their field and we’ve highlighted contenders and finalists. Now all that’s left is celebrating the winners, and you can join.
Follow the Blue Tulip Awards 2020 Finals live online
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Blue Tulip Awards had to move from a packed venue to an online environment. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t planned an eventful day. This years’ winners will be announced live on June 11th from 19.00 CET. Curious who will claim the prize? The announcement of the winners is hosted by RTL Z and you can follow along on their website. If you want the full experience, then you are welcome to follow the finalists’ pitches as well. During the day they will present their solutions to the judges in an online event hosted by Boom Chicago. For more information and how to join all of the Blue Tulip Awards 2020 final event, please visit the Finals page.
‘I was blown away’
The Blue Tulip Awards 2020 is not just a nice trophy to hang on the wall. The year-round ecosystem-driven program offers award-winners a variety of services and products offered by partners of the Blue Tulip Awards, including personal coaching by industry experts, feedback by partners and plenty of media attention. “I had no idea how much interest it would attract,” said Kirk Gunning, whose startup Safened won the Finance-category last year.
“There was so much energy throughout the whole process. I was really blown away,” Gunning continues. Babak Mohammad Mirzaie has similar experiences. His Eindhoven-based startup Expivi AR and 3D-tech startup Expivi won the Working & Living category in 2017, which opened a lot of doors: “You meet great C-level people who are almost impossible to get in touch with.”
Groundbreaking and out of the box ideas
Now several ideas are at the brink of following Gunning and Mirzaie in their footsteps. Eight categories with the top ten solutions each. Some pitches are practical and with the potential of massive impact, while others showcase out of the box thinking and creative problem-solving. To battle climate change, for instance, some ideas that made it to the finals involve robots to fix windmills, batteries that run on seawater and an alternative to fossil fuel. Similar groundbreaking ideas can be found among the finalists in the Living & Working category. Pitches include noise-cancelling windows, high-tech air purifiers based on plants and a new social network.
In the category of Finance, the finalists bet on safe, fast and reliable transactions between companies, banks, consumers and insurers in many different ways while the finalists in the Health category employ AI, VR, wearables and virtual braille to make the life of patients better.
Further reading: These startups are selected for the Blue Tulip Awards finals
Judges looking for ‘the vibe’
So what will the jury be looking for in this years’ winners? You can follow their deliberations live during the online event. But we spoke with many of them beforehand to get an idea of what’s going on in their field of expertise. “It’s all about impact,” said Kees de Gooijer in an interview with Silicon Canals. As Chief Inspiration Officer for the centre of knowledge and innovation for the Dutch agricultural sector (TKI Agrifood), he will be judging the ten finalists in the Nutrition category. “Generally, during a good pitch, I instantly feel the vibe. I’m not looking for fully developed ideas. It is important that an idea has an impact on the entire chain.”
Similarly, the finalists in the category of Education will have to make a broad impact with their ideas. Daniel Roos, jury lead in this particular category and founder and CEO of Amsterdam educational institute JINC said in an interview: “If a solution only works for a couple of students, it’s not interesting enough”. Finalists in the Security-category will have to convince chief information and security architect at Nationale Nederlanden and jury lead Nadeem de Vree that they are working towards a safer and more open society.
Sometimes the judges also consult their own gut feeling, as Debby Woesthuis told us. As division manager of buses with Amsterdam municipal public transport operator GVB, she’ll be judging the finalists in the Mobility-category. One of the questions she’ll be asking herself is: “Does it make me greedy? Is it something I want to have?”
So don’t forget to tune in to the Blue Tulip Awards 2020 live event, hosted by Accenture, RTLZ and Boom Chicago on June 11th. You are invited to watch the finalists’ pitches during the day and see the finale in the evening at 19.00 on the website of RTL Z. See you over there!