After a semester of hard work at the Amsterdam Business School, it was time for the pitch finals of the UvA minor Entrepreneurship. On Thursday the 2nd of February, 8 out of 24 startups pitched their ideas at the Demo Day in Amsterdam’s TQ building. Big winner of the night was HurryQ, that won both the jury prize (€500 cash and €1000 worth of consultancy from trademark agency de Merkplaats), and the audience prize (€250). Symbolic runner up prizes went to NATR (audience), and Zazu (jury). The UvA’s Tech and science incubator ACE Venture Lab sponsored the event.
Final pitch evening at Demo Day
The 4th floor of the fancy TQ building was packed with people and filled with the optimistic energy of young student entrepreneurs. Friends and family, students from other faculties, as well as teachers and coaches all came to out to support the eight finalists pitching their startup on stage. The audience could rate the startups on their smartphone, the highest rated startup won the audience prize. A jury of professional entrepreneurs selected one final startup for the jury prize.
Something for everyone
The startup ideas varied from physical products such as a bicycle crate (FIETSKRT); a B2B startup in Portuguese pastries (Pasteis); a chip to trace the location of your bicycle (Fave-it), and a sustainable bio-poncho (NATR), to services such as Have a Seat: a way to discover new restaurants in Amsterdam; Interclass, an online platform on which high school students get additional interactive materials to increase their grades; an artificial intelligence drive personal assistant that helps you to plan all your meetings (Zazu), and there was the winning startup HurryQ.
HurryQ: no more waiting in lines
HurryQ’s CEO Bhupinder Singh kicked off his pitch with a very relatable question: “We all hate to stand and wait in lines, don’t we?” The audience agreed, who doesn’t hate it?! But HurryQ has the solution: an App with which you can get a physical place in the line, without having to stand there and wait. Sounds fantastic, but will it work? Well, apparently it does, as HurryQ tested the App already, and signed contracts with several of the largest tourist attractions in Amsterdam. Whoever wanders around in Amsterdam sometimes, knows that there are often huge tourist queues. No wonder that tourist attractions take this solution into serious consideration.
Compliments and advice from the jury
For HurryQ this was their second award in a short time, as in November the young startup already won the Baby Pitch Award. The jury was visibly impressed by HurryQ’s pitch: “It felt real, and you showed us the real product”. The last thing was especially important for the jury. One of the jury members, Gert Hans Berghuis, mentioned that not all startups showed their product sufficiently. He advised the student entrepreneurs to “talk more about business, provide more details about the costs. Show us the product!” The jury’s runner up prize went to Zazu, a startup that received special praise for its “strong team energy”.