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Young entrepreneurs take top awards

Student company “Mensa Heating” from Denmark won the JA-YE Europe Enterprise Challenge 2008. Mensa Heating created an environmentally friendly terrace heater which can be easily placed underneath the table, offering a pleasant feeling to the client. The product reduces the use of energy by 68% compared to the normal terrace heaters used today.

“The aim for Mensa Heating I/S is to give café guests the opportunity to sit outside comfortably during most of the year. Up until now, they have frequently found themselves compelled to move inside due to the lack of outdoor heating. A Mensa Heating product will provide the guests with heat in a pleasant and easily obtainable way,” said Lars Vinter Pedersen from Mensa Heating.

“Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship are of enormous importance for our societies. Today and even more so tomorrow small and medium sized enterprises will provide for professional education and employment opportunities,” said Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission, Responsible for Enterprise and Industry.

“Today’s society faces rising prices for the cost living, an energy crisis, globalization; therefore our entrepreneurs need to be more innovative then ever before in order to cope with the fierce global competition,” said Daniel Daianu, Member of the European Parliament and Honorary President of JA Romania.

57 young entrepreneurs representing 15 student companies from across Europe participated in the JA-YE Europe Enterprise Challenge 2008. The event took place in the European Parliament and was hosted by Mr Daniel Daianu and Ms Ramona Manescu, Members of the European Parliament. These are students aged 19 and over who are running a company as part of their higher education (college or university), under the mentoring of their professors and business volunteers. These young people are developing companies that offer real products and/or services and are dealing with the everyday problems of starting up. There are 25,000 students in the JA-YE Graduate Programme for Entrepreneurship in Europe this year and statistics show that more than 29% of these graduates will go on to succeed as fully-fledged entrepreneurs which is equivalent to approximately 7,250 enterprises.

Awarding outstanding achievement
Prizes were awarded for outstanding achievement. The high-level panel of judges assessed each student company on innovation, originality and presentation of products and services. “Mensa Heating” was named as the Best Company with the best investment proposal, market analysis and innovative product.

The second prize went to HENDIG from Norway which created a Shelf-Organizer, a tool which makes it easier and more efficient to tidy up shelves in grocery stores.

The third prize was awarded to HEYRA SB from Norway a leading manufacturer in small-sized high-end stereo systems which are user friendly and pure in style.

The European Parliament award went to team Vebbio Ltd from Romania a virtual company focused on the design, manufacturing and marketing of objects intended for integrated waste management. Vebbio’s “waste basket” manages domestic waste in a sustainable and efficient way.

The Microsoft Innovation award was given to “Click-Events” from Belgium for their one-stop online shop for customized events through a complete interface between the customer and the different potential suppliers.

Diana Filip | alfa
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