Empowering startups to grow into promising businesses is what we love to do at ImpactCity. That’s why we’re inviting startups up on stage to deliver their story at Impact Startup Fest next week. In three pitching rounds, each startup is granted five precious minutes to persuade the audience of its claim to fame. We are excited to offer you a sneak peek of some of the participating startups.
“Practice, practice, practice,” Beth Massa, founder at startup Ozarka, summarizes her preparation strategy. Ozarka is an upmarket but affordable, low-waste grocery store that will sell not a single product that is packaged in single-use plastic. “Our mission and business plan is in sharp focus. And we’ll work hard to make sure our pitch lands with equal clarity. We look forward to getting exposure for Ozarka and a chance to receive feedback and input.”
“We are really looking forward to showing our commitment to solving the problem of plastic pollution,” she adds. “What we are trying to do is hard and complex, which is why we believe no one has done it well yet. We look forward to exceeding people’s expectations. And maybe even some of the other startups at Impact Startup Fest can offer the technology solutions we are looking for.”
The right kind of funding
WakaWaka is on a mission to provide access to a safe, sustainable solar solution for the lack of access to electricity of over one billion of the poorest people in the world. “Access to the right kind of funding is key to a social enterprise like WakaWaka, which is growing rapidly,” co-founder Camille Van Gestel summarizes their incentive to pitch at Impact Startup Fest.
“In the past five years, we have been able to reach 1.3 million people and raise over 3 million Euros in crowdfunding. Now it’s time for WakaWaka to take the next step in its development. That’s why we’d love to pitch for scale-up funding. The Startups on Stage event looks like a great place to do just that,” he adds.
Creative and forward-thinking
Startup Iron Roots makes sports apparel out of industrial hemp, which is a sustainable alternative to the materials that are currently being used in the sports apparel industry. Co-founder Erik De Groot looks forward to pitching at Impact Startup Fest. “I really enjoy getting feedback on my pitch and gauging if my message works,” he says.
He adds, “The event takes place in a very creative and forward-thinking environment, which is something we like to immerse ourselves in at Iron Roots. This, as well as the explicitly local approach of the event, resonates with the path we’re on right now.”
Startup URIDU empowers illiterate rural women in developing and emerging countries. It does so by using innovative technology to spread knowledge about health, nutrition, family planning, childcare, work, and more. “New connections, new perspectives, new ideas,” is what URIDU is looking forward to at Impact Startup Fest.
Founder Marcel Heyne hopes to get in touch with likeminded people at the festival. “I think that Impact Startup Fest is a great venue for social enterprises like ours. It offers an opportunity to exchange opinions and learn. I have been an entrepreneur for most of my life, but building a social enterprise with a global scope is quite different,” he says.
Looking forward to connecting
Startup Deedmob looks forward to connecting with other startups, investors and stakeholders while sharing its story at Impact Startup Fest. Deedmob is an online platform that encourages people and companies to volunteer. It provides charitable organizations with free technological tools that help increase their social impact.
“Deedmob combines creating social impact with a sustainable for-profit business model,” founder Boudewijn Wijnands explains. “We are currently the largest volunteering platform in the Netherlands in terms of charities, representing over 500,000 volunteers on our platform,” he says. “We want to share our story about the power of volunteering and create a platform that connects volunteers, charities, municipalities and corporates to do good.”
Next-level impact startup
Startup Hack the Planet is all about solving global challenges with pragmatic, cutting-edge technology. “At Impact Startup Fest, we look forward to exploring corporate partnerships to take Hack the Planet to the next level,” co-founder Floris Van der Breggen explains.
“Apart from checking out the other pitches, we’re looking forward to speaking to people from large companies that want to shift focus towards social impact and innovative technology. We believe that the Startups on Stage event can establish links between Hack the Planet and large organizations that are looking for our particular skill set,” he says.
Mindaugas Kaziulus, founder at startup YAPILI, looks forward to on-boarding impact investors and new partners at Impact Startup Fest. YAPILI is a peer-to-peer online platform and Android application that delivers health advice from local and international health professionals to users in Africa.
“Our platform achieved its first milestone of 1,000 users this month,” he says. “We are aiming to find stakeholders who are in line with our core values and can bring in both a financial impulse and expertise. Impact Startup Fest offers us a great opportunity to showcase the significant progress we have made since our presentation at last year’s festival.”