Who are the jury members of the Hague Innovators Challenge?

The Hague Innovators Challenge 2020 is in full swing. Every year the municipality challenges organizations and students to present innovative ideas on social issues with the Hague Innovators Challenge. Who are the jury members who are will select The Hague Innovators of 2020?

The 9 nominees can be divided into 3 categories and have a chance of winning the audience prize of € 2,500, student prize of € 10,000, startup prize of € 15,000 and the scale-up prize of € 25,000 (check here who the nominees are). In recent weeks the nominees have worked hard on their business propositions and pitches with the help of training courses from Venture Academy. On January 21 at the Big Improvement Day, they will show their best side and present how they are committed to a better world. It is up to the jury to select the winners per category. Read below who the jury members are.

Suzanne Wisse-Huiskes CEO, EN

The first jury member is Suzanne Wisse-Huiskes. Suzanne is the CEO of EN, the European network for impact entrepreneurs and leaders who work towards a sustainable future. “EN and ImpactCity share the same ambition: to promote an ecosystem where impact-driven leaders and organizations can gain access to financing, knowledge and connections. Where ImpactCity is primarily involved regionally, the focus is on EN international. There are capacity building programs in Europe and surrounding areas such as Russia and the Middle East “.

“We have more than 10 years of experience in matching experts, entrepreneurs and NGOs working to achieve one or more of the SDGs. We share best practices and exchanges from different countries on cooperation with the EU, practical experience with access to international financing and creating synergies between complex organizations “.

The organization moved from London to The Hague in 2019 and the collaboration is already a great success. ImpactCity is the perfect home base to build an impact network worldwide. “The Hague Innovators Challenge is a concrete example of how The Hague offers ambitious entrepreneurs support with access to capital and knowledge, so that they can work on their innovations for a better world.”

Hans Dreijklufft, UNIIQ

The second jury member is Hans Dreijklufft from UNIIQ. UNIIQ is an investment fund of € 22 million focused on the proof-of-concept phase. UNIIQ helps entrepreneurs in the South Holland province to bring their unique innovation to the market faster. “As a UNIIQ investment manager, I work with innovative entrepreneurs on a daily basis. UNIIQ was founded by the 3 universities in South Holland (TU Delft, Leiden University and Erasmus MC) and the regional development company InnovationQuarter. UNIIQ invests in all sectors and has so far invested in more than 35 companies. With its head office in The Hague as well as various companies from our portfolio, we are well anchored in the Hofstad. Always looking for beautiful, new innovative companies with Impact, ImpactCity’s Hague Innovators Challenge is not only a fun but also a very good competition for interesting “deal flow”. That is why I enjoy being on the jury. ”


The last jury member is Erik van der Rijt. Erik is Director Urban Economy of the city of The Hague and responsible for the ImpactCity program. “Developing innovative urban ecosystems is something that excites me. The love for this came about through being part of starting and developing the national security cluster The Hague Security Delta (HSD).” After this, Erik has dedicated himself from the start of 2016 to the development of an attractive start- and scale-up climate in The Hague and the positioning of The Hague as ImpactCity.

“It’s incredible to see how much energy and passion people and companies in The Hague have when it comes to working on innovations for a better world. There really isn’t another place where ‘Doing good and doing business’ comes together so naturally as in The Hague. It’s part of our history, of our DNA. That’s why the city invests, together numerous partners under the title of ImpactCity, in developing the ideal conditions for entrepreneurs, thinkers and do-ers to show that economic success and social return go together.”

“The Hague Innovators Challenge is one of the best parts of ImpactCity. Every year, so many incredible applications are being submitted, which brings about winners we are very proud of as a city. And  it’s bearing fruit. Partly thanks to this cash prize, the winners of recent years have been able to scale up and grow into successful companies. Seepje and Naif Skincare are good examples of this. ”

The 2020 winners will be announced on January 21 during the Big Improvement Day .