Startup Fest Brightlands 2016

Maastricht, Netherlands

Masterclass rounds at Startup Fest Brightlands 2016

Last Friday, May 27th was a big day for the Dutch region — Limburg’s - entrepreneurial scene. Not only did the top startups from TU/e, Zuyd, Maastricht University and Brightlands compete for a title of the best startup of the region, but also we finally had a chance to celebrate an official opening of Brightlands Innovation Factory. In this blog post we share our reflections and experiences about the whole program of the event.

Masterclass rounds at Startup Fest Brightlands 2016

Startup Fest Europe 2016

We organized our own first large entrepreneurship event, which was part of the official program of Startup Fest Europe. For those, who are not acquainted with Startup Fest Europe yet — every year, for one week, the Netherlands is transforming into the capital of startups and innovation. This year it was a week full of big talks and big personas. The event kicked off in Amsterdam, with the talks of Queen Maxima and the former EU commissionaire and Dutch Startup Ambassador, Neelie Kroes — two power women. Afterwards Amsterdam attracted guests by offering the talks of the CEO’s of some large companies, like Tim Cook (Apple), Eric Schmidt (Google) or Travis Kalanick (Uber). The other side events took place all around the Netherlands, e.g. Delft, Eindhoven, Utrecht, Rotterdam and finally in Maastricht with Brightlands!

Welcome to Startup Fest Brightlands 2016
All eyes on all startups @ Startup Fest Brightlands 2016
International startup community is ready to Get In The Ring

Get in The Ring

Although the day was full of special moments, one of the most memorable ones was the competition between region’s best startups. It was not just a normal competition. It was a battle. In the ring. Eight best startups from TU/e, Maastricht University, Zuyd and Brightlands competed not only for the title of the best startup in the region, but also for the unique trip — the ticket to the Global Get in The Ring Final, which will take place in either Singapore or New York in March, 2017.

Startups Get In The Ring
Judges are ready to send the best startup to Singapore or New York

The leading focus of this year’s Startup Fest being female entrepreneurship had also reached Limburg. The winner is only one and this year the hearts of the judges were stolen by the only female founder — Nitzan Merguei from VR Peekaboo. Founded in Maastricht, this virtual reality startup allows parents to see their soon-to-be-born baby. VR Peekaboo will be in the end representing Limburg in the Get in The Ring Global Final battle in 2017, trying to win the title of the most promising global startup.

Startups walk towards the Ring
Nitzan Merguei’s pitch of VR Peekaboo wins in the finals

Official Opening of Brightlands Innovation Factory

After a thrilling and electrifying battles between startups there is always time for celebrations! Besides celebrating the best startup of the region, we celebrated the official opening of Brightlands Innovation Factory. “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”, with these Edison’s words; Hugo Delissen the CEO of Brightlands Innovation Factory began the new era for the region. We will all remember this day and we will continue cheering for the global, entrepreneurial successes coming from this region. It is only the beginning.

And now Brightlands Innovation Factory is officially open for startups to join
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