A Danish students’ mini-company called SubReader was announced the winner of the 2016 JA Europe Company of the Year Competition Award. The company impressed judges with its app that helps dyslexic people to read subtitles on international TV and movies aloud.
According to a press release, JA Europe’s competition celebrates the best 200+ young entrepreneurs across 35 countries in Europe. It recognises the student company that demonstrates the best approach to communication, teamwork, problem-solving, objective-setting, planning and review, administration and financial systems, personnel management, product development, customer focus, marketing and sales, as well as financial results.
Over 200 students gathered in Lucerne, Switzerland, between July 25 and 28 to celebrate the top mini-companies from across Europe. Three dozen student-teams competed.
“The JA Company Programme brings entrepreneurship into the classroom,” said Ruedi Noser, CEO of Noser Management AG, Switzerland, who served as jury president. “Student teams have to reach a consensus on the business idea and to put it into practice. The learning process covers raising capital, developing a product, successful sales and much more. Mini-entrepreneurs must continuously be in control of all processes and at all times, ranging from accounting to marketing, purchasing as well as intellectual property and liability. Seeing the continuous personal development of the participating students and the progress of their mini-enterprises amazes me and makes me proud, year after year.”
Caroline Jenner, CEO for JA Europe, said: “The JA Company Programme has existed since 1919 and continues to inspire thousands of young people year after year. It is global [120 countries] and driven by local partnerships between businesses and schools; a unique real-world programme that develops young people’s entrepreneurial competences, financial capability and builds key skills for the workplace. JA Company Programme alumni are twice more likely to start a business later on than non-participants and are less likely to be unemployed.”
The second-place winner was Slovakia’s Irdify, a company that develops and manufactures universal remote controllers for smartphones. After plugged into the jack port of a smartphone, their product lets you control televisions, set-top boxes and many other devices.
The third-place winner was the UK’s Enlighten Hope, which has written, illustrated and published the only child-friendly stories to help young cancer patients deal with chemotherapy and radiotherapy side effects in a hopeful, joyful and inspirational manner.
The competition also featured several Signature Awards. These include the AT&T Excellence in IT Award that recognised Romania’s Team Oculus. The company developed MITRA glasses that provide essential aid and safety to visually-impaired people during movement.
The Citi Client Focus Award recognised Sweden’s Update UF, which makes it easy for businesses to keep their social media updated.
The FedEx Access Award recognised Belgium’s FormUp, which developed a game based on the principle of interlocking geometric shapes. More than 1,500 products have already been sold in Belgium, as well as in France and Switzerland.
The MetLife LifeChanger Award recognised Greece’s SmileyBin, which is a recycling business concept focusing on maximising the environmental profit. Its model is based on the reciprocity motive where citizens recycle and collect points through an app on their smartphones.
The Alumni Leadership Award supported by AXA was given to 10 standout individuals competing at the Company of the Year Competition. The winners included Alexander Gram Jensen from Denmark, Ulrika Heikkinen from Sweden, Iveta Liovinaite from the UK, Katerina Sugarkova from Czech Republic, Michal Pandy from Slovakia, Alina Anete Birnika from Latvia, Maria Kokala from Greece, Helmi Nurkkala from Finland, Leonora Skopren from Norway and Tudor Popa from Romania
The UBS Most Innovative Product Award went to Spain’s ShellBag, an already patented product which consists on a biodegradable bag, made out of banana peel, with an adhesive strip that easily sticks to any snack bag of your choice.