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Innovative Youth Joined Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, Policymakers on 6 and 7 June in Brussels at the YOUNG INNOVATORS UN CONVENTION


17 Jun 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Innovation & Enterprise
Two Days of Inspiration and Action to make Europe more Innovative and Entrepreneurial

Brussels, 11 June 2013: The 2nd annual Young Innovators Unconvention, organised by the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF), brought innovative and entrepreneurial youth from across Europe together with established entrepreneurs, global business leaders, investors, experts and leading policy and decision makers, joining forces to mobilise for innovation and growth.

Under the High Patronage of the President of the European Parliament, Martin SCHULZ, the Unconvention was a unique two-day event featuring motivational keynotes by prominent speakers, lively panel discussions, interactive workshops, and informal networking opportunities to meet with leaders of innovation and entrepreneurship from Europe and the USA. The event also hosted the final of EYIF’s InnoPitch competition for European Young Innovator of the Year.

The Unconvention began on Thursday 6 June with a morning “InnoCoffee” led by Carlos ESPINAL of Seedcamp and Derek HOLT of Startup America Partnership, followed by interactive workshops on Big Data with Matthew BASSET of Universal Pictures, and on the Raspberry Pi computer with Jack LANG, Chairman of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The afternoon sessions were hosted by the European Parliament, opening with an address from Martin SCHULZ and Neelie KROES, Vice-President of the European Commission and a political panel with MEP Sean Kelly and Elena BRYAN, Senior U.S. Trade Representative to the EU on policies for innovation, youth unemployment, and growth. The day ended with a roundtable on innovation ecosystems in Europe with Martin BRUNCKO of the World Economic Forum and MEP Maria GRACA CARVALHO, and a closing keynote by Harri KOPONEN, COO of Rovio Entertainment.

Day two of the Unconvention took place in the magnificent Egmont Palace, starting with sessions on Big and Open Data, Digital Social Innovation, Smart Cities, and Space Services for Citizens, moderated by Raf WEVERBERGH, Editor of Whiteboard. The World Economic Forum’s project “Fostering Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship in Europe” was presented at a panel chaired by Nicholas DAVIS, Director, Head of Europe at the WEF, and moderated by Christophe LECLERCQ, Publisher of EurActiv. EYIF’s Kumardev CHATTERJEE and Nicholas ZYLBERGLAJT are leading the ‘Promotion of Entrepreneurship’ component of the project.

The InnoPitch finals were held in the afternoon, chaired by EYIF’s Larry MOFFETT. Six startup teams from Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary and Portugal pitched their innovative ideas to the jury composed of Carlos ESPINAL, Anne GLOVER, Co-Founder and CEO of Amadeus Capital Partners, and Bjorn TREMMERIE of the European Investment Fund. Vidzor of Hungary won the title of European Young Innovator of the Year 2013, with the runner-up Mentor of Germany earning a special mention from the jury. The audience award went to Urban Grow of Portugal.

Finally, the Unconvention wrapped up its very successful 2013 edition with a closing discussion on outcomes and future trends, presided by Thibaut KLEINER, Senior Advisor to European Commission Vice-President Neelie KROES. In keeping with the Unconvention’s focus on direct engagement with youth, EYIF President Kumardev CHATTERJEE invited the audience to address their questions and concerns to the panel of business leaders including Anne GLOVER, Carlos ESPINAL, Harry VAN DORENMALEN, Chair of IBM Europe, Kai ENGEL, Partner at A.T. Kearney, Erika MANN, Managing Director for Public Policy at Facebook, Tiit PAANANEN, CEO of Skype Estonia, and Leo SUN, President for European Public Affairs and Communications, Huawei.

In defiance of the economic crisis and of record youth unemployment in Europe, the Young Innovators Unconvention has once again demonstrated that business and government leaders are prepared to join hands with young innovators in Europe, offering them the inspiration, resources and mentorship to help them turn their innovative ideas into job-creating projects and businesses to stimulate growth in Europe.

The Unconvention agenda, speaker bios, photos and videos may be viewed here.
Press contact: Larry Moffett, tel. +32 495534340,




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