IE Business School would like to congratulate the “Re-tyre project”, winners of this year’s 4th edition of Impact Weekend, held on the 25th to the 27th of April 2014. Impact Weekend is a 60-hour entrepreneurship workshop that saw phenomenal interest in social impact and entrepreneurship this year and brought together over 70 students from within and outside of IE to share ideas and develop socially responsible business plans.
The event kicked off on the 25th of April with 21 creative and socially responsible ideas that were then evaluated based on audience votes. The Dean of Programs, Martin Boehm, and Partner of Emzingo Services and Alum IE Business School, Pablo Esteves, provided some inspiring insights as part of the keynotes opening speeches.
6 brilliant ideas were finally seen making it to the finals. Amongst them was Mavuno, an initiative by students Ashley King-Bischof and Guru Sudheendra, both from the November IMBA intake, to bring information on agricultural product prices closer to the farmers through simple improvements in technology in order to increase their bargaining power and ensure fair prices for their crops. The $1 Social-start up project, by Barnaby Ferrero, also from the November IMBA intake, was an effort to more efficiently crowd-fund social start up ideas, whereas Katie Monteith, November IMBA intake 2014-2013, attempted to empower women through the sales of beautiful furniture pieces from the developing countries to the developed countries, while creating an ecosystem of microfinance and encouraging savings for the women. Usafiri, loosely pitched as a Bed and Breakfast for the poor, was also amongst the finalists and pitched by April IMBA 2014 intakers, Venkat Goli and Sizakazi Matshaya. And finally, the Social Lunch Project, by Alessandro Paganini, Daniel Vintimilla and Luis Truellenque, from April IMBA intake, integrated individuals who could cook, provided them with a source of revenue and allowed them to find customers who wanted to eat great meals while being social.
The Re-tyre project won with its innovative take on “saving the environment” and its identification of a truly large untapped opportunity in using waste tyres in South Africa to extract fuel that could then be sold. This would remove externalities that tyres caused by occupying large amounts of space in landfills and being potential fire hazards. The idea was pitched by a team of diverse individuals, Onnida Aditapstit, Pier Spinazze and Shekhar Gupta, April 2014 IMBA intakers, and worked throughout the weekend with Jenna Swalin, John Daniell, Jacob Huber, Emilia Crespo and Jeannie Khoury. Pier, of South African origin, mentions how the landfill in South Africa is one of the biggest in the world for tyres and the risk of having them burn is much too big to take on. Onnida and Shekhar have been equally passionate and conducted a thorough research about Tyre pyrolysis and the science behind the mechanism before pitching to investors. Tarek Elshimi, who mentored the winning team, travelled from Barcelona and is currently on a winning streak, having also won a similar Green Weekend in Barcelona earlier this year.
Impact Weekend is truly grateful to have the wonderful support from a diverse team of mentors coaching the 6 teams throughout the weekend. Pablo Esteves (Emzingo), Paloma Lillo (Telefonica), Andrew McCarthy (IE), Javier Olaguibel (Ashoka), Pedro Alonso (Creative Society Group) and Tarek Elshimi (Global Fund) dedicated their entire weekends to developing and build budding ideas pitched on Friday to business plans on Sunday. The business plans were also evaluated by an equally expert jury made up of IE professors – Liz Fleming (IE Venture Lab), Rachida Justo (IE entrepreneurship), Jeffrey Timmons (IE Business, Government & Society), and Venture Capitalists – Agustin Vitorica (Gawa Capital), Francisco Soler (Creas) and Juan Jose Juarez Calvo (UnLtd).
IE Impact Weekend, created by students from IE Net Impact Club and IE Venture Lab, leverages IE Business School’s business savvy and strong culture of entrepreneurship to empower both social entrepreneurs and students with the tools to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world through business.