What if vineyard owners could save up to 90 percent on wine production costs using Artificial Intelligence (AI), data and analytics and Internet of Things (IoT)?
This was the winning idea of Bevine, the Bulgarian start-up and recipient of the 2019 Avanade Digital Innovation Award at this year’s JA Europe Enterprise Challenge. The annual competition brings together Europe’s best start-ups run by students, aged 18 to 30.
After winning their respective country competitions, 15 teams from 14 countries gathered in Oslo, Norway this week to present their business ideas to a panel of international judges. This marked the conclusion of a year-long process and was the final part of the JA Start-Up Programme, which included on-stage pitching, panel interviews and a stand exhibition.
The judging panel, comprising representatives from Avanade, the leading digital innovator on the Microsoft ecosystem, selected Bevine as a good example of how to bring digital innovation to a traditionally physical-world industry. The judges commended Bevine on its approach to sustainability, business ethics and leadership and how combining that with true digital innovation provides real-time information to save wine makers costs on spraying, scouting and wine production.
As winners, Bevine will receive €1,000 and will be offered 1:1 mentoring and business coaching. Its members will also have the opportunity to meet and engage with Avanade’s senior leadership and attend selected Avanade events.
“We are so honoured to receive the Avanade Digital Innovation Award! It is the best recognition possible for all the work we have put into our idea. We are very grateful for the experience and to Junior Achievement for the opportunity,” said Titko Titkov from Bevine.
“At Avanade we recognise how important it is to support the workforce of the future by encouraging the development of entrepreneurial and leadership skills among young people today,” said Heba Ramzy, Global Citizenship Lead with Avanade. “It is through initiatives like JA’s Start Up Programme that we can provide opportunities for young people to explore how digital can disrupt traditional business models but also offer solutions to some of the biggest business challenges. Seeing the level of innovation from this year’s contestants fuels our excitement as to what we will eventually see from the next generation of business leaders.”
Avanade and JA Europe have collaborated through a close partnership since 2016, supporting JA programmes that teach young people about technology, leadership and entrepreneurship.
“For the second year in a row, Avanade is delivering this important award to a European start-up which has demonstrated digital innovation, creativity and business ethics. With the digitization of our societies, it is paramount for the younger generations to gain experience early on about these skills and competences. Congratulations again to Bevine for demonstrating such ingenuity and passion!” said Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe.
Avanade Signature Award jury members:
- Heba Ramzy, Global Citizenship Senior Director, Avanade – Seattle, WA
- Matt Joe, Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Avanade – Seattle, WA
- Jens Boegh-Nielsen, Executive—General Manager, Avanade – Nordic Region
- Lise af Ekenstam, Executive—Europe Marketing and Tech for Social Good, Avanade
Avanade Digital Innovation Award judging criteria:
- Use of Digital Innovation (45%): Has the team demonstrated use of digital innovations such as those listed above in their product or services? Does the company introduce a genuinely new innovative product or service? Does the product or service deliver an innovative user experience, along with creative design?
- Viability & Feasibility (30%): Does the team demonstrate sufficient business potential, with a realistic and practical business plan? Has the team presented a well thought through plan (do they have in place a strategy, business case, partnership structure, distribution channels) that have all the elements of being successful in the identified markets? Does the company accurately recognize and fill a gap in the market, or create a new one? Does the team have potential investors lined up, and a market tested product? Does the company demonstrate evidence to adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation ‘GDPR’?
- Business Sustainability (15%): Has the team demonstrated concrete steps to ensure a real and sustainable business, from leadership, recruiting top talent, operational agility and efficiencies, sound decision making where it comes to taking calculated risks to grow.
- Presentation and soft skills (10%): Was the team’s presentation creative and compelling? Does the team demonstrate effective teamwork and communication skills to present their company to various stakeholders?
BONUS Criteria (5points)
- Digital Ethics: Has the team demonstrated a commitment to digital ethics? Which digital ethics principles are taken into consideration by the start-up, security, privacy, data flow, GDPR? Does the product or service development demonstrate an approach or a methodology based on the concept of “digital ethics by design”?
About JA Europe
JA Europe (www.jaeurope.org) is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.6 million students in 41 countries in 2017. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.
Avanade is the leading provider of innovative digital and cloud services, business solutions and design-led experiences delivered through the power of people and the Microsoft ecosystem. Our professionals bring bold, fresh thinking combined with technology, business and industry expertise to help fuel transformation and growth for our clients and their customers. Avanade has 36,000 digitally connected people across 24 countries, bringing clients the best thinking through a collaborative culture that honors diversity and reflects the communities in which we operate. Majority owned by Accenture, Avanade was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation.