Skip to main content

ImpactFest 2021 sold out

5 November, 2021

Need for innovative and sustainable entrepreneurship underwritten during sold-out ImpactFest

What an energy during the 6th, sold-out, edition of ImpactFest! More than 1,400 impact makers from all over the world came together yesterday, November 4th, at the Fokker Terminal in The Hague. After a successful online edition last year, it was finally possible again to physically organize Europe’s biggest impact meetup. Entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, NGOs, and policymakers; all came together to drive innovations for a sustainable future.
ImpactFest 2021

On Thursday, ImpactFest officially started with a plenary opening, after which participants could join one of the sixteen different ‘Meetups’ (knowledge deep dives), organized by the 40 partners of ImpactFest. Another option was to participate in one of the dozens of ‘Roundabout’ sessions. Roundabouts are small interactive workshops guided by the host’s expertise, discussing the main themes of ImpactFest (food, water, new energy, and humanitarian innovation), but also with entrepreneurial challenges such as financing, marketing, and attracting talent.

But that wasn’t all: during the day various talk shows took place with (inter)national guests such as Roberta Bosurgi, CEO of EVPA, and Gerry Higgins, founding partner and managing director of Social Enterprise World Forum; you could test food products from startups at the InnoFest test lab and entrepreneurs looking for investments attended the ‘reversed pitching’ with six (inter)national investment funds.

“It was great to see this group of innovative entrepreneurs and other impact makers again. Together we work towards the same goal: a sustainable economy. Every year I look forward to seeing these impact makers from our city in conversation with the talent of tomorrow. And also have the partners, investors and (European) policy makers who are committed to the interests in which we act, join us.”

Saskia Bruines, Alderman for Economy, Municipality of The Hague
Get in The Ring Impact Competition

The most spectacular part of ImpactFest was without a doubt the European final of the Get in The Ring Impact Competitie. Founded by Unknown Group and ImpactCity, the competition saw six national finals over the past year in Europe’s six leading impact ecosystems – Berlin, Lisbon, Geneva, Oslo and Copenhagen. Out of 322 applications, 20 startups were selected to come to European finals in The Hague.

Prior to the final, a special ‘dealmaking day’ took place where the startups met with international parties on Wednesday. During ImpactFest the entrepreneurs exchanged ideas and insights with Constantijn van Oranje, special envoy of Techleap.

Following a strict selection on Wednesday, the jury identified four startups that would compete against each other during the grand final. The four finalists, Alvar World, Bioo, reNature and Wasser 3.0,, competed against each other in the box ring in a packed and energized Fokker Terminal.

Ultimately, ReNature and Alvar World emerged victorious from the battles, take home the title of being the first ever winners of the first Get in the Ring – Impact Competition. Both startups are now in talks with several investors. With this, the competition didn’t just prove its capabilities of scouting the most innovative and promising startups, but providing them with real investment opportunities.

Doing good and doing business

Doing good and doing business is not just the motto but the core of what ImpactCity stands for. The initiative out of The Hague, of which ImpactFest is the annual flagship event, is proud and thankful to see the lively ecosystem coming together yesterday. 

A few other highlights:

– Global provider of data and information on startups and tech ecosystems, Dealroom.co, launched the Global Impact Ecosystem report. This report is an initiative of ImpactCity, Tech Nation and the Danske Bank.

– The Hague impact investment fund 4impact (located at impact hub Apollo 14) announced that it will lead the next investment round for the Hague impact startup Circularise.

The Hague Humanity Hub announced, after a very successful Just Peace Month, that the Just Peace platform will be continued, to show how The Hague works every day for peace and justice. The platform will act as a digital hub for programming in the city around peace and justice, making it accessible to citizens, entrepreneurs and organizations.

In 2022, ImpactFest will take place on October 12. For the next edition, forces will be combined with the GIIN (Global Impact Investor Network), to connect international impact investments and impact entrepreneurs with high potential. The GIIN’s investor forum will be running alongside ImpactFest 2022 so be sure to mark your calendars!