With over 120 participants, 14 finalists, and 17 semifinalists, the record-breaking event marked the first time a Venture Day was held both face-to-face and online.

Flexible furniture rental platform Rentchester, talent recruiter app Dome and smart card optimizer MyCard were the big winners at IE Business School’s ground-breaking Venture Day in Madrid, in which a record 77 teams and 106 startups competed for the top prizes.

Designed to boost the potential of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by bringing together the best startups with corporations and accelerators, this year’s hybrid event included 147 students and 50 staff members physically present, plus hundreds more who attended virtually through live streaming.

To stay aligned with COVID-19 protocols, all in-person participants received a serological test before attending the event in order to ensure safety.

According to Paris de l’Etraz, Managing Director of Venture Lab at IE Business School, the record number of teams competing was thanks to students making the most of the extra time at home over the past few months--brainstorming entrepreneurship possibilities and participating in the Venture Lab and Knowledge Incubator.

“For all the bad things that COVID-19 brought us, it was also a catalyst that added more meaning to our lives—making us realize what is truly important and how we want to lead our lives moving forward.”
Paris de l’Etraz, Managing Director of Venture Lab at IE Business School

Out of all the teams, 17 semifinalists and 14 finalists went head to head to compete for the top three prizes, as well as the newly-created IE University Sustainability Startup Award.

IE University’s Head of Global Sustainability Isabela Alcázar awarded the first-time prize to Master in Management alum François Xavier Baccourt and his business partner, Tom-Dennis Guerreiro, for To Stay Humble or Not-- a startup that regenerates high-quality clothing from recycled materials.

This year’s top prize went to Rentchester, a startup led by Bachelor in Business Administration alum Adolfo Delibes and his team. This simple and affordable rental platform—the first of its kind in Spain—is a product of the IE Venture Lab and represents a sustainable solution which is scalable thanks to its innovative technology.

The second- and third-place prizes went to The Dome App and My Card, respectively. The Dome App is an application that assists in finding talent and was developed by Information Systems Management alumni Samuel Bailez, Ángela Pérez Rubio and María José Baquerizo García.

Meanwhile, MyCard—led by Elisabet Nieves, Abhishek Jain and Jay Shah from the International MBA—is a startup that produces smart cards designed to optimize a wide variety of uses in one single card.

Attendees applauded the unique event as a showcase of true entrepreneurship.

“In spite of it being the first ‘new normal’ IE Venture Day, the magic was tangible. Over 30 enthusiastic teams celebrated the spirit of entrepreneurship, which seeks out opportunity in times of crisis,” said jury member and partner at Fast Track Sascha Badelt.