Looking back at the Quarterfinals 2020

After an evening with exciting speed-dating sessions, great conversations at the Innovation Café and an insightful talk on social impact, the jury of our 8 themes selected the Top 10!

Speed dating 


During the Quarterfinals, the innovators pitched their concepts by participating in two speed-dating sessions with jury members. Through these sessions, the participants were able to get immediate feedback from our esteemed jury members. Many participants enjoyed insightful conversations with the jury and considered the sessions as a valuable part of the program. 


Innovation Café 


Later that evening at the Innovation Café, the Top 25 innovations had the opportunity to meet fellow innovators and partners and get to know each other during dinner. They were able to have in-depth discussions about the trends within their themes with other participants, partners and fellow innovators from other themes. 


Inspirational Talk 


Followed by discussions at the Innovation Café, all the participants were invited to join the Impact Up! Inspirational Talk about creating impact. Guest speakers Freerk Bisschop from Rockstart, Irene Hofmeijer from Climate-KIC and Ilham el Khayari from Moroccan Dutch Talent Platform (MDTP) shared their stories and insights on sustainable innovation, social impact and inclusivity. 

“We constantly discuss if we should open Climate – KIC to hire men. I think the main point when we talk about gender equality is that we get so hung up on the numbers of gender balance or cultural backgrounds, but at the end of the day it is not so much about the numbers but more about the lens through which we see the world. You can be a man, be gender aware and lead on women’s right, you don’t have to be a woman for that.” 

Irene Hofmeijer from Climate-KIC

“For me the impact that we are making is not about number of people that we help, but it’s about the impact that we make on a personal level by helping people to believe in themselves, step out of their comfort zone and find their purpose.” 

Ilham el Khayari from Moroccan Dutch Talent Platform (MDTP)

“I think we need to get rid of the sentence “Let me get back to that” because what that means is, I am not interested. We should change that to, “Let me act on this” and point to a small step that can be made to solve something. Even if you don’t know, you should say, “I don’t have the answer now, but let me get back to you in a week so that I have the time to think about it”. This leads to action rather than going back to something.”  

Freerk Bisschop from Rockstart

The talk was moderated by Merle Freeke from Mischief Makers.

“For me, purpose economy is much more about us, interacting, talking to one another, understanding, listening. It is also what I would like you to do: listen to each other, pay attention and sense what is going on in the world. Maybe you will have a conversation with a neighbor, or a newcomer and you realize that things are actually quite different in the world and maybe things should change”. 

Merle Freeke, moderator of the Innovation Talk.

Announcement of the Top 10

The evening ended with a bang with the announcement of the Top 10 innovations per theme by Andrew Moskos from Boom Chicago. The Top 10 innovations will join us at the Semifinals DeFabrique on March 12.

Follow us on LinkedInInstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube to make sure you’re up-to-date with what’s happening at the Blue Tulip Awards 2020. 


Share this article on social media:


View all frequently asked questions about the Innovation Awards Program


For questions regarding the Innovation Awards please contact us