Closure, CodeGorilla and Venopi through to the Startup Award finals

TEDxAmsterdamWomen - Startup Award Finalists

A subscription cancellation service for those grieving the death of a loved one. Intensive bootcamps to get unemployed people – especially women – coding. An online platform where small business owners can offer and find spaces to rent for any occasion as part of the sharing economy. These are the diverse startup ideas selected as the TEDxAmsterdamWomen Startup Award 2018 finalists.  

On September 24th, the Startup Award 2018 semi-finals, co-hosted by Deloitte, were held at Epicenter in Amsterdam. This inspiring evening saw 11 female entrepreneurs take to the stage, with just five minutes to pitch their business to the jury and crowd of 200 attendees.

Closure (Chantal van der Velde & Graciëlla van Hamersveld), CodeGorilla (Diem Do) and Venopi (Ivana Setiawan) impressed the jury with their innovative ideas. These three finalists will have one more chance to battle it out on stage during the TEDxAmsterdamWomen 2018 Conference, on December 6th at the KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. The winner will receive a major kick-start to their business: expert advice from professionals for a year, meetings with potential investors and a business trip to Hong Kong.

Bridging the gap

The theme of the TEDxAmsterdamWomen 2018 Conference is ‘bridging the gap’. The Startup Award finalists and other speakers taking to the stage on December 6th all have one thing in common: an idea worth spreading, connected to this theme.

Here’s what the Startup Award finalists have to say:

Closure: “Meeting other female entrepreneurs, who are few and far between, is already so valuable. Beyond this, it’s challenging as a female startup to be taken seriously by large companies. TEDxAmsterdamWomen is a huge help.”

CodeGorilla: “As social entrepreneurs, we’re proud to make it to the finals. Also because it shows that talented companies can also be found outside of the Randstad.”

Venopi: “We do what we do because we want to make a difference. For the community and for the person behind the business. If they’re successful, we’re successful.”

There were a remarkable number of female entrepreneurs in the crowd at Epicenter. Everyone was welcome to share their business ideas during an open discussion while the jury deliberated, in the true spirit of TEDxAmsterdamWomen. The evening wrapped up with drinks and bites, giving all attendees the chance to network and build connections.

Startup Award success

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Startup Award will be part of the TEDxAmsterdamWomen conference.

Marian Spier, TEDxAmsterdamWomen Founder, says “The TEDxAmsterdamWomen Startup Award is a great success. We offer female entrepreneurs a platform that gives them more visibility and an influential network through our partners, giving them the opportunity to scale up their business as quickly as possible. This success has resulted in a European Entrepreneurship Prize from the European Union for the Startup Award this year.”

Nhi Phan, Head of the Startup Award also stated, “We also see success in the number of registrations, which are increasing every year. Due to the growing popularity of the Startup Award, we started with an online web series, where everyone can follow the entire Startup Award journey. ”


TEDxAmsterdamWomen would like to thank the partners who made the event possible, with a special thank you to the jury:

Kasia Blicharz (Deloitte)

Dragi Dimitrijevic (ABN AMRO)

Dorianne Richelle (Facebook)

Ilse van Gasteren (Clifford Chance)

Nhi Phan (TEDxAmsterdamWomen)

Cara Antoine (Microsoft)

Nathalie Sichtman (Gemeente Amsterdam)

Tineke Bakker-van der Veen (Boeing)

Lara Ankersmit (NOS)

Kirsten Spahr van der Hoek (Accenture)

Barbara Rogoski (She Speaks with Passion)

Mirjam van Oort (Philips)

Mayen van Luttikhuizen (Cathay Pacific)