A ‘first of its kind’ event took place in Monaco on Thursday, 11th April, at the Oceanographic Museum, showcasing, advising, and connecting up and coming entrepreneurs with investors and business people. The event was co-organized by the Monaco Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (MVCA) and the International University of Monaco (IUM).

HSH Prince Albert IIThe one-day forum, designed to promote innovative and socially conscious business models, was officially opened by HSH Prince Albert II. THE EDGE made it possible for young entrepreneurs to access highly successful business leaders and receive their feed-back and advice to improve their own businesses and business plans. Attendees learned how best to access resources from impact investors so as to build their businesses and generate profits, while ensuring positive social and environmental impact.

President of the MVCA, Zsolt Lavotha, commented: “Given the high-net worth of many of its residents, and the concentration of entrepreneurial and business acumen, Monaco has so much to offer young entrepreneurs by way of contacts, advice and potentially access to capital. The Edge proved to be an excellent forum for bringing together a regional and global audience consisting of entrepreneurs, MBA students, business people and investors”

Zsolt Lavotha

Marika TaishoffDirector of the MBA program at IUM, Marika Taishoff, commented: “ IUM is very proud to have co-organized The Edge forum. This event not only showcased up and coming entrepreneurs from five continents. It also provided excellent insight into the necessity and application of disruptive and socially responsiblebusiness models. It demonstrates our commitment, as a business school charged with for forging next generation leaders, to educational excellence , a hands on approach to entrepreneurial initiatives, and an integrated view of corporate responsibilities. “

THE EDGE was chaired by Julie Meyer founder of Ariadne Capital and Entrepreneur Country. Speakers included Jon Wright and Richard Reed, the co-founders of ‘Innocent Drinks’, Stephan Ouaknine founder of Inerjys, Nick Hughes, the founder of the mobile banking service ‘M-PESA’ that revolutionized access to banking and secure money transfers in Africa, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou the founder of ‘Easygroup’,  Juan Villalonga, a successful business man who recently founded ‘Hermes Growth Partners’ and Mungo Park chairman of Innovator Capital and founder of the annual Clean Equity conference in Monaco. Closing Key Note speaker was Ben Bronfman, who is the Principal and founding member of ‘Global Thermostat’.

The Edge

The Impact investor presence was represented by some of the globally leading figures in the industry, namely Ambassador John Simon of ‘Total Impact Advisors’, William Jimerson of Africa-focused ‘Musa Capital’, Rik Vyerman of ‘responsAbility’, and Monaco resident Barend van der Vorm, who moderated this specific session on Impact investing.

The Edge -the winnersThe top 5 Challengers, selected by THE EDGE jury, presented their business plans and the audience voted for the one they would be investing in if they had a chance. The winning company presentation was Karibu Solar Energy, a young Tanzanian company, which aims to provide electricity at a very low cost to families who do not yet have electricity.

With the world’s highest GDP per capita and longest life expectancy, it’s demographics makes Monaco attractive for firms to settle down in the Principality. There is also an active investment community of entrepreneurs, many from abroad who are being encouraged and serviced by organisations such as the Monaco Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (MVCA), whose board comprises several notable entrepreneurs in their own right.

Julius Baer Bank was the main sponsor, a Private Banking institution supporting entrepreneurs and innovative business ideas. Other sponsors included the Monaco Government, Monaco Chamber of Commerce (CDE), Monaco Asset Management (MAM), Envestors, Triago and generous private individuals.

Several important newspapers and media sites, including CNBC (American TV network), are talking about The EDGE!

Take a look at the media coverage:

CNBC : Interview of Zsolt Lavotha, president de Monaco Private Equity et Venture Capital Association (MVCA) – English

Monaco Life – English

Bearing Consulting – English

SanRemo.it (p.95) – Italian

Agence Monaco Press (Italian)

Monaco Matin – French


For more information visit www.edgemonaco.org

For further information contact:

Zsolt Lavotha, Chairman & President, MVCA Email: zlavotha@mvca.asso.mc

Sophie de Lorenzo, Director Corp. Communications, IUM, Email: sdelorenzo@groupeinseec.com