The NGEF was held on the 6th and 7th May 2010 in Monaco, but it proved itself yet again to be so much more than just an event for entrepreneurs. It was also an invaluable opportunity for students to learn from the top speakers how to succeed in the business world, they were able to network with the heads of industry as well as the speakers and they were also motivated by a selection of world class motivational speakers.
The event was officially opened by HSH Prince Albert II, who during his speech explained how Monaco’s success depends on our own success as individuals, and inspired the audience to be the best they could. He also talked about how remarkable the tiny Principality is compared to other countries, as despite being so small we have a wealth of not just finance and luxury companies but a wide variety of industries and factories. His talk was followed by Rene Boender who used numerous amusing video clips in his talk “The world is changing; are you changing, too?”; one of only ten talks he will do this year. He is a big advocate of using social media particularly youtube.com to promote your business, and told the students to always think of themselves as a brand. The students were able to take away valuable nuggets of advice from his highly entertaining talk.
The next day was just as packed with useful business advice, as the forum welcomed Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou as the keynote speaker, who enthralled the audience with tales from the easyGroup of companies. He explained how easyJet kept going despite the recent volcano ash which shut down European airspace; he described it as an « unprecedented event » in aviation history and one that cost the airlines billions.
After he had inspired the students Monika Molnarova, the Business Plan competition manager introduced the first three contestants in the competition, which had attracted over 1,000 entries. This is a rare opportunity for students to present to a panel of industry giants their idea for their own business, with a prize and perhaps even a new investor if they well it well enough. The first pair to take the stage were two students from the Henley Business School, who had a web database to help small companies called Business Wisedom.
They were closely followed by Henrik Rothig and Carsten Guthardt-Schule from Luxembourg who presented Larovo, a website which matches electrical products to your individual needs. And finally the first two IUM students: Jitka Slechtova and Anne Sophie Wernerfelt who had a brilliant idea for an application to find out the news and information local area, generated by local users.
After more talks and a networking lunch, three more groups presented their plans. First up were Andrew Land and Erik Evripidou, two MLUX students who created
Club Exquisite – an online community aimed at exclusive brands for exclusive members. They were followed by BSBA student Alexander Durandy and Sean O’Neil were next to present with their business plan for Turgot Corporation – online banking solution to prevent against hacking based on the Skype and instant messaging. Alex’s father Christian Durandy was also an essential part of the team.
However they were all beaten by the winning team who presented last, they were students Adrien Redaud and his team from the Skema Business School in Sophie Antipolis. They created the Mabam security system which is a system built in the car in case of car accident to alert the emergency services.
The NGEF event was finished with a Gala Dinner at Le Meridien hotel in Monaco; the students had an opportunity to let their hair down as well as a final bit of networking with the speakers and business competition entrants. The highlight of the dinner was a fashion show, followed by an exclusive (and very loud) performance by top French rapper Allen Prince.