The Mark Challenge 2021

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The Mark Challenge is delighted to announce the winners of the 8th edition.

After the Grand Finale 2020 was held fully online due to the pandemic, we were glad to organize a blended Event broadcasted on May 19th from the Monaco Yacht Club.

On February 23rd, 117 teams from 44 international Universities and Business Schools from 12 countries applied for the competition. Registered teams grouped 329 students and professionals representing 53 nationalities ready to leave their mark.*

Two Juries selected the 6 best entrepreneurial projects:

  • Jury 1 composed of professors in Luxury management and business professionals
  • Jury 2 composed of professors in Entrepreneurship and potential investors
    • Popular Jury composed of professors and students from the invited schools.

The first-ever Online Battles were held as a part of the 2nd Round. The scope was to give visibility to the great ideas that reached the Semi-Final for the first time. The brand new online format offered all semi-finalists’ classmates and Mark Challenge friends to contribute to the success of their favorite projects.

3 teams represented the Bachelor & Master’s category during the Grand Finale:

  • Only One from Polimoda, Italy
  • KlarMare from Istituto Marangoni, UK
  • Convo from Polimoda, Italy

3 teams represented the MBA, Experienced Professionals & Alumni category:

  • MHaus from the International University of Monaco, Monaco
  • Closet Relay from MIP Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • La Grangette from France

The Jury of the Grand Finale:

  • Mr. Robert Boisbouvier, Head, Startup Campus KPMG Monaco, Monaco
  • Mr. Michel Bouquier, Senior Advisor, Monaco Government Finance and Economy Department, Monaco
  • Mrs. Federica Bruno, Communication consultant, Founder 3D COMM, Monaco
  • Mr Mihai Ivascu, CEO , Modex, US
  • John A.C. Marques, Founder, and Creative Director, Marques, Dubai-Lisbon
  • Mrs Sabrina Monteleone-Oeino, Founder and CEO , Sabrina Montecarlo, Monaco
  • Mr. Rumble Romagnoli, President – Relevance, Monaco
  • Anthony Saccon, Chief and Board Advisor, H-Farm, Italy

The Jury of the Grand Finale chose the team Only One from Polimoda, Italy as the winner in category 1 and Closet Relay from MIP Politecnico di Milano, Italy as the winner in category 2.

Only One presented a project to transform the current dimensionless luxury second-hand customer experience into an immersive, exciting, and satisfying multi-dimensional one by tailoring an unforgettable travel experience to a unique piece. Only One first procures the piece and builds a unique travel experience around it. The piece and experience package is then auctioned live through the App and online platform.

This project won the Mark Challenge 2021 because of its originality, uniqueness, unique view of the market, good business plan, strong sustainability, and vision.

The team Closet Relay presented an existing start-up whose purpose is to act as one of the most important industry players to reduce clothes wastes and optimize their usability over time. At the same time, flexibility-based service is another key business factor in reducing parents’ or people’s regrets about worthwhile purchases, enlarging premium product flexibility with different proportioned levels, letting any parents dress their children fashionable every day.

This project won the 8th edition of the Mark Challenge because of its unique vision, strong identity, well-adapted business plan, and highly sustainable system.

The team Only One will receive:

  • Relevance. Logo or a homepage design concept
  • ModexModex BCDB Silver license
  • Neos Chronos. A value proposition and sales optimization package worth 3.000 EUR
  • Club Suisse de Monaco. Exposure to experienced mentors active in your business area
  • Luca Signoretti. A strategic mentoring package worth 3.000 EUR.

The team Closet Relay will receive:

  • Relevance. Logo or a homepage design concept
  • ModexModex BCDB Golden license
  • Neos Chronos. A value proposition and sales optimization package worth 3.000 EUR
  • Club Suisse de Monaco. Exposure to experienced mentors active in your business area
  • Luca Signoretti. A strategic mentoring package worth 3.000 EUR
  • H-FARM. The winner will contact Mr. Anthony C.A. Saccon, Chief Luxury Innovation Hub, who will evaluate the possibility of mentorship for the team.

Special Awards

This year Jury awarded the best entrepreneurial projects in Fashion, Yachting, and Sustainability.

Phoenix representing Burgundy School of Business, France, won the Special Award in Fashion sponsored by A4W, the first group of Business Angels to develop female start-ups.

The team Hy-Plug representing the International University of Monaco won two Awards at a time: Special Award in Yachting and Special Award in Sustainability.

The Special Award in Yachting was sponsored by:

Monaco Yachting Cluster (MYC), an action taken by a top-level council of the Monaco Government. Its primary aims are to provide a platform for dialogue and a united body to lobby decision-makers; to encourage interaction; to implement synergies between professionals; to embrace industry-related activities to give fresh impetus to local businesses since its creation in 2014.

Young Professionals in Yachting (YPY Monaco), an association for young professionals (under 40 years of age) that provides educational and networking opportunities. They have different chapters worldwide like Monaco, the US, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, and New Zealand.

Yachting Ventures, the worlds’ first startup accelerator for the yachting industry.

Onboard, a consulting firm based in Monaco focused on corporate strategy for yachting companies. A platform for B2B education in the yachting industry and B2C promoting the yachting lifestyle to current and potential yacht owners.

This year within the framework of the Special Award in Sustainability, Mark Challenge, for the first time, partnered with Parley for the Oceans.

Parley for the Oceans is the space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. The founder Cyrill Gutsch is an award-winning designer and brand/product developer. In 2012, he decided to focus on a new client vital to us all: the oceans.

Mark Challenge is proud to launch the partnership with Parley for the oceans because sustainability is one of the priorities for the Principality of Monaco. This country is a kind of laboratory “en plein air” for innovative sustainable projects. Mark Challenge is a part of our engagement and modest contribution to support the role of the Principality to develop a sustainable consciousness.

The organizational team of the Mark Challenge would like to express its gratitude to all teams, their universities/business schools, and professors, private companies that helped our participants through this long journey that started in January 2021. We want to thank all our partners and sponsors for their support and willingness.

Sponsors & Partners

The Grand Finale of Mark Challenge

The recorded session of the Mark Challenge 2021 is available on the YouTube Channel of the International University of Monaco:

Registration for the 9th edition of Mark Challenge will be open in January 2022, and the Grand Finale will be held on May 18th, 2022.

Mark Challenge is the international business plan competition of luxury products and services powered by the International University of Monaco (IUM). The competition connects students, alumni, academic professionals, and business leaders from all over the world.

The International University of Monaco (IUM) is a business school dedicated to the education of future leaders and managers. It offers Bachelor, Master, MBA, and DBA programs in key sectors representing the Principality of Monaco: finance, luxury management, international management, and sport business management. The University welcomes more than 600 students coming from 75 different countries.

*Please note that the numbers of the 8th edition indicated in this document can be different from those published on our website and social media. Participants could name their institutions in different ways during the online registration or create an account twice.

If you would like more information please look at our website.

Feel free to also contact the Admissions Team directly at

Updated 29 September 2021