Students win Venture Academy with gaming app Spawn

17 June, 2016
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Hotelschool The Hague students Gonzalo, Neville and Heinrich are the winners of the Venture Academy of Leiden University, Campus The Hague. With their social smartphone app Spawn, that allows gamers to meet each other online and offline, our students became finalists for the 'best student entrepreneurs' by Gulliver.

Gonzalo: "We joined a sort of incubator programme, hosted by Leiden University, called Venture Academy. This programme selected 8 early stage startups by students, majority of them were Leiden University students and we were the only non-Leiden startup. The programme ran for 20 weeks and every second week we received a workshop of usually 4 hours, that would help our startup.

These workshops ranged from how to create a solid business plan to creating a feasible financial plan, pitching etc. At the end of the programme, last Tuesday, we had to compete with the other startups in something we called D Day. Four entrepreneurs, ranging from one of the major stakeholders from Festival Tomorrowland in Belgium, to an entrepreneur that works together with Elon Musk, judged all the concepts on potential, the team, the market and most importantly: the pitch. 

We were the winners of the programme and our prize was a Wildcard for the Gulliver Finals in Leiden and the title ‘Winner of the Venture Academy 2016’ (which means we can benefit from the whole network of Leiden University). During the Gulliver finals we once again competed against 5 other startups in a pitch battle in front of 150-200 people, Prince Constantijn and 4 other judges.

Unfortunately for us we did not become first but we received many compliments from the audience on our pitch. The public was very supportive and we got scouted by someone from the Accenture Innovation Awards who told us they are very interested in what we are doing and they loved our pitch, so we received an invitation from them to compete for companies such as Microsoft and Google; which means a lot to us.
So this is now our next goal.

Fun fact: The path of entrepreneurship for Henry, Neville and myself is partly thanks to Hotelschool The Hague Elective course CDI (Concept Development & Innovation). We created the first version during CDI and received an overall grade of 100, so we also have to thank many lecturers in school that pushed us to go for it.

About our startup in short: Spawn is a Smart phone Application that aims to connect every gamer on- and offline. The main purpose of our company is to follow the trend that gaming is increasing every single year and brings something new towards the market that will change the perception of gaming from being something you do alone, to a social activity.  

Through our application individual gamers will be able to find like-minded gamers in their direct city as well as connect with them at gaming events with one single touch through NFC technology on their smart phone. By doing this we do not tell people that gaming is bad but we encourage them to do it together with other real people, so you develop your social skills and overall enjoy the experience with other people.

Some statistics: the gaming market is worth 100 billion with over 1.8 billion gamers worldwide. If we would reach only 1% of this market, we speak about 18 million people, but we obviously aim even higher!"

About the author

Gonzalo Recas

Gonzalo is a student at Hotelschool The Hague

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