Ten social enterprises presented their businesses to ABN AMRO MeesPierson’s network of investors on 8 February at the Social Impact Pitch Day, held during the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament at Ahoy Rotterdam. Winning the pitch with its business for power-generating windows, the Delft-based company PowerWindow was selected as the most promising social enterprise.
Organised annually by ABN AMRO, the Social Impact Pitch Day gives up-and-coming social enterprises and a network of leading investors the chance to meet and get to know each other. The investors are clients of ABN AMRO MeesPierson’s Informal Investment Services. All participants share the goal of creating a successful concept to benefit society. ABN AMRO recognises the major impact and unprecedented value that social entrepreneurship can have, which is why the bank gives social entrepreneurs access to its investor network, to financing via its ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund and to coaching from the ABN AMRO Foundation.
Wide range of entries
At the end of last year, dozens of social enterprises submitted their business plans for a chance to find an investor for their business. Judging from the wide range and number of entries, social entrepreneurship is very much alive and kicking. ABN AMRO chose the ten most promising applicants to battle it out on 8 February, when the various teams pitched their plans to Informal Investment Services investors. After the 400 investors present had cast their vote, PowerWindow was announced the winner of the Social Impact Pitch Day.
Great opportunity for PowerWindow
Ferdinand Grapperhaus and Willem Kesteloo founded their social enterprise PowerWindow in 2014. The young entrepreneurs from Delft have developed coated windowpanes that store sunlight and convert it into energy.
When asked about the Social Impact Pitch Day, Willem Kesteloo said, “For us as social entrepreneurs, the event was a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to potential investors. Obviously, the ABN AMRO support package we won will also be a major asset to us. We’re a new business, so the whole experience has been very valuable.”
Nothing but praise
Hugo Westerink, Head of Informal Investment Services, has nothing but praise for the winning pitch: “Our investors were so impressed with how innovative, socially oriented and sustainable the PowerWindow business plan is. We see the company as a model for socially driven enterprises. These young entrepreneurs really bridge the gap between successful and social entrepreneurship. ABN AMRO is excited about helping these promising innovators take PowerWindow to the next level.”