Entrepreneur Award at National Business Meeting
to Pascal Jorritsma
From the twentieth floor of the EY building in Madrid, it seemed as if the world was at the feet of Pascal Jorritsma last Thursday 20th of October. He won the Dutch Entrepreneur Award with his company AIR8 Tech International, which provides approximately 25,000 indoor spaces in Europe and Australia with filtered air. Jorritsma showed himself to be a true entrepreneur during the corona pandemic by switching from organizing major events to a completely different concept in difficult times. Pascal Jorritsma is now also active again with his Iventions Event Architects. After the National Business Meeting, he returned with a good feeling to Barcelona, where he has lived since 2005.
The National Business Meeting in Madrid was a great success with more than a hundred attendees from different business clubs from all over Spain. The central theme of the program ‘Entrepreneurship in troubled times – adapting and transforming’ was discussed and looked at from different angles. After Frank Diephuis, as chairman of the DBC in Madrid and host, had welcomed everyone, outlined the program, and briefly explained the value of this meeting, Ambassador Roel Nieuwenkamp was given the floor. Then it was the turn of the Dutch economist Marcel Jansen. The associate professor of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and researcher at think tank FEDEA gave a very interesting presentation on the macroeconomic prospects for Spain. Afterwards, several Dutch business leaders and the head of the embassy’s economic department shed light on the challenges and economic prospects for the coming years during a lively round-table discussion. Generally, a positive outlook predominated.
After these interesting economics lessons, the stage was set for the main players of the National Business Meeting: the finalists of the Entrepreneur, Starter and Manager Award. In the run-up to the event, all candidates had already tried to convince the jury of their quality by submitting a vlog. The finalists were selected on this basis and were allowed to present themselves to all those present during the NBM. At the Ondernemersprijs, Pascal Jorritsma narrowly left the other nominees Rigtmar Brandenburg and Robain de Jong behind. Wouter Draijer’s enthusiasm convinced both the jury and the public to appoint him as the winner of the Starters Prize. The CEO of Solarmente is trying to get Spaniards and foreigners in Spain to use the solar panels. In this way, Draijer and his team also contribute to sustainability. An important element for the jury, who chose him over the nominees Bas Dekker (Soto Solar) and Joris van der Heijden (Controller-for-a-day). The Managers Award went to Mariel Koerhuis of the Johan Cruyff Institute. She finished ahead of Inge Kormelink (Clinica Tambre) and Erik Ottens (Yource Group).
The successful NBM was concluded with a cocktail during which all winners, the nominees and the other guests talked to each other until midnight while enjoying a drink and a snack. That was repeated the next day in the beautiful ambiance of the ambassador’s residence of the new ambassador Roel Nieuwenkamp. Nieuwenkamp, who had just handed over his credentials to the Spanish King Felipe VI, proved to be a great host to Dutch business.