ROTTERDAM, 19 April 2023 – A thrilling contest unfolds as three innovative frontrunners are announced as finalists for the 38th edition of the Rotterdamse Ondernemersprijs (Rotterdam Entrepreneurs Award). Alphatron Medical, Hell's Kitchen, and Houweling International are the three nominees vying for the prestigious award.
Finalists announced for the 38th Rotterdam Entrepreneurs Award
Alphatron Medical, Hell's Kitchen, and Houweling International have been officially named as the three nominees for the Rotterdamse Ondernemersprijs 2023 during a lunch event at the Rotterdam City Hall. Alderman Simons received the three nominated companies and the nominees for the Nieuwe Heldenprijs (New Heroes Award). The awards ceremony will take place on 6 June during a festive evening at CarPort Rotterdam.
Rotterdam Entrepreneurs Award: a testament to exceptional entrepreneurship
The Rotterdamse Ondernemersprijs is the premier accolade for entrepreneurship in the Rotterdam metropolitan area. In 2022, Van Gelder Groente & Fruit claimed the prestigious prize. "This year again, it will be captivating to see who will win the award. The contenders come from various industries and distinguish themselves in their own unique way. They make a societal impact, are people-oriented, and have the courage to take risks," says Ellen van Dam, Chairperson of the Rotterdamse Ondernemersprijs.
Introducing the nominees
Alphatron Medical: revolutionising healthcare through innovation
Alphatron Medical develops cutting-edge products and services to enhance healthcare. The 25-year-old family business leads the market in the Netherlands. Employing master technology and ICT, the company streamlines healthcare processes, such as the ingenious care station AMiS, which optimises the workflow for nurses, and their latest product, Alviscan, enabling patients to measure their blood pressure and heart rate independently. Alphatron Medical organises the data and makes it exchangeable for healthcare providers.
Hell's Kitchen: pioneering the hospitality industry with a Local Hero strategy
Hell's Kitchen is a hospitality group operating 12 establishments in prime locations, employing around 600 people. The company's strength lies in its Local Hero strategy, only choosing the best locations after extensive research. The venues integrate seamlessly into their surroundings, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner to foster stability and stronger customer connections. Hell's Kitchen leads the industry in professionalisation and invested in a community to bolster employee engagement last year. The organisation significantly contributes to the vibrant atmosphere of the city.
Houweling International: leading the charge in sustainability
Houweling International is a sustainability trailblazer. The nearly 100-year-old family business has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Romania, and Canada. It supplies packaging for products and crops, as well as workwear to protect staff on the work floor. The term 'waste' has long been obsolete for this organisation, as they develop and sell circular products, contributing to preserving valuable resources, reducing fossil fuel consumption, and minimising waste. Houweling uniquely produces its jerry cans and watering cans from 100% recycled plastic.
New Heroes Award nominees
On 6 June, the Nieuwe Heldenprijs (New Heroes Award) will also be presented, an initiative by VNO-NCW Rotterdam. New Heroes are the accelerators and innovators of our time. The three nominees for the Nieuwe Heldenprijs 2023 are Hardt Hyperloop, Reefy, and iKapitein from Rotterdam, all distinguished by their lofty ambitions.
Hardt B.V. aims to revolutionize transportation by developing and testing hyperloop technology, with the goal of establishing an initial route. A hyperloop is a transport system in which a train travels through a vacuum tube, making transportation more sustainable, safer, and faster.
Reefy: designing nature-inclusive, sustainable solutions
Reefy designs and produces nature-inclusive and sustainable solutions for ports, breakwaters, shoreline protection, and offshore wind parks. The organization combines civil engineering and biology to safeguard both people and nature in a changing climate.
iKapitein: shaping the future of water recreation in Rotterdam
iKapitein is one of the largest providers of water recreation in Rotterdam, offering next-level boating, (water)cycling, dining, and stand-up paddleboarding experiences. The organization has a significant societal impact and leads the way in sustainability and innovation. Every year, 17,000 visitors explore Rotterdam via its waterways, bringing the city's residents together in a unique way and raising awareness among young people about their environment and opportunities.
Celebrating top companies
The Rotterdamse Ondernemersprijs will be presented for the 38th time this year. Previous winners include renowned companies such as Hello Print, Tchai International, Coolblue, Schmidt Zeevis, and Quooker.
The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship compiles an annual list of the top 50 growth companies in the Rotterdam metropolitan area on behalf of the Rotterdamse Ondernemersprijs. Companies on this list are automatically nominated for the award. Additionally, Rotterdam entrepreneurs, residents, and other stakeholders can nominate themselves or another company for the prize.
Submissions are evaluated by the jury of the Rotterdamse Ondernemersprijs, consisting of the board and the previous year's winner.