Press Releases

Save Energy wins big at JA Europe Enterprise Challenge with smart energy saver socket

Bucharest, Romania, 07 July 2016

University ‘Start Up Programme’ students from Romania win top honours at the 2016 European Enterprise Challenge.


Bucharest, Romania, 7 July 2016 - Competing against 19 other companies from 16 European countries, Save Energy won the overall award for best enterprise. The team was chosen based on its innovative idea and strong business potential, which offers a solution to save energy consumed unnecessarily with the electrical devices. A smart socket will automatically detect the device in off-mode within 10 minutes by using an 8-bit micro-processor and it will detach from the source power, saving energy consumed unnecessarily.

We focuses our efforts on innovation, technology and creativity in order to develop our project. In order to win, we worked so much, together with JA Romania, but I think that our major asset lies on our presentation skills and public speaking as well as our ability to scale this business. I've met a lot of high-potential students from all Europe and all of us will make great things in the near future. Winning this award will help me a lot in my business. Still, it is not about the money that we get, it is about the exposure but also the validation on the market from high-skilled jury members. We got also the EY Business Vision Award that will help us enter the market a lot faster and provide us solutions for all the small issues”, said Alexander Marcu-Stoica, CEO Save Energy.

On 6-8 July, over 90 students were competing for the European Finale in Bucharest, Romania after participating in a year-long Start Up Programme and qualifying at the national-level. A JA Europe initiative, the StartUp Programme annually engages over 14,000 University students from 300 universities, giving them the opportunity to experience running a business from top to bottom.

In the last 12 years, more than 115,000 students across Europe have participated in the Start Up Programme. Supporting European goals of improving youth employability and the start-up ecosystem, the programme fosters key competences to ensure that they are prepared for success after university.

‘‘We are a proud partner of JA Europe - our collaboration facilitates impressive projects that inspire young people to initiate socially significant businesses. The NN Social Innovation Award acknowledges innovation with a positive impact on people and communities. This impact aligns with the themes of NN’s Corporate Citizenship programme Future Matters. Realising a start-up that addresses a societal challenge and has a viable business perspective is an impressive accomplishment. Congratulations Danish Cardboard Tech and Safety Chair. And best of luck!’’ – Fleur Hudig, Head of Corporate Citizenship at NN.



Jury members

Cosmin Ochisor, Business Development Manager, Hubraum Krakow - Deutsche Telekom

Adrian Georgescu, Country Business Development Leader, E&Y Romania

Carmen Punga, Industry Manager, Google Romania

Hans Daems, Group Public Affairs Officer at Hitachi Europe, Hitachi

Carmen Soare, Chief Marketing Officer, NN Romania

Patricia Lajara, CSR EMEA Director, Ralph Lauren

Vidhya Sampath, Director of Public Affairs - Europe, Tata Consultancy Services


JA Europe Enterprise Challenge Awards

1. Winner: Save Energy, Romania

2. 1st runner-up: Danish Cardboard Tech, Denmark

3. 2nd runner-up: Safety Chair, Denmark


European Signature Awards

1. ‘Cisco Technopreneurship Award’ recognises the best young technopreneurs, who were able to put their digital skills into practice and come up with an innovative idea.

Winner: Serafirm, Romania

2. ‘NN Social Innovation Award’ recognises the start-up enterprise that best embraces the values “care and impact” in their business strategy while remaining a realistic plan in today’s marketplace.

Winner: Danish Cardboard Tech and Safety Chair, Denmark


EY 'Business Vision Award'

Winner: Staunchh, UK


Alumni Leadership Award


Antoine Wischlen ,France

Lasse Switzer , Denmark

Thomas Gruwez, Belgium

Debbie Loeters , Netherlands

Teodor Savov, Bulgaria

Mathieu Delbroucq, Belgium

Pablo Vidarte, Spain

David Boadu, UK

Pedro Cruz Serrano, Portugal

Gleb Eliseev, Malta

Asheesh Advani, JA World Wide


About JA Europe

JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries in 2014. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy.

About NN Group

NN Group is an international insurance and asset management company, active in more than 18 countries, with a strong presence in a number of European countries and Japan. With around 11,500 employees the group offers retirement services, insurance, investments and banking to more than 15 million customers. NN Group includes Nationale-Nederlanden, NN and NN Investment Partners. NN Group is listed on Euronext Amsterdam (NN).


For more information, please contact:

Mathilde Poncelet

+32 2 893 44 36

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