We're excited to take you behind the scenes of the 2023 Young Startup Competition (YSC), that not only celebrates innovation but propels young entrepreneurs into the spotlight. The windy atmosphere at the SME Assembly in Bilbao reached its pinnacle for our finalists of the YSC on Wednesday, November 15, as the audience awaited the announcement of this year's winner.
Mariia Alipova secured the trophy and after the awards we also had the chance to meet the other finalists and we asked them some questions regarding their experience and ideas, so brace yourselves and let’s get to know Julien Lanssens and his company.
Yoshi Foods, led by Julien Lanssens, is making groundbreaking strides in addressing the issue of packaging waste in the food industry. Their innovative solution involves developing edible and soluble coatings to replace traditional portion packaging. Not only does this reduce environmental harm by eliminating the need for recycling, but it also enhances the preservation of powdered food products while adding texture and seasoning. A real game-changer!
What made you enter the YSC?
I was looking for similar competitions at a European level. I applied because I wanted to speak in front of a European stage and public, it is the second time now and it is really nice to meet people that want to help you and network with them.
What is the problem your company aims to solve?
In Europe we have a huge waste problem. For example, our coating is aims to make the packaging around instant soups disappear by maintaining the same characteristics.
What was it like to be announced as a finalist of the Youth Startup Competition?
Before I received an email saying I was in the top ten, and it was nice, then the week after I got the email that I was in the top three and then I was ecstatic.
What are the main takeaways you got from the 2023 SME assembly?
I am a real social guy but here there are a lot of people and it was a bit intimidating. I really enjoyed the EEPA awards, they made me aware of how many people are actually working and supporting the startup ecosystem at European level.
Young entrepreneurs often face unique challenges: What is the main obstacle for you?
For many people the main struggles are either time or money or to have an innovative idea. In my case I had to struggle with obtaining the trust from my family, they are really rooted in older models of business and I felt some prejudice towards what I was doing.
Finally, we invite you to stay updated on the event on the Promoting enterprise news portal and also via , , , and so stay tuned. It is possible to check the photos from the event also on .
- Publication date
- 7 December 2023
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- Promoting Enterprise - categories
- EU Youth Essay Competition
- Promoting Enterprise - tags
- YECEU SME Week