Over 5 days in July 2022, JA Malta was represented at the JA Europe Gen-E 2022, Europe’s largest entrepreneurship festival held in Tallinn, Estonia, hosted by JA Estonia.
Over 800 young entrepreneurs from 40+ countries all over Europe gathered to represent their countries to pitch their innovative solutions and products to their peers and mentors while competing for various European Awards. The finalists were selected from over 375,000 JA students who, during their 2021-2022 scholastic year, participated in the JA Company and Startup programmes in their respective countries.
This year, Malta was represented by Easybeads, a team from St Aloysius College Sixth Form, who won the Company Programme, and Plastopex, comprising students from the University of Malta, after winning the Startup Programme. Both teams delivered highly polished and professional presentations garnering them excellent feedback from the judges and the audience. Both teams were very grateful for the experience that was provided to them by JA Malta.
“Our Gen-E experience in Tallinn has made us grow as a team as well as individually, and has put us in real-life business situations that built our confidence, and feeling ready to take on more risks in life,” commented the Plastopex team.
The Easybeads team agreed wholeheartedly with their counterparts’ views, adding that a highlight for them was that “the Gen – E experience celebrated everyone’s accomplishments while allowing us to share our innovative ideas, meet new people, and create a community of people who want to make a difference through their enterprises.”
The teams were accompanied by Mr Matthew Caruana, JA Malta CEO, Mr Chris Vassallo Cesareo, JA Malta Chairperson, Ms Elizabeth Pulo, Operations Manager at JA Malta, Ms Fabianne Ruggier, JA Malta board member, and Mr Alex Falzon, who mentored the teams throughout their entrepreneurial journey.
Moreover, Malta and JA Malta were given the limelight during the opening ceremony that was addressed by Dr Roberta Metsola in her capacity as the President of the European Parliament and as a JA Malta alumna.
“This event is the culmination of the hard work put in by both the students and our staff throughout the academic year,” explained JA Malta CEO, Matthew Caruana. “The European finals are where our youths represent their country on an international stage, while learning from their peers and networking with influential people in the industry. This is the amazing experience that JA students benefit from and I was very proud to see our students perform with such confidence. Needless to say, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes and we are very grateful to all the teachers, volunteers, and mentors who dedicate their time to help these students achieve and excel. I encourage all students who want to benefit from this opportunity to sign up for the JA programmes at the start of the next scholastic year.”
The Gen-E main Company Programme awards went to Micrgogreens from Greece, and Noll Deponi from Sweden, while the Startup Programme honours were awarded to Hear N Protect from UK, and ZandZwiffer from the Netherlands, respectively.