The Columbus Trophy is the award granted to a successful starting entrepreneur who is acting as a supplier to the hospitality industry, or who had created an innovative hospitality concept. ‘’Selected by-product but judged by entrepreneurship‘’
Since the first edition in 2004, the Columbus Trophy has grown tremendously. It focuses nowadays on supporting local Dutch companies.
It does not focus solely on the product or service but focuses on the entrepreneur behind it. Many young entrepreneurs have great drive and potential. But they find it challenging to continue when they experience difficulties. We aim to support those entrepreneurs by stimulating them to take that extra step.
To apply as a candidate, you have to meet the conditions named below:
- The company is a supplier to the hospitality industry and/or
- The company has created an innovative hospitality concept
- The company has existed for at least 1 year, and 10 years at most
- The company has a maximum of 20 FTE
- The company based in The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany
- The company is able to present itself in Dutch
- Global organizations / corporations cannot participate
Once you created and designed an innovation, and conform to the conditions, you can join the Columbus Trophy. As soon as you fill in the registration form, you will be accepted as a participant of the Columbus Trophy. The jury process is primarily based on entrepreneurship, yet the quality of the product or service is also taken into consideration. The selection process incorporates several rounds and during the last round in August, the finalists will come to Maastricht to present themselves to the jury. The candidates which made it to the finals may present themselves for three days on the BBB Maastricht, which is a Hospitality Trade show. BBB Maastricht has grown to become the most important Euregional event for hospitality industry professionals.
The judges are professionals in their field of work, and are working as a supplier to the hospitality industry or as a hospitality professional. The finalists have to present themselves before about 30 judges, ranging from general manager of hotels, to accountant, to entrepreneurs, including to some former Columbus Trophy finalists.
The diversity and the size of the jury is something that makes the Columbus Trophy unique.
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