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Gen-E, a major European event celebrating entrepreneurship and the achievements of European students, was held from 11 to 14 July 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. The event is organised by Junior Achievement (JA) Europe, of which Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg is a member. The festival gives thousands of young entrepreneurs, aged 15 and over, the opportunity to present their business ideas and compete for the title of best company and best start-up of the year. The Gen-E Festival therefore combines two annual European entrepreneurship competitions for the winners of the JA Company (in Luxembourg: “Mini-Entreprises”) and JA Start-Up (in Luxembourg: “Young Enterprise Project”) programmes from 41 countries.

Team Luxembourg

Bëssen Wëssen

The “Bëssen Wëssen” team, winners of the national Mini-Company competition, represented Luxembourg at the European competition and competed to become “JA Europe Company of the Year”.

The mini-entrepreneurs presented their product, an innovative card game designed to facilitate integration into the country in a fun way. The students first marketed the Luxembourg version, which aims to introduce people to the Luxembourgish language and culture using cards that highlight Luxembourg’s monuments, traditions, events and people. For the Gen-E festival, the budding entrepreneurs have launched a second version, this one focusing on the European Union!

For Kim Lanners, leader of the Bëssen Wëssen team, Gen-E was a great experience for the whole team: “You meet so many new people, you get new ideas, you are inspired to continue and even more motivated”.

Bright Cleaning

The “Bright Cleaning” team, winners of the “Young Enterprise Project”, took part in the European competition to win the title of “JA Europe Innovation of the Year”. Julian Rousset, Max Rollinger and Paul Parries, three students studying for a BTS in Connected Buildings at the Lycée des Arts et Métiers, designed an autonomous system for cleaning solar panels without human intervention. Their solution enables solar panels to maintain their maximum efficiency, which is only guaranteed if they are clean.

The team would like to continue the project and are already in contact with various players in the Luxembourg ecosystem to make their idea a reality. Djamel Fellag, teacher, and Luigi Losavio, team coach, accompanied the young entrepreneurs throughout their project.

At the Gen-E festival, Paul and Julian were looking forward to making new acquaintances. As Paul explains: “We meet a lot of different people who have the same spirit and philosophy as us. The atmosphere is really good too!



Main Awards

  •       The JA Europe Company of the Year Award (upper secondary level) recognises the mini-companies and young people who have best demonstrated their business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit through their participation in the JA Company programme. This year’s winner was the Isometricks team from Greece.
  • The JA Europe Start-Up of the Year Award (university level) recognises the most viable and sustainable business, focusing on the value (financial, social or cultural) already created in the real market and its potential for expansion. This prize was won by the Toteuma team from Finland.
  • The JA Europe Innovation of the Year Award (both levels) recognises the mini-companies and start-ups that have developed the most innovative businesses and business solutions with real future investment potential. The most innovative start-up of the year is Tiaki from the UK and the most innovative company of the year is Mindcore from the Isle of Man.


Signature Awards

In addition to the podium, teams taking part in the competition also had the chance to win several Signature Awards:

Upper Secondary Level

  •       BNY Mellon Future First Award
  •       Citi Foundation Client Focus Award
  •       Alumni Leadership Award – with the support of Delta Airlines
  •       Fedex Access Award
  •       Goodyear Brand Excellence Award
  •       Manpowergroup Ready for Work Award


University Level

  •       Avanade Digital Innovation Award
  •       Euroclear Financial Performance Award
  •       EY Gen-E Young Women Leaders Award
  •       Fedex Access Award

The Bright Cleaning team was shortlisted for the Fedex Access Award. In the end it was Evstinguish from Denmark that convinced the jury and won this prize.

The Bëssen Wëssen team convinced the jury of the Goodyear Brand Excellence Award. This award recognises companies with a very solid business model and finances, with plenty of potential for growth, and a good understanding of their customers’ expectations. Their leader, Kim Lanners, won the Alumni Leadership Award, which recognises people with special leadership skills.

An unforgettable experience

The students will certainly not forget their stay in Istanbul and the new connections they made. The students agree that the cruise on the Bosphorus was one of the highlights of their stay. However, the award ceremony in evening dress with a four-course menu was also very impressive. Between the team pitches and the exhibition of the various projects, the students and their accompanying adults also had the opportunity to take part in various workshops. One example was the workshop with Fedex on the theme of logistics.