The European Startup Prize for Mobility is the largest European contest for startups that specialize in mobility that incorporates sustainable development. MaaS Global’s Whim mobility app was selected as one of the three winners from ten finalists and from almost 500 startups.
The contest, organized by the European Parliament, aims to help growth companies to expand into the European mobility markets. The founders of the competition, European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc and mobility and travel committee chairman Karima Dell believe that mobility is restructuring itself.
As judges of the competition, Bulc and Dell think this is necessary because of the challenges posed by the changes in the climate and population structure. Other judges included the founder of the very successful BlaBlaCar, Frédéric Mazzella and Estonia’s economy and structure minister Kadri Simson.
The prize criteria were the startup’s positive effect, measured with both environmental and social meters, the better availability of mobility for the end users in the future, and respect for the principles of sustainable development. Whim by MaaS Global was awarded in the award ceremony in Brussels on Thursday February 22th February 2018 by the competition sponsor Europcar Group’s new mobility unit managing director Sheila Struyck.
”As a big operator, Europcar Group is really proud to be a part of the European Startup Prize competition. We narrowed our choice to MaaS Global, because they offer an innovative alternative for owning a car. Acting as the sponsor for the European Startup Prize for Mobility means a lot to us, as we’re constantly looking for new ideas and startups to help us suggest new solutions for our own customers. We can’t wait to see how we can work with MaaS Global in the future,” Sheila Struyck says.
As a winner, MaaS Global will receive four months of consultation services from The Boston Consulting Group, Via ID, and other partners. These partners will help MaaS Global to expand their business elsewhere in Europe. In addition, the ten finalist startups will receive local visibility through a tour that visits five major capitals in Europe. During the tour, these startups will have a chance to meet potential clients, investors, and local partners.
“The award means a lot to us. We can’t make a transportation breakthrough like this alone, we must do it as a part of an ecosystem. To be appreciated like this by the ecosystem is a great and important thing. This is not only a win for MaaS Global and Whim, it’s a win for the whole ecosystem and every part of it,” muses MaaS Global’s managing director and founder Sampo Hietanen.
- Award-winning Whim is now available in the Helsinki area and in Great Britain’s West Midlands. The service is expanding to The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria in 2018.