Bachelor students' start-up nominated for Rotterdamse Startersprijs

CamHatch Netherlands, founded by three entrepreneurial bachelor students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), was nominated for the Rotterdamse Startersprijs. This local award for ambitious young entrepreneurs was initiated by the Netherlands’ largest business complex, the Groot Handelsgebouw in Rotterdam. Public ’likes’ on Facebook will determine if the students make it to the final pitch in front of the competition’s jury.

RSM students Raïs Lall Mohamed, Evert Sanders and Jamal Warner are in the third year of RSM’s BSc Business Administration (Bedrijfskunde). They founded CamHatch Netherlands, which sells a webcam cover suitable for various devices, such as laptops and tablets.

“It's really important to protect your privacy,” says Lall Mohamed, explaining that governments, investigative agencies and hackers are increasingly taking control of webcams worldwide. “Stickers and post-it notes can mess up your device and don’t look good. So the CamHatch was developed, which is minimalistic, easy-to-use and stylish. It’s also 100 per cent secure and can’t be hacked so no one can peek through your webcam.”

RSM Entrepreneurship Challenge

The RSM bachelor students are driven to scale up business in the Netherlands, and create more value for their customers by protecting their privacy with their solution. They aim to make CamHatch the standard for all devices with a webcam.

“We’ve had this idea for years, but it really started when we were challenged in RSM’s entrepreneurship course to create the most profitable company in terms of economic and social value within five weeks with €5 in seed funding,” Sanders said, adding the course examined entrepreneurship from academic and practical perspectives. In five weeks, the team created as economic and social value; they turned their five euros into a net profit of €1,188.12, which was then donated to KiKa, a foundation that fights cancer in children. The CamHatch team also won the RSM Entrepreneurship Award 2016.

Scaling up business

The RSM bachelor students hope CamHatch will available in all renowned retail and consumer electronics stores worldwide in the future. They also aim to offer their products B2B to help employers and companies protect the privacy of their employees and help prevent leaking of company data.

“Winning the Rotterdamse Startersprijs and working in the Groot Handelsgebouw in the heart of Rotterdam’s business centre, is a key element of our plan to scale up our business and execute our strategy,” said Warner. “It would put us in a highly inspirational environment together with other entrepreneurs, which will lead to creative new ideas, products and collaborations with interesting partners.”

Vote via Facebook

The six nominated entrepreneurial ideas for the Rotterdamse Startersprijs were selected from dozens of applications. The jury selected the nominees based on the entrepreneurs’ ambition, innovation and the start-ups commercial value. The prize consists of year-long use of an office in the Groot Handelsgebouw (Grand Trade Building), the largest business complex in the Netherlands, located in the commercial heart of Rotterdam. The winning start-up will also receive publicity and access to the city’s business network.

Public votes will determine via Facebook which start-ups will be in the final of the Rotterdamse Startersprijs. People can vote for the start-up that inspires them most between Wednesday 26 April and Wednesday 3 May 2017. In the final, which will take place on 8 May 2017, the finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a jury, who will then decide who wins the Rotterdamse Startersprijs 2017.

Other nominees for the Rotterdamse Startersprijs 2017 are architectuurMAKEN, Correctbook, Fundwings, Hi Marry, and StoredEnergy.

Rotterdamse Startersprijs

The Rotterdamse Startersprijs was initiated by the Groot Handelsgebouw in 2014 to give aspiring entrepreneurs a boost to the next step in their start-up plans. It has grown into a platform for entrepreneurs and business partners in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region. To be eligible for the Rotterdamse Startersprijs, start-ups must have been registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce for no more than three years, active in the Rotterdam area, and show a clear business plan for further growth.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

Alumni , Bachelor / Bedrijfskunde , Bachelor / IBA , Companies , Homepage , In the spotlight , International , Newsroom , Master , Strategic management and entrepreneurship , Sustainability , China