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At the spectacular finals of the I WILL Award, RSM’s community comes together to share willpower and Big Plans to change society and inspire others to be a force for positive change – from tackling lack of education for refugees, addressing sexual violence, and launching sustainable food initiatives.

In the boxing ring at the I WILL Get in the Ring event, each finalist pitches and defends their plan or start-up in head-to-head battles to convince the jury why they should win €15,000 to put their plan into action. There is also an audience prize of €2,000. Here’s an overview of I WILL Award winners since 2012.


The 2020 award was won by Blockheating, an innovative start-up that recycles and exchanges heat from data processing centres into greenhouses. Other competing impactful business ideas included upcycling fashion waste, creating a circular economy, and virtual reality technology in outpatient care. 

The audience prize went to Fuusje, which provides colourful covers that hide scary-looking intravenous infusion bags for children in hospital. Each cover tells a story which help bring a smile, and encourages personal conversations between medical professionals and childre

I WILL Award 2018

From tackling lack of hygiene in Tanzania, to promoting positive impact on the environment and sustainable food initiatives, the community of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) came together to share their willpower and Big Plan in an attempt to win the I WILL Award of €15,000 to put their plan into action. The spectacular I WILL Get in the Ring event took place on campus on 6 March 2018.

Six finalists pitched their inspiring ideas for improving society in head-to-head battles. In this exciting final; there were not one, but two winners. Boxrs4ALL makes boxer shorts and donates underwear to someone in Tanzania for each pair of shorts sold. And Juvoo is a digital administration buddy for healthcare professionals. Each start-up won €15,000 to put their inspiring idea into action. Juvoo also won the audience prize of €2,000.

The audience prize of €2,000 also went to one of the main prize winning teams, Juvoo.

I WILL Award 2016

Weather data service Kukua won 2016’s I WILL Get in the Ring event on campus on 3 March 2016. Kukua, co-founded by RSM bachelor student Ollie Smeenk, provides a weather data service for Sub-Saharan African farmers to enhance food security and cope with climate change. As traditional weather patterns have become obsolete, frequent droughts and floods have led to increased famine and 1.5 million tonnes of wasted food every year. Kukua’s weather monitoring solution uses existing low-cost technologies and sends weather forecasts to farmers via SMS to address this problem.

The audience prize of €2,000 went to Pearltect (now Invi), which develops a non-violent and legal self-defence bracelet that looks like jewellery. Once activated, an unpleasant smell and an invisible DNA marker will be released. The smell is used to sexually demotivate the attacker. The marker can link the attacker to the crime scene even after months.

I WILL Award 2014

Six finalists competing for € 15,000 of funding in our I WILL Award competition took part in a battle of big ideas on 4 March 2014. Their challenge during the spectacular I WILL Get in the Ring event was to convince the jury why their ideas showed the most willpower to change society and to inspire others.

And the winner was Dwillo, representing an online mentoring community.

“Dwillo provides online mentor communities for universities and organisations. The communities facilitate mentoring and coaching relations between students and young professionals. Having a mentor helps mentees in making difficult choices related to study, career and personal development. In return mentors enjoy a fresh perspective and gain intrinsic satisfaction by giving back. We aim to connect 1 million people by 2017.”

The audience prize of € 2,000 went to CreativeHub.

“CreativeHub is an online platform where students at Erasmus University can share their ideas, create artistic or charity projects, become tutors or start up their own business. It offers entrepreneurs and gifted artists the opportunity to develop their potential by connecting them to the right market and by sponsoring them through crowd-funding.”

I WILL Award 2012

The winner of €15,000 of funding in the I WILL Award 2012 competition was announced after an impressive final round of presentations in front of judges at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

Carlo Cronauer and Paola Gutierrez Watts, who both graduated from the RSM MBA programme in 2012, won €15,000 of funding from RSM’s forward-thinking I WILL movement for their “CroMiDo” project. It will allow donors anywhere in the world to help another person in need with a new system of micro-donations sent by mobile phone.