Francesc Julià (Kave Home), Diliara Lupenko (Impress) i Jordi Romero (Factorial), finalistes al Premi Jove Empresari

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Francesc Julià (Kave Home), Diliara Lupenko (Impress) and Jordi Romero (Factorial), are the three finalists who choose to take home the Young Entrepreneur Award organized by AIJEC, the Association of Young Entrepreneurs of Catalonia. In the category of Best Business Initiative, the three projects that choose to take home the award that recognizes the most innovative business idea with future prospects are Opground, The Smart Lollipop and Theker.

The Premi Jove Empresari reaches its 30th edition this year, consolidated as one of the most important entrepreneurship awards held in Catalonia. With this recognition, the AIJEC wants to distinguish the work, effort and perseverance of young entrepreneurs capable of generating jobs and promoting business projects.


The finalists in the Young Entrepreneur Award

Francesc Julià Ametller joined the family business of designing and manufacturing furniture and decoration Kave Home seven years ago. With a multi-channel online and offline business model and a total integration of the value chain, the brand has grown by 34% in 2022 and a cumulative 400% in the last 5 years, positioning itself as one of the leaders in the sector and surpassing the 153 MEUR in turnover. With a presence in more than 80 countries, the company born in Sils (Girona) has a team of more than 500 workers and a transformative sustainability policy. In 2023, it inaugurated a new logistics platform of 100,000 m² in Tordera (Maresme) and two new factories of its own in Yecla (Murcia) to scale operations to the expected future growth.

Diliara Lupenko is co-founder of the chain of clinics specializing in digital treatments for invisible orthodontics Impress. The startup was founded at the end of 2018 with the aim of digitizing a very traditional industry. The technology, the vertical integration and its fundamental pillars of differentiation, have allowed that in less than 5 years Impress has become the leading company in the sector in Europe, has a presence in more than 160 cities, has a team of more than 1,400 professionals and has treated more than 50,000 patients.

Jordi Romero co-founded Factorial in 2016. The company, which offers SMEs a holistic solution to employee management tasks, has become one of the leading HR software for companies with more than 8,000 clients worldwide the world. In October last year, Factorial became one of the unicorn companies in Spain with a valuation of more than one billion euros.

“AIJEC aims to promote the attitude of young entrepreneurs, recognizing people who are a source of business inspiration”, explains Ruben Sans, president of AIJEC. The Young Entrepreneur Award aims to reward those who, over the last year, have best represented the new visions and values ​​of the business world.


The finalists for Best Business Initiative

Opground is the first AI-based platform where IT professionals are interviewed by hundreds of companies at the same time through a single conversation with their AI. The platform co-founded by Eduard Teixidó, Marcel Gozalbo and Jordi Vall, in this way, allows companies to connect with the most suitable talent in less than five minutes, as if they had met them all and knowing that there is always a mutual fit. On the other hand, it allows to obtain personalized and 100% automated advice for both companies and professionals through its Opi the Coach functionality.

The Smart Lollipop, co-founded by Diana Ballart in 2020, has created a smart candy that allows children to detect and diagnose diseases such as hypercholesterolemia or celiac disease through a saliva sample. In this way, the blood tests are replaced by the intake of a candy that, in 10 minutes, offers the results in digital form on an online platform.

THEKER Robotics is a robotics, artificial intelligence and computer vision development startup that has developed the world’s most advanced welding and microelectronic welding technology. Jiaqiang Ye Zhu and Carla Gómez are the co-founders of the company that was born in 2022 providing the solution to efficiently and locally produce electronic devices. The company aims to improve and automate the manufacture of any kind of product, but also to make it more efficient, circular and sustainable, reindustrializing the territory.

With the Award for the Best Business Initiative, the AIJEC wants to support business initiatives developed by young people who invest in sustainable projects based on their ideas. “This category takes into account the projects with the best business ideas that are based on innovation and creativity as well as future perspectives” recalls Estefania González Campins, vice president of AIJEC and responsible for the Young Entrepreneur Award.


The benchmark awards for entrepreneurship in Catalonia

The Young Entrepreneur Award ceremony will take place next Thursday, October 5 at a gala at the IMO Grup Miranza Convention Center and will bring together the main representatives of the economic, institutional and entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country.

In addition to the two main awards, AIJEC Young Entrepreneurs will present three more recognitions: the Recognition for the Best Business Trajectory, which is given to an entrepreneur with experience and an already consolidated business project; the Recognition of Business Linguistic Quality, for a positive promotion of the use of the Catalan language in the company as a tool for qualitative improvement and the Recognition of Social Entrepreneurship. The entity also awards the Future Young Entrepreneur Award to an entrepreneurial project worked on for under 18s.