The Salamanders in a Dragons’ Den prize awarded by leading investors, entrepreneurs and INSEAD professors.
16.05.2015 | Blasting News won on Saturday June 13th the prestigious Salamanders in a Dragons’ Den competition, a prize awarded to the best performing and most promising start-ups by INSEAD, the business school of the world. Blasting News beat tough competition from nine other start-ups founded or managed by INSEAD alumni and was recognised for its fast user growth, innovative business model and ability to scale on a lean team structure. This award closely follows the announcement that Blasting News reached 20 million unique monthly views on www.blastingnews.com in June after nine months since its international expansion. The competition was organized by All Brain’s Managing Partner Marcello Vena, an INSEAD MBA’05D.
The Salamanders in a Dragons’ Den jury was led by Timothy Bovard, Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD, and comprised INSEAD Alumni such as: Fabio Cannavale (Chairman of Lastminute.com Group), Claudio Giuliano (CEO of Innogest SGR), Marco Kemper (Founder and CIO Investfair) and Jacques Baudier (Deal Flow Director of the INSEAD Alumni Business Angels Network in France).
The second place was awarded to Hyris, a bio-tech company, and third place went to online hotel booking agency DayBreakHotels.
Andrea Manfredi, founder of Blasting News and INSEAD alumnus said: “I am immensely proud that Blasting News was selected as the top start up among such tough competition. INSEAD is a great family I am so proud to belong to. This recognition of our current success and future potential by such an illustrious panel is testament to the innovation and hard work of the Blasting News team”.
Carlo Montenovesi, Chairman of the INSEAD Alumni Forum Europe 2015 said: “Best-in-class Entrepreneurship is one the key distinctive assets of the INSEAD Alumni Community. In the past 5 five years (2009-2014), INSEAD Alumni have raised over $1.2Bn funds from VCs for their entrepreneurial projects. This amount is more than the sum of all VC funds raised by all the alumni of the 9 European Business Schools which follow INSEAD in this special ranking”.
Marcello Vena, Director of the Salamanders in a Dragons’ Den competition and Managing Partner of All Brain, added “Blasting News is a bold attempt to reinvent the value chain of professional news on a global scale and attain higher press freedom. With its 20M+ unique monthly views, it is already a top 150 online property in Italy. While newspapers and magazines suffer a major crisis in many countries, professional journalism is very alive and much needed”.
The prize was awarded during the two days of the INSEAD Alumni Forum Europe 2015 which took place in Stresa, near Milan (Italy). The Forum was on “Europe at a crossroad. Growth factors: from Entrepreneurs to Shareholders”. With over 350+ alumni from 45 countries and 110 classes, the Forum was the largest and most successful to date. Among the distinguished speakers there were also key Italian thought leaders and INSEAD alumni such as: Roger Abravanel – Director Emeritus McKinsey; Paolo Braghieri – CEO, GE Capital Interbanca; Francesco Caio – CEO, Poste Italiane; Fabio Cannavale – Chairman, Lastminute.com Group; Luca Garavoglia – Chairman di Campari Group; Federico Grom – Co-founder GROM; Roberto Italia – Chairman, Cinven; Carlo Montenovesi – Founder and Chairman, Cross Border and Marcello Vena – Founder and Managing Partner, All Brain.
About Blasting News
Blasting News is the first global, social magazine: a technological institution connecting writers, content and audience in a professional magazine powered by hundreds of thousands of people. Blasting News mission is to give everybody the possibility to post high-quality, original news in a professional magazine, share their own ideas, and contribute to forming a truly independent public opinion. Blasting News lays on four principles. Social Platform: Blasting News does not produce content itself, but enables other people to do it. Technology: a large part of the staff is dedicated to technology. Meritocracy: each news article is paid according to the number of readers it gets. Quality: all the news are checked and either approved or rejected by algorithms and by a senior team spread all around the world. Blasting News is going to be the next sharing economy player: everybody can be a reporter, and disrupt the elite of traditional editors.
About INSEAD and INSEAD Alumni Association
As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to change lives and to transform organisations. A global perspective and cultural diversity are reflected in all aspects of our research and teaching.
With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD’s business education and research spans three continents. Our 146 renowned Faculty members from 34 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our MBA, Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Master in Finance, Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 12,000 executives participate in INSEAD’s Executive Education programmes each year.
The INSEAD alumni network is robust, diverse and globally connected to an extent few institutions can boast. With almost 50,000 Alumni distributed across 173 countries with 157 nationalities, our Alumni are citizens of the world, understanding how to balance local and global impact and perspectives, and have “experienced the world as it ought to be” as one graduate claimed. This aspect of the INSEAD culture is very powerful and valuable in the 21st Century. In this smaller, connected world, it is critical that leaders view the world as a whole, and think and act both locally and globally. This has been part of the INSEAD culture for over 50 years.
The INSEAD Alumni Association (IAA) represents all INSEAD alumni and acts as its spokesperson towards the various stakeholder groups of INSEAD. It is an umbrella organisation, co-ordinating the many national alumni associations (NAAs). Currently there are 46 National Alumni Associations (NAA) representing 49 countries across the world. The purpose of the NAAs is to support its members throughout the world with a comprehensive and wide range of professional and social activities to nourish the network and to promote INSEAD.
The INSEAD Alumni Forum Europe has been organized with the support of the INSEAD Alumni Association of Italy, led by Giulia Belloni – Managing Director of Russell Reynolds Italy.