‘This was a perspective changing experience’

| Rense Kuipers

IEM student Marius Lupulescu won the first prize, at the finale of the sixth season of Hive01 Wednesday evening at the U Parkhotel. Out of eight contestants who pitched their idea at the ‘dragon’s den’, the jury deemed his business idea for a meeting app for gamers the best.

The winners. From left to right: Marius Lupulescu, Bram Kuitert and Govert Combée.

How was it to pitch your business idea?

Marius: ‘I must admit it was very scary to present. The main difference from presenting in class being this was an idea I came up with myself. It’s still nerve-wracking to know that you have to present to an audience of about a hundred people. Plus, you also have to keep track of the limited amount of time you have. And to look at people in the audience. So yeah, after the presentation I let out a huge sigh of relief. I felt totally deflated.’

What was the idea you pitched?

‘In short, it’s a meeting app for gamers, which allows gamers to organise an event and other people can join. Gaming isn’t a niche market anymore. It’s a 150-billion-dollar industry and to a lot of people it’s either a hobby, sport, lifestyle or profession. Most of my own friends, I first got in touch with through online gaming and we met later. And being an international student here, I know how hard it can be to build a social network. With this social meeting app, I hope people’s passion for gaming can connect people.’

So how would it work in practice?

Let’s say I want to play FIFA and I need five other, experienced players. I can create an event in the app, for which other gamers can sign up. Based on their gaming profiles, I can see how experienced they are. So, as the organiser, it’s still in my own hands to refuse people that don’t really fit in the picture.’


Hive01, formerly called NESST, is a non-profit organisation run by students, who aim to introduce other students and young professionals into the world of entrepreneurship. During a five-month season (twice a year), they guide participants through the aspects of starting a business, by arranging weekly workshops with experts. Seasons ends with a ‘Dragon’s Den’, where the participants pitch their idea in front of investors and local entrepreneurs. Marius Lupulescu won the first prize this season. Runner-up was Bram Kuitert. The audience award went to Govert Combée.

How far along are you with this idea?

‘It’s still mostly a concept. But the first prize was €10.000 in Amazon Web Services credits can be a real boost. It’s even more than the costs I originally estimated. During the summer, I would love to get together with friends and start developing the app.’

Was the Hive01 concept of help to you?

‘I enrolled in this Hive01 season about five months ago, through a friend of mine who was on the board of Hive01. And I wanted to do something extracurricular. I was pleasantly surprised. The evening I came up with this idea, I was motivated by one of the speakers who said: ‘what problem did you experience yourself and how would you fix that problem now?’ So I thought of a way to combine one of my passions with a way to solve a problem I experienced during that passion. To me, it’s safe to say this season was a perspective changing experience.’

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