JCI 2021 World Congress CYE Judges brings together an experienced panel of professional entrepreneurs and angel investors

The final challenge in the inaugural Creative Young Entrepreneur (CYE) competition is drawing near. After four fierce competitions at the 2021 JCI Area Conferences, the top three winners from each Area Conference are heading to the virtual stage in Johannesburg to compete at the 2021 JCI World Congress!

Before the final showdown begins however, we first would like to introduce you to the CYE judges for the 2021 World Congress! A mixture of new and familiar faces, these accomplished leaders display a diverse range of experiences that will guide them as they mentor the CYE contestants.

CYE offers incredibly lucrative prizes for top winners, as well as the aforementioned valuable and practical training for all contestants. Adding even more value to the CYE experience, each of these CYE judges will also be leading a special seminar in their area of expertise. These judges are here not just to evaluate the projects, but to share their skills and expert know-how in their respective field through high quality preparation and mentoring sessions. 

Hendrik Halbe (the Netherlands)
Hendrik Halbe was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at the young age of 14 with his first venture selling books and antiquities. After graduating from Erasmus University Rotterdam with a Masters in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and authoring The Handbook for Informal Investment: The Art of Investing, Hendrik laid the foundation for the company that has evolved into Unknown Group – an early-stage venture capital and business development firm supporting founders and industry leaders to successfully bring innovations to the market. 

Hendrik’s accomplishments include at the age of 26, developing the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. In this period, he was also responsible for co-developing a 33.000 m2 incubator, The Rotterdam Science Tower, leading the Holland Program on Entrepreneurship (HOPE) and securing over €10 million in funding to improve the innovation ecosystem in South Holland. Most recently, Hendrik founded his own entrepreneurship university, the Global School for Entrepreneurship, to fulfil his dream of giving the next generation of entrepreneurs the education he wished he had received.

Israel Pons (Mexico) 
Israel Pons developed his academic and professional career during his 24 years in the United Kingdom. During that time, he served five years as Operations Director for the largest leisure company in Europe, he became an entrepreneur and founded four companies in the UK, three of which were sold successfully. He later became an Angel Investor and resides in Mexico. Israel is Head of the Global Investors Department, WBAF Business School and the CEO and Co-Founding Partner of Angels Nest LATAM. He has given many conferences in different institutions such as universities, forums, exhibitions, innovation agencies amongst others; speaks on a variety of related topics like entrepreneurship, innovation, Fintech, cross-border Angel Investing and crowdfunding in more than 12 countries. Israel believes that “Angel Investment is about people and values and not just about money”.

Lucy Chow (United Arab Emirates) 
Lucy Chow is focused on the innovation space, both in terms of supporting founders and as an investor. She is the World Business Angel Investment Forum (WBAF) Secretary General, on the WBAF Global Women Leaders Committee and Investment Committee Chair and is a part of the WBAF Angel Investment Fund. She is also a Director of Women’s Angel Investor Network and an investor with NextWave Impact Fund and the Founder Institute and Mindshift Capital. She has a video series targeted at entrepreneurs titled “Down to Business.”

Lucy is passionate about developing entrepreneurial skills in students and was one of #LinkedInTopVoices 2020 for MENA, as well as one of CEO Middle East’s Influential Women in the Arab World 2020. She has been a contributing author for “ Life on the Move,” an anthology of stories about expat life and The Possibilities Project: A Young Person’s Guide to Career Success. Lucy is currently authoring a book focused on esports and gaming while also being an Ambassador for Women In Games (WIGJ). 

Olena Prykhodko (Monaco) 
Olena Prykhodko holds a master’s degree in Law and is currently completing a PhD in Constitutional Economics. She is co-founder and managing partner of Modelex Education Monaco, a center for academic excellence in the Principality of Monaco and a Cambridge International School. As the 2018 JCI Monaco National President, she organized various entrepreneurship events and helped attract more than €200k to finance start-ups. Olena was awarded the State Medal of Ukraine for her outstanding contribution towards youth development and served as the Advisor to the Mayor of Kharkiv in charge of international cooperation, where her service contributed to the creation of Kharkiv Municipal Startup Centre. She currently holds the office of 2021 JCI Vice President, assigned to Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland. 

Pheng KOUCH (Cambodia) 
Pheng KOUCH (William) holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, attained an Executive MBA at the Singapore Management University, is the Founder and President of Advanced Glory Logistics (Cambodia) Co., Ltd. since 2004, and is the Executive Director of Triumph Link Holding Limited.

William joined the JCI Cambodia – Phnom Penh Chapter in 2010 when it was officially founded. He became Local President in 2013, served as National Vice President of JCI Cambodia in 2014, and – after graduating from the 2014 JCI Academy in Handa, Japan – he demonstrated his passion for leadership to JCI Cambodia as National President in 2015. He also served as Conference Director for the 2020 JCI Asia and the Pacific Conference in Angkor, Cambodia. He currently holds the office of 2021 JCI Vice President for Asia and the Pacific. 

Through JCI’s international events, William had the opportunity to attend seven JCI Area Conferences, five JCI World Congresses and two JCI Global Partnership Summits that brought him plenty of opportunities to network and get to know JCI leaders and fellow members from around the globe who share the same vision and mission.