September 6, 2021

The Netherlands & Unknown Group Launch The “Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour” For Impact Startups And Scaleups

The Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour is aimed at identifying and scaling up some of the most innovative startup solutions in the fields of water, energy and food. The Get in the Ring tour covers the fastest growing innovation ecosystems in the world and will culminate at the finals taking place at the Expo 2020 Dubai in January 2022.


September 6, The Hague. Global challenges call for global collaboration. In order to solve the most crucial impact areas on an environmental level – water, food and energy, there is an urgent need to test, prove and globally scale up the brightest startup solutions.  

The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Unknown Group are pleased to announce the launch of the Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour. From September 2021 onwards, the Innovation Tour travels through the MENA, the APAC regions and The Netherlands. The top 15 startups participating in these virtual pre-rounds will be invited to pitch their solutions to the world’s leading investors, corporates and governments at the finals taking place at the Expo 2020 Dubai in January 2022.

In the coming decades, the world will need increasing amounts of resources. Population growth, resource-intensive lifestyles and the damaging effects of climate change will lead to water, energy and food insecurity across the globe. To be able to feed a population of almost 10 billion people that will likely inhabit our world in 2050, we have to think about how we can use scarce resources like water, energy and food as efficiently as possible. 

H.E. Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE said, “Our partners in governance in the Gulf region plan to effectively achieve its ambitions to diversify its energy mix, become more self-sufficient with regards to its food supply, and secure the availability of freshwater for agriculture and consumption. These water, energy and food sectors will have to operate in close coordination, as a nexus. The inextricable linkages between these critical domains, water, sustainable agriculture and efficient energy production are critical if we are to take responsible climate action.” 

The Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour will be operated by Unknown Group’s label, Get in the Ring. Over the last decade, Get in the Ring has grown to become the world’s most global startup competition with events in over 100 countries and one of the most credible avenues to be noticed by investors, reaching countless startups and their founders every year – in the last year over 25,000 startups from 109 countries applied to the Get in the Ring events.

The Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation tour will kick off with its first Get in the Ring pre-round in the UAE on September 29th and will be followed by  several other events taking place in Asia Pacific (October 14th), the wider MENA region (November 16th), The Netherlands (December 1st) and in Jordan (December 15th). Each pre-round will be held in a virtual environment where startups tackling water, energy and food challenges take part in five 1-on-1 deal-making meetings with a curated selection of leading corporates, governments and impact investors. The most impressive solutions will be invited to take part in the Water Energy & Food Innovation Finals at the Expo 2020 Dubai in January 2022. The finalist will enter deal-making meetings and pitch their innovation in spectacular battles to determine the ultimate winner in uniting water, energy and food.

Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen, COO of Unknown Group and Global Director of Get in the Ring said “At Unknown, we love the opportunities to collaborate with embassies and governments to support startups”. He continues “We have proven in the past that our approach of identifying and doing deal-making with the most promising startups in a country is the most effective way of boosting its innovation ecosystem and solving major challenges”. 

Many companies have already been selected, but there are still some openings if you think your venture has the qualities that it takes to grab the global spotlight and scale your solution with investors and corporates at Expo 2020 Dubai. You may enter in the coming weeks by going on to the website,


About The Netherlands

Coming from a low-lying delta, the Netherlands have learned to work with nature rather than against it. In the Netherlands, companies, knowledge institutions and government organisations work closely together to develop the sustainable technologies and solutions of the future. This triple-helix collaboration is essential in understanding the linkages and trade-offs between water, energy and food. 

During Expo 2020 Dubai, the Netherlands will showcase the strong expertise Dutch companies and knowledge institutes have in the field of sustainability and circularity. The Netherlands pavilion, located in the heart of the Sustainability District, is a circular building that harvests its own water, energy and food.


For Press Enquiries

Brendan McCann

Senior Communications Officer 

Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands


About Unknown Group

Unknown is an early-stage venture capital and business development firm, supporting founders and industry leaders to successfully bring innovations to the market: a “Venture Engine®”. With a fresh approach delivering venture success, lining up the industry and creating a pool of solutions ready to be adopted by the market.


Through Unknown Group, Get in the Ring was created as a global startup competition to find and support promising startups from all corners of the world to test and scale their solutions with governments and industry leaders. 


For Press Enquiries

Rayhaan Imam

Digital Marketer

Unknown Group