IBTM World names Canvas Planner winner of its inaugural Event Business Accelerator programme

IBTM World has crowned Canvas Planner the winner of its event incubator, ‘Event Business Accelerator’, a newly launched business mentorship and investment programme for young entrepreneurs. The winner was announced at a graduation ceremony following two days of live pitching to potential investors at IBTM World 2019, taking place at Fira Gran Via Barcelona from 19-21 November. 

Canvas Planner is a tool which helps to improve remote digital performance by combining digital whiteboards called canvasses with tasks in order to create a visual and collaborative approach to task management. The founders, Nanna Ulsøe and Jane Houlind Ulsøe, received a €5,000 cash prize to help develop and scale the product to the meetings and events industry.

Jane Houlind Ulsøe, commented: “The EBA has been an amazing experience from beginning to end. Meeting and learning about the other contestants and working with the mentors and the judges has helped us to think very deeply into how we can best communicate our product as a solution to a very common challenge faced by event planners. It has also given us a huge amount of exposure and the opportunity to showcase our product to the 15,000 plus attendees at IBTM World.

“Winning the €5,000 will help us scale our product and extend our reach internationally, as well as give us a huge boost when it comes to our credibility in the industry. We’re delighted that Jason Scott has decided to be our mentor – he has experience, network and knowledge from the events industry, which is a great fit for us and our business.”


Ed Poland, Hire Space co-founder and COO, who sat on the judging committee, commented: “We decided to pick Canvas Planner as the winner of Event Business Accelerator because of its user-friendly and scalable product offering, which was outstandingly pitched by Jane Ulsøe on the Accelerate Stage. We’re excited to see how the company will grow, both within the meetings and events industry, and beyond.”

David Thompson, event director, IBTM World, said: “Many congratulations to Canvas Planner, and thank you to everyone who took part in this programme this year. We’ve been inspired by the outstanding level of business innovation and creative entrepreneurship on display. We’re delighted to be able to support these creative new businesses, and are looking forward to seeing the positive impact their ideas and businesses will bring to our industry in the future.”

Event Business Accelerator saw nine finalists with an idea, product or service relevant to the events industry take part in a two-month intensive mentoring programme of workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions with a team of industry experts. This culminated in a live pitch for funding to a panel of potential investors during IBTM World.

The finalists were: Bobelo; BT Evenement; Canvas Planner; Engaging Meetings; Follow the Folk; Mela Insights; Salone Events; Wolowo; and Zenith Experience.

The Event Business Accelerator mentors included: Giorgia Sanfiori, general manager of Equilibrio – Mind Institute; Ingrid Rip, owner of RREM; Majbritt Sandberg, founder of RED LAB Experience & BullseyeBranding; Richard John, COO of Realise Me and managing director of Ideas Nest; and Viona Terleth, Managing Director of Terleth Consultancy and co-founder of DSCVRME. 

The panel of judges was formed of industry experts and entrepreneurs Jacki Hulbert, Business Development Director, Reed Exhibitions UK; Ed Poland, Co-founder and COO of Hire Space; serial entrepreneur Jason Scott; and Mark Riches, industry investor and advisor.