Gütersloh-based business Schüttflix wins the tenth GRÜNDERPREIS NRW award
Together with NRW.BANK, the federal ministry responsible for economics and digitalisation has awarded a total prize fund of 60,000 euro to winners from Gütersloh, Düsseldorf and Bad Honnef.
The three winners of the Gründerpreis NRW 2021 award have been chosen: Schüttflix GmbH from Gütersloh emerged victorious from among the ten finalists thanks to its digital innovation for the construction industry. Second place went to dermanostic GmbH from Düsseldorf, while a hearing aid manufacturer from Bad Honnef was awarded third place.
The companies benefited from prize money totalling 60,000 euro. NRW.BANK and the ministry responsible for economics and digitalisation have once again awarded the Gründerpreis NRW award, which is now in its tenth year, for innovative and trailblazing business ideas. The presentation of the Gründerpreis NRW award was streamed live from the K21 art institute in Düsseldorf.
1st place: a platform that helps to reduce emissions
In first place, Schüttflix GmbH from Gütersloh was awarded 30,000 euro in prize money. Founders Christian Hülsewig and Thomas Hagedorn won over the jury with an app that makes transportation in the construction industry much more efficient: the digital platform brings contracting authorities for the disposal of bulk materials, construction and demolition waste together with disposal experts. This systematic linking of supply and demand saves time and money, as well as reducing CO2 emissions, which are harmful to the environment.
Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy Prof. Andreas Pinkwart: "Schüttflix has succeeded in coming up with an impressive solution to simplifying complex procedures in the construction industry using digital applications. This has enabled greater efficiency and sustainability."
The founders from Gütersloh are exemplary in showing how, as a young business from North Rhine-Westphalia, it is possible to successfully initiate changes in an entire industry thanks to their courage, expertise and the power of innovation.
"As the development bank of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, we support the financial growth of our region through individually tailored consultation and finance proposals. We focus in particular on promoting sustainable business models. Schüttflix GmbH embodies sustainable economic innovation and is thereby enriching a whole industry. With this in mind, we are delighted to present the anniversary edition of our Gründerpreis NRW award to Schüttflix GmbH," says Eckhard Forst, Chairman of the Board at NRW.BANK.
2nd place: the digital dermatology practice
dermanostic GmbH from Düsseldorf was awarded second place for the Gründerpreis NRW 2021 award, as well as 20,000 euro in prize money. The founding team, made up of Dr Alice Martin, Dr Ole Martin, Dr Estefania Lang and Patrick Lang, developed an international app that patients could use to send photos of changes in their skin to a network of medical specialists. They then received recommendations for treatment and prescriptions. The app functions like an online dermatology practice and is available whenever and wherever it is needed. The company is currently working on putting in place collaborations with social organisations like UNICEF or Ärzte ohne Grenzen [Doctors without Borders, Germany].
3rd place: enabling people experiencing hearing loss to return to a world of sounds – featuring a special working model
The hearing device manufacturer from Bad Honnef completes the trio of prizewinners. This young company was awarded third place and received 10,000 euro in prize money. The couple who founded it, Ann-Kathrin and Jan Unkelbach, enable people experiencing hearing loss to return to a world of sounds, and they assist their clients throughout the acclimatisation process. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the young company is increasingly relying on making adjustments remotely using iPads. Hearing devices can now be fine-tuned using specialist software by means of a video call to the customer’s home. This innovative business is also blazing a trail away from the norm by adopting a 32-hour working week and a hybrid workplace model.
The Gründerpreis NRW award jury, chaired by Prof. Christine K. Volkmann, is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Economics, NRW.BANK, and business start-up and economic experts from North Rhine-Westphalia. The jury selected the three winning companies from around 140 applications that were submitted from all parts of the region.
You can find profiles and photos of all ten nominees along with further information on the Gründerpreis NRW 2021 award on the Gründerpreis NRW website. The recording of the awards ceremony is also available to watch on the website.