Press Release from 2020-11-25 / Group

KfW Entrepreneurs’ Award 2020: accolades for entrepreneurial success stories from every German state

  • Sixteen regional winners selected from more than 500 entrants
  • Berlin-based ooia GmbH earns place as national winner
  • Lower Saxony-based Hoffmann Dienstleistungen für die werbende Wirtschaft GmbH receives Special Award for Inspirational Leadership
  • Hamburg-based BRACENET GmbH receives Special Award for Social Entrepreneurship

KfW Group has been giving recognition to young companies from all over Germany since 1998 with the KfW Entrepreneurs’ Award. This year, it was not easy to decide on the direction the competition would take, as the entrepreneur and start-up scene has been heavily affected by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In presenting these awards, KfW aims to honour successful new entrepreneurs, as well as helping to publicly recognise the courage it takes to start up a business. This year in particular, the competition is an inspirational force that acknowledges the enormous achievements of young companies,” said Dr Ingrid Hengster, Member of the Executive Board of KfW.

Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, views KfW’s entrepreneurship competition as an important indicator. “More than 500 entries show that even in difficult times, committed start-up entrepreneurs are not going to be held back – they adapt their plans to the circumstances or find new solutions that simultaneously take digitalisation to the next level. That is a good sign for our economy, and I would like to congratulate all the companies for their well-deserved victories!”

The winners of the KfW Award 2020 in the individual federal states are:

  • Bavaria: e-bot7 GmbH (Thermo-Stick for insect bites)
  • Baden-Württemberg: Kamedi GmbH (AI platform for customer communication)
  • Berlin: ooia GmbH (period and incontinence underwear)
  • Brandenburg: ME Energy - Liquid Electricity GmbH (independent electric charging systems)
  • Bremen: ELISE GmbH (software for development engineers)
  • Hamburg: Sympatient GmbH (digital therapy with VR support)
  • Hesse: Wingcopter GmbH (delivery drones)
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: DJAMACAT GmbH (game studio)
  • Lower Saxony: Buses4Future GmbH (fuel cell buses)
  • North Rhine-Westphalia: oculavis GmbH (AR remote service platform)
  • Rhineland-Palatinate: Anyblock Analytics GmbH (blockchain solution provider)
  • Saarland: SEAWATER Cubes GmbH (aquaculture systems for marine fish)
  • Saxony: madebymade GmbH (insect farming system)
  • Saxony-Anhalt: DENKweit GmbH (current measurement and AI data evaluation)
  • Schleswig-Holstein: Bareways (road condition analysis for routing and navigation)
  • Thuringia: rooom AG (virtual and hybrid events in 3D, AR and VR)

Companies from all industries, which were founded during or after 2015, were eligible to enter the competition. Award winners were selected by a panel of judges made up of experienced representatives from KfW, promotional institutions, and the worlds of business, politics and media. The business ideas were assessed on their level of innovation, their creativity, and their social and environmental responsibility.

Each state winner receives EUR 1,000 in prize money and will be provided with support from an experienced PR agency on how to market their success story. And these regional award-winners also have the opportunity to receive an additional EUR 5,000 if they win the People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award is open until 14 December 2020 at

In addition, the 16 state winners qualified to compete for national winner status. This is worth an additional EUR 9,000 in prize money and has been awarded to ooia GmbH from Berlin. The company, which was co-founded by Dr Kati Ernst and Kristine Zeller, offers ethically produced period underwear, a nursing bra and state-of-the-art incontinence underwear with an innovative membrane system.

Two special awards have also been handed out, each backed by EUR 5,000 in prize money. Specifically, Hoffmann Dienstleistungen für die werbende Wirtschaft GmbH from Lower Saxony received the Special Award for Inspirational Leadership on account of its work dealing with the coronavirus crisis, which has taken the trade show construction company in a new direction.

BRACENET GmbH from Hamburg received the Special Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The company recycles fishing nets recovered from the sea, transforming them into fashion accessories.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was not possible to hold an awards ceremony this year. For more information about the 2020 award winners, see and In addition, German TV channel n-tv provided coverage of selected award winners as part of its Startup Magazin broadcast on 28 November 2020 at 8:30am.

Photos of the companies are available to download from .

About KfW:

KfW is one of the world’s leading promotional banks. KfW has been committed to improving economic, social and environmental living conditions across the globe on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany and the federal states since 1948. To do this, it provided funds totalling EUR 77.3 billion in 2019 alone.

Press contact:

KfW Award Gründen, c/o Peperoni Werbe- und PR-Agentur GmbH, Friedrichstrasse 23 A, 10969 Berlin, Germany

Carmen Vallero, phone: 030 25 77 17-91, email:


Portrait Wolfram Schweickhardt