With more than 1.8 million residents, Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, has one of the highest startup rates per capita and more than 1,200 active startup businesses. With successful stories like About You, XING, Jimdo, and Wunder Mobility, Hamburg is an innovation driver and urban test laboratory for futuristic projects. Notably, Hamburg is also
With more than 1.8 million residents, Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, has one of the highest startup rates per capita and more than 1,200 active startup businesses.
With successful stories like About You, XING, Jimdo, and Wunder Mobility, Hamburg is an innovation driver and urban test laboratory for futuristic projects. Notably, Hamburg is also ranked as one of Europe’s most liveable cities.
Well, beyond all that, Hamburg is one of the few European cities that attract international attention with its own startup award – the Future Hamburg Award.
What is the Future Hamburg Award?
With the Future Hamburg Award, the city honours sustainable innovations in mobility, logistics, and hydrogen.
The main intention is to help founders seeking to integrate their innovative business approach in an urban ecosystem.
Furthermore, the award winners will be able to advance their projects in Silicon Valley and the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and benefit from Hamburg’s excellent connections to key global markets.
As host to the 2021 ITS World Congress, Hamburg has become an international centre for innovative mobility solutions. In addition, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is presenting itself as a forward-looking location for green hydrogen in the heart of Europe as it showcases pioneering projects along the entire value chain of green hydrogen.
Taking place for the second time since 2019, the City of Hamburg is presenting the award through its subsidiary Hamburg Marketing GmbH.
Winners of The 2021 Future Hamburg Award
Recently, the winners of The 2021 Future Hamburg Award were announced as part of a digital awards ceremony at the International Innovation Day by Plug and Play Hamburg.
The three startups that impressed the expert jury panel with their innovative solutions are:
- Breeze Technologies
- Traceless materials
- Infinite Mobility
Now, the three winning teams will be invited to join a tailor-made programme by the Hamburg Startup Unit to take their business model or products to the next level as part of the Reallabor Hamburg mobility project. Moreover, they will be supported in building a high-quality industry network and establishing contacts with investors.
Breeze Technologies from Germany, which took the crown this year, will be participating in an international four-week accelerator programme hosted by Plug and Play in Silicon Valley.
Let’s take a brief look at the Future Hamburg Award winning startups and what their products all about.
1st place: Breeze Technologies, Germany
Founders: Robert Heinecke, Sascha Kuntze
Founded in 2017 and based in Hamburg and Copenhagen, Breeze Technologies provides air quality sensors and data and analytics services. The company leverages IoT and AI to help cities and businesses create better clean air action plans and a more liveable environment.
The sensors developed by the company allow for real-time, area-wide air quality monitoring, whether on business premises or in urban environments. This helps managers, environmental scientists, and city administrators understand their local air quality and identify
ways of improving it.
Furthermore, the platform also allows third-party air measurement systems integration and a responsible approach towards privacy and data protection.
According to Future Hamburg Award, because of the team’s innovative strength, entrepreneurial mindset and the willingness to collaborate, Breeze Technologies has been awarded the first prize of the Future
2nd place: traceless materials, Germany
Founders: Anne Lamp, Johanna Baare
traceless materials is a bio-economy startup that develops compostable packaging by producing (bio)plastics.
The plastic alternative developed by the company now makes it possible to use by-products of the agricultural industry to produce storage-stable films, solid materials, and wafer-thin coatings that are fully compostable.
Through this plastic substitute, the company contributes to solving the global issue of plastic pollution. Founded in Hamburg in 2020 by two female entrepreneurs, traceless secured a single-digit million investment in its first round of financing.
With the relevant technology, the founders able to translate this into a highly convincing sustainable business model that has the potential to reduce the ecological footprint of products considerably.
“Traceless materials uses its innovative power to tackle one of the most pressing global issues caused by plastic waste. The founders have the expertise regarding the relevant technology and have been able to translate this into a highly convincing sustainable business model that has the potential to reduce the ecological footprint of products considerably,” according to the official press release.
3rd place: Infinite Mobility, Norway
Founded in 2020, Infinite Mobility designs and develops lightweight solar-powered tricycles for short-trip urban mobility. The company is committed to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals – poverty alleviation, climate action as well as sustainable cities and communities. The company claims to do so by ensuring that its solar-powered tuk-tuks are not only cost-effective but also safe and space-efficient.
Infinite Mobility convinced the jury with its great range of usage opportunities and the high disruption potential of its forward-looking business idea. While the mobility market is still dominated by large corporations, small innovative companies are increasingly demonstrating that greater diversity can significantly improve the quality of life in cities.
Being the host to the ITS World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems in October 2021, the City of Hamburg is certainly a fitting location for advancing this project, as per the press release.
In addition, homePORT, a partner of the award, has also announced a bonus prize for a couple of startups:
Blue Atlas Robotics, Denmark
Blue Atlas Robotics builds robots that produce visual 3D maps of underwater surfaces. In general, visual underwater inspection has been limited by poor water visibility and that’s what the company is changing.
Blue Atlas Robotics aims to modernise underwater monitoring and the inspection of ships and other structures in the marine environment through cross-sector collaboration and autonomous analysis technology.
The startup is currently working with a number of shipping companies on prototypes as well as customised product solutions.
The company developed mobile security solution for parked trucks that completely prevent cargo theft and damage to the vehicle. It is based on sensors and machine learning. The aim is to make the stopping and resting time of such vehicles much safer as robberies have become a major global issue here in recent years.
These two startups will have the opportunity to develop their products and solutions in the fields of logistics and maritime technologies at the HPA test field in Hamburg.
At the digital awards ceremony, which was held at the International Innovation Day by Plug and Play Hamburg, the finalists presented themselves in front of an international expert jury, leading figures from the startup community as well as stakeholders from politics and established companies.