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Sustainable solutions for the city of the future: ten top international startups shortlisted for the 2021 Future Hamburg Award

The finalists of the Future Hamburg Award, Hamburg’s international startup award, have been announced: ten European startups with smart solutions for the city of the future have qualified for this year’s award shortlist. All of the finalists convinced the jury with their innovative strength and creativity, a unique business model and great potential for growth. The award winners will be able to look forward to a business and networking programme in Hamburg and Silicon Valley as well as direct access to major global markets. The ultimate winners will be jointly announced with this year’s partner Plug and Play on 10 June 2021.

Established by the City of Hamburg and now in its second edition, the Future Hamburg Award is aimed at honouring sustainable, innovative international startups from the fields of mobility, logistics and hydrogen. The ten teams who have entered the final round are eager to enhance urban life with their pioneering products. Their business ideas range from AI-based software to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions as well as new strategies and technologies for plastic avoidance to a sustainable mobility solution that allows any vehicle to run on solar power alone.

The shortlist of the 2021 Future Hamburg Award was presented today at the Hamburg Innovation Summit, Hamburg’s platform for innovation transfer, which was held in hybrid format this year.

Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of Hamburg Marketing GmbH and Hamburg Invest, was visibly impressed with the finalists of this year’s award, commenting, “With the Future Hamburg Award, we are giving entrepreneurs from all over Europe the opportunity to test their innovative business projects as part of our urban ecosystem and to benefit from our networks. The finalists convinced us with their innovative strength, their creativity, and sustainability. We are really looking forward to the jury’s decision and will be glad to welcome the three strongest teams to Hamburg.”

Over the next two weeks, the international jury will choose three teams out of the ten finalists, and these will be invited by the Hamburg Startup Unit to join a customised three-day programme in Hamburg. What is more, the first-place winner will be able to join an international four-week accelerator programme in Silicon Valley hosted by Plug and Play, the award’s main partner. 

Shortlist of the 2021 Future Hamburg Award 

The teams who made it to the shortlist stem from the Nordic countries, Belgium, France and Germany. Over all, startups from as many as 15 countries had applied, including India, the United States, the UK and Hong Kong / China. The award jury includes leading players from the fields of mobility, logistics and IT, among them Dr Ralf Belusa, Managing Director of Hapag Lloyd AG; Jörg Debus, CDO and Chief of Staff at Shell Germany; Gunnar Froh, founder and CEO of Wunder Mobility; Clare Jones, CCO of what3words, as well as Erik Wirsing, Vice President of Global Innovation at DB Schenker. To be eligible for the shortlist, applicants had to demonstrate innovative strength, considerable impact and growth potential as well as outstanding development within the relevant industry. The ten finalists are:

  • Breeze Technologies (Germany) provides comprehensive local air quality data and AI-based decision support for air pollution control measures. 
  • Cirplus (Germany) is a managed marketplace for the plastics recycling industry and offers procurement as a service.
  • Everimpact (France) helps cities and ports track their carbon footprint in real time via IoT software, certify their emission reductions and generate revenue from their carbon reduction projects. 
  • Geckomatics (Belgium) develops mobile mapping systems based on machine learning that create digital twins of public spaces.
  • Horizer (Germany) offers an all-in-one solar mobility solution through flexible, ultra-thin solar films that are attached to a vehicle’s roof and are then connected to the vehicle’s battery.
  • Infinite Mobility (Norway) develops lightweight, solar-powered vehicles suited to urban mobility.
  • NATIX GmbH (Germany) makes cameras smart and video surveillance GDPR compliant.
  • Papair (Germany) develops innovative technologies for the production of sustainable packaging materials such as a bubble wrap made of paper that combines cost efficiency, cushioning and sustainability.
  • Skipit (Denmark) offer a digital platform that makes travelling more sustainable.
  • Traceless materials (Germany) is a bioeconomy startup that offers a sustainable, holistic alternative to conventional plastics.

The three selected winning startups will be announced on 10 June 2021, 14 CET at the “International Innovation Day powered by Plug and Play Hamburg“, hosted by the award partner Plug and Play. 

About the Future Hamburg Award

Metropolitan regions around the world are facing the same challenges, such as increasing traffic, rising emissions and limited space – and all of these developments call for innovative approaches. With the FUTURE HAMBURG AWARD, the City of Hamburg honours startups that have demonstrated excellent development in terms of innovative strength, impact and growth within their respective industry. With its international layout, Hamburg’s new startup award also serves as a bridgehead between Europe, the United States and other pioneering regions worldwide. In 2021, the main cooperation partner is Plug and Play from Silicon Valley. With a global network of more than 400 business partners, the company is one of the world’s leading open innovation platforms for both startups and established players. Further partners include homePORT, the Hamburg Port Authority’s innovation campus, as well as AM HAFEN CAPITAL GmbH, a major VC from Hamburg. These partners create an additional link to Hamburg, enable the implementation of test models in the port and may also provide considerable funding to innovative startups. Taking place for the second time since 2019, the City of Hamburg is presenting the award through its subsidiary Hamburg Marketing GmbH.

About Hamburg

With more than 1.8 million residents, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany. Embracing the latest and most advanced technologies, Hamburg aims to become a model region for innovative mobility. As the host to the 2021 ITS World Congress, the city in Northern Germany is also on its way to becoming an international centre for innovative mobility solutions. In future, digital technologies are going to make urban mobility and logistics in Hamburg safer, more efficient and eco-friendlier.

Moreover, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is also 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. Quite fittingly, a recent OECD study has confirmed that the Hamburg region is particularly well-suited to building a green hydrogen economy.

Future Hamburg Award 2021

Call for startups with innovative solutions for the future cities from all over the globe.

Call for startups with innovative solutions for the future cities from all over the globe. Show Less

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