Applications now accepted for this year’s “Start-up champions” KfW award

  • Application phase runs until 1 August 2017
  • Companies founded as of 2012 can submit applications online
  • Awards will be presented to one company from each of the German federal states and to one national winner
  • A special prize and a public’s choice prize will also be awarded
  • The award has a total prize fund of EUR 35,000.

Frankfurt am Main, 05-May-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — The application phase has now begun for this year’s “Start-up champions” KfW award, which boasts a total prize fund of EUR 35,000. With its renowned competition, the KfW Group honours young companies from all over Germany and gives their business concepts the public recognition they deserve. “With the ‘Start-up champions’ award, we intend to reward new entrepreneurs for all the hard work they put in and the courage it took them to turn an idea into a successful business. At the same time, we want to showcase exceptional success stories that motivate others, who are perhaps still hesitant to take that brave leap into independence,” explains Dr Ingrid Hengster, Member of the Executive Board of the KfW Group.

The award is presented as part of the German Business Founder and Entrepreneur Conference (Deutsche Gründer- und Unternehmertage; deGUT). A prize is awarded to one company from each of the German federal states. The company must have been founded or been taken over as part of a succession within the last five years (since 2012). Each company receives a prize money of EUR 1,000.

The winners from the federal state category go on to compete for the nationwide award, which offers additional prize money of EUR 9,000. The national champion is announced on the evening of the “Start-up champions” award ceremony. All prize winners are given the opportunity to present themselves on stage in a bid to win the public’s choice award, which is decided by the audience (and coupled with an additional prize money of EUR 5,000). Of all the applicants, one company that particularly impresses the jury will be awarded a special prize worth EUR 5,000.

The KfW start-up champions are selected by a jury of experienced representatives from the KfW Group and the worlds of politics and business, for example from the promotional institutions of the federal states and from chambers of industry and commerce. The jury assesses the business ideas based on their level of innovation and creativity and whether they are socially responsible. The jury also places significant emphasis on how environmentally friendly the business is and whether jobs and apprenticeships have been created or maintained. Companies from all sectors of industry can enter.

The award ceremony itself will take place on 12 October 2017 at the kick-off event of the deGUT conference held at the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin. All competition winners will be invited to Berlin between 12 and 14 October and have their hotel and conference visit expenses paid for. What is more, one person from each of the winning companies is given the opportunity to take part in a seminar at the impulse-Akademie. The winners will also be provided with support from a PR agency on how to market their success story.

Further information and the online application form for the “Start-up champion” KfW award can be found at Portraits of past award winners can also be found there.

About KfW:
As Germany’s largest promotional bank, KfW supports its customers by providing tailored financing offers. In 2016 alone, KfW made a promotional business volume totaling EUR 81.0 billion available in Germany and abroad. The promotional business volume in the SME Bank business sector totaled EUR 21.4 billion.



Ms. Sonja Höpfner
Phone +49 69 74 31 43 06
Fax +49 69 74 31 32 66


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