The huge potential of the award was demonstrated by the high number of people who applied for it. The aim of the Founders’ Award is “to provide a stage for the hidden champions and start-ups in the Rheingau region and for all members of the two universities who are interested in setting up their own company”, explains Andreas Zeiselmaier, Chairman of the Board of Rheingauer Volksbank and one of the main sponsors of the Rheingau Founders’ Award.
A total of nine applicants from three categories made it to the jury’s shortlist. After they had pitched their ideas, it was up to the audience to make the final decision and vote online for their favorite candidate. The ideas ranged from the real estate industry, to the care sector, environmentally friendly office equipment up to providing a unique wine experience in the vineyards of the Rheingau region.
In the first category “Best Business Idea from Students”, the award went to the team “Plant Your Air”. The founders Luca Clausen, Jasper Nolles and Jaskirat Singh introduced an innovative system to improve workplace air quality that reduces sick days and helps employees increase their performance. Beatrix Magnan’s business idea of using pre-fabricated building modules to provide “housing for all” was equally exciting and came in second. The third place went to Sarah Rukiya Fülling who wants to provide financial independence for women with “The Feminine Fortune”.
For the second category “Best start-up idea from Hochschule Geisenheim University and EBS University”, the team of Brian Ruhe and Alexander and Martin Ditzel named “Triplegend” received the most votes. With their travel app, they combine adventure trips for young people with sustainability. The third place went to the “LuBu – Lunch Buddies” team consisting of Luisa and Tarik Elbouhayani, who run an app for virtual informal networking.
The first prize in the third category “Best start-up from the Rheingau region” went to Kai Climenti from Rüdesheim for his business idea “Walk Like a Local”. He wants to use an app for combining wine walks with interesting facts about the wines of the Rheingau region and its unique landscape. Andreas Herzog came in second with his business idea called “Winzerliebe”, which aims to offer a new distribution channel for winegrowers to attract new customers. The third place went to Julia Lange with “Rheingau 524,” who wants to offer a special overnight stay in wine barrels along the banks of the Rhine in Geisenheim.
This year, the prize money of 7,500 euros was sponsored by Rheingauer Volksbank, Bäckerei Dries, KISICO and Wachendorff Prozesstechnik. The winner of each category received 1,500 euros, the second place was awarded with 750 euros and the third place with 250 euros. In addition, Rheingauer Volksbank offered a special prize worth 1,000 euros for the project “Nähwerkstatt4freude”, which demonstrates great social commitment to include people with an immigration background.
For next year, the second edition of the Rheingau Founders’ Award is planned along with many more exciting events for founders.