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20th Frankfurt Business Founder Award - From the folding stairs to the winner's podium

28.10.2020 | 18:03 Clock | Business
20th Frankfurt Business Founder Award - From the folding stairs to the winner's podium

Innovation and the courage to try something new are rewarded. For example, with the Frankfurt Founder's Prize, which was awarded on Monday evening, October 26, by City Councilor Markus Frank in the Kaisersaal of the Römer via livestream. From 26 companies that had applied for the prize in the 20th year of competition, the 14-member jury awarded the startup "raumvonwert" with 1st place.

The mission of the founders Lukas Wagner, Bastian Amberg and Katja Becker is to develop individual solutions in the field of interior design, furniture and product design with creative ideas to enhance any living space, no matter how small. They have already succeeded with their first highlight product, the space-saving folding staircase Klapster, with which they already caused a stir in the ProSieben start-up show "Das Ding des Jahres". The folding staircase is designed in such a way that all modular components can be individually assembled. This makes it possible to assemble the exact staircase to suit the height of the storey or the size of the angle. A well-deserved first place in the Frankfurt Founders' Prize 2020, which comes with prize money of 12,500 euros.

The second prize and 10,000 euros went to the architectural firm Lithium Designers by Alamir Mohsen. Not only does the successful young firm design appealing and complex building envelopes - Alamir Mohsen also developed the first 3D-printed façade node, which is so light and so variable that it can be used to produce free-form façades more easily and much more cheaply. The node and the printing process are so innovative that he applied for a patent on them. Already at the end of 2020, the first building worldwide is to stand, in which the facade knots from the 3D printer are installed.

Equally convincing were the companies "Die Auffüllerei" as well as "Die Backhelden" (sole proprietorship), which is why both were awarded the third prize and prize money of 3750 euros each. The founders Christina Schwab and Marlen Richter have declared war on food waste and packaging waste with "Die Auffüllerei". In their shop, customers can buy everything from cornflakes and red wine vinegar to washing powder without packaging. And in doing so, they are meeting the growing need for a sustainable lifestyle and the careful use of resources. Founder Luwam Tecle-Debesay and her brother Joel have found a time-saving solution with "The Baking Heroes" that sweetens every child's birthday. Ready-packed with measured ingredients and lovely decorative elements, a baking box is delivered to the home to whip up impressive birthday cakes in a jiffy - turning the baking grump into a beaming baking hero.

In addition, Oliver Schwebel, managing director of the Frankfurt Economic Development Corporation and chairman of the jury, announced at the beginning of the awards ceremony that a special prize had been awarded to the young fashion label Zemuye (sole proprietorship). The jury reserves the right to award special prizes every year - only in really exceptional cases has it made use of this right in the last 20 years. With her young label, founder and designer Rahel Zemuye combines casual streetwear with traditional fabric elements from East Africa. The jury sees Ms. Zemuye's founder personality and her technical professionalism as a figurehead for Frankfurt as a fashion location.

"The Frankfurt Founders' Prize has a particularly high status in our startup and founder landscape. Anyone who has been awarded the Frankfurt Founders' Prize is ennobled with a seal of quality," says City Councillor Markus Frank. This year, the Frankfurt Founders' Prize was awarded for the 20th time. In order to comply with the current hygiene and distance regulations in the wake of the pandemic, the award ceremony was broadcast by Rhein-Main TV via livestream from the Römer. Only a limited number of guests were allowed on site, taking into account the current regulations. The viewers in front of the livestream as well as in the hall were accompanied through the evening in an entertaining way by the presenter Anke Seeling.

In the 20th year of the competition, 26 companies from Frankfurt submitted their applications for the Frankfurt Founder Award. A total of 612 companies have applied with their business ideas since the prize was established. The jury has shown good intuition in selecting the prize winners in the past. "More than 80 percent of the 70 prize winners who have received awards so far are still successful on the market. This shows how sustainable and solid the business ideas of the award winners are," Oliver Schwebel is pleased to say.

The recording of the award ceremony is available on the Youtube channel of the Frankfurt Economic Development Corporation and at

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