Sustainable city solutions: Meet the 10 top startups shortlisted for the 2021 Future Hamburg Award (Sponsored)

The 10 finalists of the Future Hamburg Award, Hamburg’s international startup award, have been announced!

These European startups, hailing from the Nordics, Belgium, France and Germany, are creating smart solutions for the city of the future. Their business ideas range from AI-based software to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, to new strategies for plastic avoidance, and a sustainable mobility solution that allows any vehicle to run on solar power alone. 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. 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.”

Shortlist of the 2021 Future Hamburg Award

Overall, startups from as many as 15 countries applied to this year’s edition, including India, the US, 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).

The shortlist of the 2021 Future Hamburg Award was presented at the Hamburg Innovation Summit, Hamburg’s platform for innovation transfer, which was held in hybrid format this year. So without further ado, let’s meet the 10 top finalists:

Breeze Technologies (Germany) – Founded in 2015, this startup provides comprehensive local air quality data and AI-based decision support for air pollution control measures.

cirplus (Germany) – Cirplus (founded in 2018) is a managed marketplace for the plastics recycling industry and also offers procurement as a service. Its mission? To make plastics 100% circular.

Everimpact (France) – Founded in 2016, this French team 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) – This startup team was founded in 2018 and develops mobile mapping systems based on machine learning that create digital twins of public spaces.

Horizer (Germany) – Founded in 2020, this Berlin-based startup 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) – Oslo-based startup Infinite Mobility develops lightweight, solar-powered vehicles suited to urban mobility. In particular, the team designs and manufactures solar electric tricycles.

NATIX GmbH (Germany) – Founded in 2020, this Hamburg-based team, makes cameras smart and video surveillance GDPR compliant. As the startup says, “Our software gives cameras brains”.

Papair (Germany) – Papair (founded in 2020) 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) – This Danish team (founded in 2019) offers a digital platform making travelling more sustainable, including a digital “Skipit card”, giving users easy access to public transport networks throughout European capitals.

traceless materials (Germany) – Founded in 2020 and based in Hamburg, traceless materials is a bioeconomy startup that offers a sustainable, holistic alternative to conventional plastics.

What’s next?

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. 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.

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 US and other pioneering regions worldwide. In 2021, the main cooperation partner is Plug and Play from Silicon Valley, which has a global network of more than 400 business partners, as 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.