For the sixth time, Handelsblatt and McKinsey award The Spark to exceptional and innovative start-ups whose ideas have the potential to fundamentally change markets in a lasting way.

This year we are awarding concepts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland dedicated to the mission of “Net Zero Emission”, developing technologies that will have a decisive impact on climate change – one of the central issues that businesses and society face. Successful decarbonization matters for all sectors and industries: Digital innovations regarding generation, storage and transport of energy are just as relevant as new methods and processes across industries, from manufacturing to service providers.

In addition, with the Female Founder Award, we are again nominating recognizing female founders who are convincing digital pioneers with personal commitment and entrepreneurial success. We are looking for inspirational female founders who already established their own digital business model(s) and are energetic role models and shapers, influencing the start-up world with their ideas.

winners of 2020

All ten start-up finalists and over 100 nominated female founders inspired the jury with their ideas and commitment.Ultimately, the following 3 start-up concepts andfemale founder were most convincing and emerged as the winners of
“The Spark 2020″:


Regardless of manufacturer or type, Twaice helps you to use batteries. Digital twins by Twaice combine battery expertise with data analytics capabilities, enabling customers across a wide range of industries to use their batteries more efficiently. Transparency about the actual aging of the battery helps to extend its life cycle.

2. ChargeX

In the future, every parking space must also be a charging space, says Charge X. The company develops charging stations as an overall solution for operators of fleets, hotels or car dealerships. The “Aqueduct” charging station can charge vehicles on demand from a supply point. The system analyzes the individual demand and supports the operator for further planning.

3. Wunder Mobility

Wunder Mobility offers software for car and ridesharing, for example, and organizes shuttle services and e-scooter concepts. 200 employees develop systems that help rent fleets, manage parking space or reduce traffic with carpooling. The technology is used by more than 60 clients in more than 70 cities spread across six continents.

Female Founder: Katharina Kreitz

Vectoflow produces standardized and customized flow measurement technology for every application area. The probes, which are among the smallest, most accurate and temperature-resistant in the world, come from a 3D printer and increase measurement accuracy by 45 percent. International industrial customers from 50 countries rely on Vectoflow’s technology. Katharina Kreitz founded her own network of mentees and is involved in activities such as the Girls Day.

your benefits

As a finalist and winner of The Spark – The German Digital Award you will receive …

… valuable contacts, a knowledgeable network and relevant access.

… a “high-visibility” platform to present your company.

… a well-recognized award enhancing your company’s reputation in the market.

the application process at a glance

Registration & online application form

The application is made via our online application form.  The application window is open and you can apply until July 11, 2021.

Review & preselection

Based on the information you provided, a pre-selection of applicants will be made. The top 10 applicants will be selected as finalists.

Community voting

The online community votes for their favorite finalists. The voting results are included in the jury’s decision.

Jury meeting

On October 6, 2021, the finalists will present their businesses to our high-calibre jury in a live pitch. The jury will then award places 1-3.

Award ceremony

On November 11, 2021, all finalists will present their businesses and places 1-3 are honored as part of the award ceremony in Berlin, offering great networking opportunities for all finalists.

THE SPARK success stories

Many of our The Spark winners and finalists from previous years have had a strong growth trajectory since their participation.

Also apply to The Spark and take your chance.

Current The Spark success stories at a glance:

Ubimax (now TeamViewer)

The third-placed company from 2019 managed a 136 million Euro exit to software company TeamViewer just 9 months after the award. Before The Spark, the company had only raised a few external financings (around 6 million). 


In 2016, the first year of The Spark, our distinguished jury awarded the start-up KONUX as the winner. In February 2019, the company received a further 13 million US dollars as part of an expansion of its Series B financing round. The total volume of KONUX therefore increased to a total of 33 million US dollars.


In 2017, the start-up Octimine was named a finalist of The Spark – The German Digital Prize. In November 2018, the founders sell their company. The Dennemeyer Group, founded in Luxembourg, acquires Octimine.


In 2016, the start-up relayr was also named a winner of The Spark. Just two years later, in September 2018, the company exits with an estimated enterprise value of USD 300 million. Munich Re acquires 100 percent of relayr.


Another success story from the first year of The Spark is Cassantec. The finalist from 2016, a start-up from Berlin, was acquired by ABB at the end of 2019 and was thus able to build on the positive result from four years ago.

you want to learn more?


Here the experts from McKinsey provide you with in-depth information and analyses around this year’s focus topic
“Net Zero Tech”.

Handelsblatt Special

In a special feature on Handelsblatt Online, you will find exciting articles about The Spark – The German Digital Award and this year’s core topic
„Net Zero Tech“

The Spark Review

Handelsblatt and McKinsey have been awarding The Spark – The German Digital Prize since 2016. Learn more about the winners, finalists and jury members of the last years here.


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is patron of The Spark – The German Digital Prize.


Susan Koll

Head of Awards


Toulouser Allee 27
40211 Düsseldorf

Phone: +49 211 887-2722
E-Mail: [email protected]