For the eighth time, Handelsblatt and McKinsey award The Spark – The German Digital Award to exceptional and innovative start-ups whose ideas have the potential to fundamentally and sustainably change markets.

Circular Economy

Traditional production and consumption patterns follow a linear logic: extract, produce, consume, dispose – with high costs for people and the environment. Dependence on raw material imports is increasingly becoming a problem. A resource-conserving circular economy is a requirement for a more sustainable industry. Digitalization and bio-based plastics are crucial for the success of the circular economy. The Spark is looking for startups from Germany, Austria and Switzerland that enable the transformation to the Circular Economy

The application phase for 2022 is already closed.
If you would like to be considered for next year, please send us a short e-mail to

[email protected]



Hanna Asmussen

Localyze supports companies with all challenges related to Global Mobility. This includes, among other things, the application for visas, work and residence permits. HR departments have an overview of every step within the process and are informed of any changes or updates.
Localyze’s mission is to create a world without borders to give everyone equal opportunities and make society more diverse.


Sophie Chung

Qunomedical advocates for more equitable healthcare. We help find the right doctor faster, better and safer.
No healthcare system is perfect. But what if we could take the best of each healthcare system, combine it on one platform, and make it available to all patients around the world? Qunomedical is a digital health platform that helps patients find the right doctor worldwide while helping hospitals digitize their patient journey.


Dalia Das

With neue fische, we activate the potential of lateral entrants and also explicitly focus on women as the key to combating the shortage of skilled workers in IT.
Since 2018, the innovative education company has been training career changers from all disciplines, dropouts and especially women to become in-demand developers and data / cloud specialists. More than 1,200 graduates have already joined and advanced at well-known companies throughout Germany.

The Finalists 2022

The Spark is looking for the most innovative concepts and business models in the field of medical life tech. These ten start-ups have been selected as 2022 finalists and will present their ideas to the jury on September 12:

Ada Health

Ada’s AI was created by doctors to help millions of people understand their symptoms, access the right care, and proactively manage their health.  
Our comprehensive medical knowledge and advanced probabilistic reasoning engine support users, clinicians, health systems, payers, and governments across the globe to improve outcomes and care efficiency. 

Avi Medical

Avi Medical is a family doctor and software company. Our approach to care integrates cutting-edge digital tools to provide the best possible medical care for our patients. We operate patient-centric, technology-enabled medical practices that provide an unprecedented convenient, personalized and end-to-end digital patient experience.

breathe ilo

breathe ilo, the platform for cycle health, supports women in leading a cycle-appropriate lifestyle. At its heart is the world’s first cycle tracker, which determines fertile days by measuring the CO2 content of the air breathed. The intelligent software-hardware combination allows users to determine their cycle phases, regardless of what their focus is: getting pregnant, improving performance in sports, alleviating PMS symptoms, or eating healthier. breathe ilo puts every woman back in control of her body.


Caresyntax is the leading provider of data-driven surgical solutions that use AI to make surgery smarter and safer to improve patient outcomes. Caresyntax’s software is used in more than 2,800 operating rooms worldwide, supporting surgical teams in over three million procedures per year.


The company was founded by Dr. Lutz Kloke based on his doctoral thesis. With the innovative process developed, Cellbricks took 3D bioprinting to the next level. In recent years, the platform has been further developed, and mini-organs & disease models have been sold to the pharmaceutical industry & research institutions. With recent breakthroughs and additional team capacity, the company is now bringing technology and products to the clinic.


inveox digitizes and automates sample receipt in histopathology and networks medical practices and pathology laboratories to increase the safety and reliability of cancer diagnoses and unlock the potential for personalized diagnostics based on Big Data and artificial intelligence.


We are the leading platform for (expecting) moms. We help in three ways: We run the #1 midwife platform “”. There you can find available midwives for on-site care as well as short-term midwife video consultations in just a few clicks. With the keleya app, we offer reliable, digital companionship and support. Reimbursed by over 30% of all health insurance companies in Germany.


Lindera specializes in AI-based 3D motion analysis for digital health, care and fitness apps. By combining medical knowledge and AI, the team has succeeded in determining precise gait parameters using a simple smartphone camera. There are many use cases for the medical device manufacturer, but fall prevention in old age is currently the most important.


Recare Deutschland GmbH operates one of the leading platforms for the digital coordination of care capacities within the scope of hospital discharge management and now connects more than 680 acute and rehabilitation clinics with over 16,000 downstream service providers as well as a whole range of statutory health insurers in Germany alone. 


Thryve provides software that makes data from smartphones, wearables and connected medical devices easy to use for more than 80 healthcare customers. Leading insurance companies, digital therapy providers and research institutions such as the RKI are already using Thryve to improve digital prevention, diagnosis and care.


At the start of The Spark 2022, we discussed the challenges the healthcare and medical industry has to face. Watch the recording of the live stream here and be inspired by the answers from our experts and founders.

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 the online form. The application deadline is 18 June 2023.

Review & preselection

Based on your information, a pre-selection of applications is made. The best ones will be determined as finalists.

Community voting

The online community votes on the finalists. The result is included in the jury’s decision.

Jury meeting

On 18 September 2023, the finalists will present their business to the top-class jury in a live pitch. The jury will select the 2023 winner on this basis.

Award ceremony

On 23 November 2023, all finalists will be presented and the winners announced at the grand awards ceremony in Berlin.

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 Award. 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?

TOPIC: Medical Life Tech

The experts from McKinsey will provide you with in-depth information and analyses on this year’s focus topic “Medical Life Tech” here.

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 “Medical Life Tech”

The Spark Review

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


Selina Hasbach

Senior Manager Concept & Development Awards

Toulouser Allee 27
D-40211 Düsseldorf

Phone: +49 211 887 1769
E-Mail: [email protected]