The first year of The Spark – The German Digital Award Handelsblatt and McKinsey were looking for companies whose digital sparks had the potential to ignite the fire of the fourth industrial revolution. Companies that already had proven their strengths and were ready for their breakthrough. Companies with a scalable concept. Companies with a great impact on their industry.


We celebrated the winners of “The Spark – The German Digital Award 2016” in Berlin on 6th  October 2016.
The award ceremony took place at the Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Handelsblatt and McKinsey honored the award winners of “The Spark – The German Digital Award” together with an invited audience comprising 160 guests from politics, business, and science.

One of the highlights of this year’s award ceremony was the speech given by Margit Wennmacher, who travelled from Silicon Valley to participate. The German-American entrepreneur and partner of the venture capital company Adreessen Horowitz reported on how investors analyze young companies and which trends on the U.S. west coast are currently calling the tune.


All of the ten finalists met the evaluation criteria of the Spark: “disruptivness”, “scalability” and “impact”, but three of them impressed the jury particularly. The three winners of “The Spark – Der Deutsche Digitalpreis” 2016 were:

1. relayr GmbH
2. Konux Inc.
3. NavVis GmbH


The jury session of The Spark – The German Digital Award 2016 took place in Dusseldorf on 13th September 2016. All finalists had the opportunity to present their business ideas to the jury. The jury session was marked by innovation, enthusiasm, entrepreneurship, and intensive discussions.

In 2016 following high-caliber jury with professional know-how selected the winners from the applications:

Sven Afhüppe
Editor-in-chief Handelsblatt
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Cornelius Baur
Head of McKinsey Germany
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Johann Jungwirth
Chief Digital Officer Volkswagen AG
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Claudia Nemat
Member of the Deutsche Telekom AG Board of Management, Technology and Innovation
CEO der Division Industry Automation, Sektor Industry, Siemens AG

CEO of the Division Industry Automation, Industry Sector, Siemens AG
Anton S. Huber
CEO Digital Factory Division Siemens
Geschäftsführung TRUMPF GMBH + CO. KG
Peter Leibinger
Vice Chairman of the Managing Board of TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG and Head of the Laser Technology/Electronics Business Division, responsible for Research and Developmentg.
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Anastassia Lauterbach
CEO and Founder 1AU-Ventures
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Jörn Nikolay
Managing Director General Atlantic
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Dr. Siegfried Dais
Associate Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG and former Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
EMEAH TMT Converence - Okura Hotel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dr. Jürgen Meffert
Director (Senior Partner) McKinsey & Company, Head Digital B2B Practice
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Frank Dopheide
Managing Director Handelsblatt Publishing Group GmbH & Co. KG


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Prof. Dr. Michael Dowling
Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, University of Regensburg and Chairman of the Board of the Münchener Kreis
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Prof. Dr. Dieter A. Fensel
Director STI Innsbruck, University of Innsbruck, Austria
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Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart
Dean of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and holder of the Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship


Between March and August 2016 we looked for the best candidates and chose ten as finalists. We would like to briefly introduce the finalists 2016 to you:

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Finalist 1

iTiZZiMO was able to win over the jury with its smart business platform for industry 4.0.Mit Simplifier, ihrer Smart Business Plattform für die Industrie 4.0 konnte iTiZZiMO die Juroren mehr als überzeugen.

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Finalist 2

nextLap convinced the jury with IP/1, its software platform for IoT solutions for production 4.0.

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Finalist 3

IdentPro impressed the jury with its solutions for the automatic identification and tracking of objects in production and logistics. IdentPro uses a 3D forklift management system as well as various automatic ID technologies such as RFID and NFC.

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Finalist 4

Cassantec reached the final round with Cassantec Prognostics. This innovative product provides precise availability forecasts for optimized equipment and plant management based on historical and current processed data.

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Finalist 5

KONUX impressed us with its innovative sensor system. KONUX sensors are connected to data analysis software so that existing machines can be upgraded and the data evaluated with artificial intelligence thereby increasing the process efficiency.

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Finalist 6

SemVox achieved the final with its technology for voice control and virtual proactive assistance, which enables contact-free and efficient human-machine interaction in production, for service tasks or in merchandise management.

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Finalist 7

relayr convinced the jury with its device and protocol-independent cloud platform. In addition to the platform itself an upgrade kit is also available for the acquisition of the required sensor data to support the main application “predictive maintenance”. The platform also enables customers to develop their own new service models.

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Finalist 8

gestigon reached the final with its software for body language detection and gesture recognition. 3D based software solutions were developed for skeleton tracking and human gesture detection. These can be used, for example, for controlling virtual and augmented reality devices in industrial environments.

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Finalist 9

Re’flekt was selected on the basis of its augmented reality platform, which enables companies to quickly link virtual content with real objects making the creation of augmented reality applications also possible for users without programming skills.

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Finalist 10

NavVis convinced the jury with its solution for accurate and photo-realistic 3D mapping of buildings. This makes indoor navigation possible and can be enhanced with digital information and location-specific services for interior spaces.