The startup toern from Wedel University of Applied Sciences (FH Wedel) was honoured in the “Startup Competition – Digital Innovations” organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK). The company is developing an intelligent returns management system and is supported by the university’s own Startup Bridge and Startup Port.
This year’s winners of the “Start-up Competition – Digital Innovations” organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) have been announced: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck and the BMWK’s representative for the digital economy and start-ups, Anna Christmann, have awarded over 300,000 euros to 21 teams. The awards ceremony took place this week at the Federal Government’s Digital Summit under the title “Digital Transformation in the Turning Point. Sustainable. Resilient. Future-orientated” in Jena.
Federal Minister Robert Habeck: “The digital and ecological transformation of our economy is of immense importance – for climate protection and also for our competitiveness, our economic security and our prosperity. Start-ups play a key role here as drivers of innovation. With our start-up competition, we support innovative teams and their ideas in the early stages. The aim is to find start-ups that contribute to making the digital and ecological transformation a success for companies and people in Germany.”
An expert jury selected the 21 most promising start-up ideas from a total of 220 applications, including the startup toern from Wedel University of Applied Sciences. “We are delighted to have received the award yesterday at the #DigitalSummit of the Federal Government from none other than our Startup Commissioner Anna Christmann and our Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck in person!” said a delighted Alena Schneck via LinkedIn. She is Co-Founder & CEO and ensures that as many people as possible find out about her start-up. Among other things, she translates strategic considerations into measurable goals and ensures that the team is on the right track to achieve them.
Her co-founder Jonas Zeuner is CTO. He translates customer requirements for intelligent returns management into technical solutions. As a techie and data native, Jonas is responsible for implementing the toern solution. He knows how to implement features efficiently while ensuring data quality and security requirements are met. He almost arrived too late for the big award ceremony of the “Startup Competition – Digital Innovations”, the train was delayed, but when he heard about the award, the stress was forgotten: “We’ve already been on a few stages and given many pitches, we’ve also been honoured here and there, but of course this has a special quality from the federal government. We would also like to thank the Startup Bridge and the Startup Port Association, who have supported us with a start-up consultant, among other things, and have supported us with the network and informative events on offer. I appreciate these ecosystem meetings, where you can always exchange ideas with other founders and also support each other – we are happy to be there. Especially in the beginning, this gave us the necessary orientation and impetus.
Last year, the start-up received the Schleswig-Holstein start-up grant for one year from September and was recently able to secure follow-up funding with the InnoFounder. To date, the startup has developed its first software solution without external capital, acquired its first customers and established strong partnerships, such as with the TU Hamburg.
toern is currently in a pre-seed financing round and is talking intensively with investors. The start-up wants to further develop the product with a strong team and optimise the process so that it works for every shop and every product range.
Do you also have a promising start-up idea? Then apply for the 2024 summer round
Take your chance and apply for the start-up competition with your start-up idea! The next opportunity will be in the 2024 summer round, which starts on 15 January 2024 and applications will be accepted until 27 March 2024. You can find all information about the application process .
The Focus Prize will be awarded in the 2024 summer round for the most innovative idea in the field of “GovTech”. This refers to start-up ideas that deal specifically with the topic of “government technology”, i.e. “digital administration”. More information will be published soon.