29.10.2021 – 10:06
Frankfurt am Main (ots)
Since 1998 KfW has presented the award annually to companies that successfully assert themselves on the market with their business ideas. One company from each federal state will be awarded. These 16 winners also competed for the national victory. It is awarded to Circunomics GmbH from Mainz and is endowed with 9,000 euros. HEYHO GmbH from Lüneburg is awarded the special social entrepreneurship prize and receives 5,000 euros in prize money. The award was given in a ceremony on the evening of October 28th in Berlin.
The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy: “” To ensure that German SMEs remain strong and lively in the future, we need a dynamic start-up process. The laureates honored today by KfW are united by the will to change – towards intelligent and innovative management and sustainable business ideas. Congratulations to the winning teams. You are a role model and an incentive for others. ”
Dr. Ingrid Hengster, Member of the Board of Management of KfW: “The KfW Entrepreneurship Award has established itself throughout Germany as a seal of approval for innovative, creative and socially responsible new business models. The award-winning teams are role models for entrepreneurship and determination. This applies in particular to the founders of Circunomics and HEYHO, who I warmly congratulate you on your victory. ”
The clean-tech startup Circunomics, founded in 2019, is the first cloud-based “Internet-of-things” marketplace for the reuse and recycling of batteries. With artificial intelligence, the platform simplifies and optimizes the return and re-marketing of e-vehicle batteries for a sustainable use of resources. This can reduce the carbon footprint of batteries by up to 50%. The company is thus facing the greatest challenge of the booming market for e-mobility and renewable energies – the sustainable use of battery resources. The battery is the most valuable but also the most emitting component of e-cars and energy storage devices. The reuse and recycling of the batteries is essential for the sustainable use of the materials. At the moment, however, the reuse rate of e-vehicle batteries is still very low, and a used battery can be used in an energy storage device for up to 15 more years.
Patrick Peter, CEO Circunomics: “All automobile manufacturers and energy companies are signaling the same thing: they need a comprehensive platform solution like Circunomics. By giving every battery a digital identity and automating the trading processes, we are proving that sustainability does not necessarily mean more costs, but on the contrary: that sustainability can also mean more profit. The KfW Award Reasons proves the social relevance for sustainable batteries, which is why we are pleased to be recognized as a leading start-up in this area. ”
HEYHO GmbH from Lüneburg is awarded the special prize for Social Entrepreneurship. The company was founded in 2016 by Stefan Buchholz, Timm Duffner and Christian Schmidt and produces granola and muesli mixes. It not only relies on high-quality organic ingredients, but in particular on a strong, diverse team. At HEYHO! work are people who are often ostracized and stigmatized because of their life story. HEY HO! This sets an example for perspectives for everyone – regardless of whether they have previously been imprisoned, people with previous addictions or people with mental illness. Currently around 30 people from a wide variety of backgrounds work at HEYHO !, a third of them have an eventful history. Together they produce a variety of muesli creations in the in-house organic roastery. They are sold in the company’s own online shop as well as in organic stores, restaurants and food retailers. The company’s concept goes far beyond the manufacture of the products: it tackles a social imbalance and enables people who no one else to hire to have fair wages and social participation.
“We don’t hire people to roast muesli – we roast muesli to hire people. With the KfW Entrepreneurship Award, we are showing an even larger group that a modern organic factory can produce outstanding products and at the same time radically reintegrate people The focus of business is moving. Social entrepreneurship is fun! In the long term, our goal is to inspire other companies to do the same. ” says Christian Schmidt, co-founder and managing director of HEYHO GmbH.
Around 500 companies from all sectors from the founding year 2016 took part in the competition. They were selected in a multi-stage process by an experienced jury with representatives from KfW, promotional institutions, business, politics and the media. She assessed the business ideas according to their degree of innovation, their creativity and the assumption of social and ecological responsibility.
Original content by: KfW, transmitted by news aktuell