Start-up competition

Prize categories – what can be won?

Main prize: up to Euro 30,000 can be won for innovative, extraordinary or very promising ideas which either have been realised in the Hannover Region, or are to be realised in the region in future. This prize also focusses on the international potential of the business ideas, because the three top ranked submissions for the main prize win a trip to a global start-up hot spot (*), such as Silicon Valley or Tel Aviv. The three best ranked  winners are selected from six nominated applicants who pitched their ideas personally to the jury.

Special prize – Solo-start: The prize for all women or men who are launching their business idea on their own. Many business people start as “solo entrepreneurs”, e.g. with design products, gastronomy concepts, or online shops. Note: solo here means the number of entrepreneurs, not the number of employees. The four best business concepts, whose ideas were pitched personally to the jury, can look forward to the following prize money: first prize Euro 10,000, and second and third prizes Euro 2,000 each. The fourth place does not include any prize money, but still benefits from an image clip, and professional pitch training. Just like the top three winners.

Special prize “University & Science”: the “University & Science” special prize is aimed at students, institutes, faculties, universities and technical colleges, extramural research institutes, as well as scientific employees in the Hannover Region. Scientific projects and results are sought here which boast particularly high potential for launching a start-up. The three nominated applicants pitch their ideas to a jury. The winner of the first prize can look forward to prize money of approx. Euro 15,000. This includes, in addition to the Euro 5,000 prize money (for specific purpose), also individual supporting offers to realise the company start up and further develop the business idea worth up to Euro 10,000, which is primarily made available by Gerke icon.


* Exception: the company was formerly established before 2020 but did not become operative in the market until 2020. For example, this means that the first sales were not generated until 2020.

** If this part of the prize cannot be realised because of Corona restrictions in 2021, it will be replaced by an alternative non-cash prize or an increase in the prize money.