The CyberOne Hightech Award: Empowering Student Startups in Baden-Württemberg
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kölmel
The CyberOne Hightech Award is a prestigious business plan competition in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, dedicated to recognizing and promoting innovative and technology-oriented startups. In its 25th year, the CyberOne Award provides numerous benefits to participating student startup teams, including expert feedback, visibility among investors and the press, direct access to industry leaders, intensive coaching, and potential funding opportunities. This article explores the functioning of the CyberOne Hightech Award and explains why it is particularly interesting for student startups. Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kölmel (Pforzheim University – EcoAction Partner) is one of jury members and established a connection between the startup competition and EcoAction
The CyberOne Hightech Award: A Business Plan Competition
The CyberOne Hightech Award, initiated in 1998, has established itself as the key business plan competition for high-tech industries in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It focuses on recognizing and rewarding the most promising business concepts and innovative startups in the region.
Benefits for Student Startups
Participating in the CyberOne Award offers numerous advantages for student startups, including:
- Feedback from experienced experts: All submissions receive valuable feedback on their business plans from knowledgeable professionals, enabling startups to refine their strategies.
- Visibility and networking opportunities: The competition provides a platform for startups to showcase their ideas to potential investors and the media, increasing their visibility and opening doors to valuable connections.
- Direct contact with industry leaders: Finalist teams have the opportunity to engage directly with influential figures in the Baden-Württemberg business and startup community, gaining insights and guidance from experienced professionals.
- Intensive coaching: The nine finalist teams receive two days of intensive coaching at the Unternehmerschule (Entrepreneur School), equipping them with essential entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.
- Potential funding and future projects: The CyberOne Award significantly increases the likelihood of securing follow-up funding and future collaborations, supporting the growth and sustainability of student startups.
Objectives of the CyberOne Award
The CyberOne Award serves as a catalyst for innovative entrepreneurship in Baden-Württemberg, aiming to:
- Foster innovative business ideas in the region: The award encourages the development and refinement of business plans and models, nurturing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
- Facilitate access to investors and partners: By participating in the CyberOne Award, startups gain enhanced exposure to potential investors and business partners, improving their chances of securing financial support and strategic collaborations.
- Job creation: The award aims to stimulate job creation in Baden-Württemberg by supporting the growth of successful startups and their subsequent expansion.
Target Audience and Selection Criteria
The CyberOne Award welcomes startups from all technology sectors in Baden-Württemberg. It specifically seeks concepts with a strong degree of innovation that have the potential to set new standards and revolutionize markets.
Impressive Track Record and Support
Since its inception, the CyberOne Award has successfully mobilized over 275 million euros in venture capital for participating companies, resulting in the creation of approximately 500 jobs in Baden-Württemberg. The annual award ceremony, attended by around 600 guests, serves as a prominent event bringing together representatives from the business, political, and research sectors. The CyberOne Award is financed through sponsorships and state funds, with the support of numerous partners, and has been organized by Baden-Württemberg: Connected e.V. (bwcon) from its inception.
The CyberOne Hightech Award provides an exceptional platform for student startups in Baden-Württemberg to showcase their innovative ideas, gain valuable feedback and guidance, and enhance their visibility among potential investors and industry leaders. By participating in this renowned competition, student entrepreneurs can significantly boost their chances of success in the dynamic startup ecosystem.