"With the prize winners of the state prize we award the ten best young entrepreneurs 2016 and herewith honour innovation, creativity and above all their courage for entrepreneurship and self-employment. With this year’s winners we get an idea of the incredible wealth of ideas in our state. These great companies and all of their employees actively participate in shaping our state and are important pillars of our economy already today", stated Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Wuerttemberg and patron of the state prize for young companies. Among the more than 300 guests of the solemn prize giving ceremony there were almost the complete staff members of both bicycle companies. Leaserad had even chartered a bus.
L-Bank CEO Dr. Axel Nawrath honoured the three winners of the state prize 2016 as well as the seven further nominated companies as winners of the state prize.
Top companies stir up
Nawrath designated the state prize which is awarded every second year by the state government of Baden-Wuerttemberg and L-Bank as excellent mirror for the very special start-up culture in Baden-Wuerttemberg: It’s above all the founders by chance who choose their way into self-employment. They launch a start-up, because they have a message, a mission. For them self-employment is an instrument to stir up. And the top companies 2016 actually do stir up. They impressed us for example by showing us how digitisation is integrated not only in existing products and services. Self-confident concepts and alternative problem solutions create new supplies intensifying competition and bringing Baden-Wuerttemberg’s economy forward.
It’s already the eleventh time that the state prize was awarded. Since 1998 more than 5,000 young companies have handed in their applications. This year alone 604 companies - a new record participation. This shows the spreading world of start-ups in Baden-Wuerttemberg and the high level of a company which is among the top ten.
Rocky road to the top
Companies not older than ten years, can apply. You need a sophisticated application describing the corporate concept and culture and working out what makes your company special. Once you have reached the top twenty in this multi-level procedure, you are invited to present yourself in front of a jury. By reaching the top ten, you are invited to make a second presentation and on the basis of the impression you leave behind, the top three places are awarded; the seven other companies remain without ranking.
This means the road to the top ten is hard. For this reason it is remarkable that the bicycle industry is the only sector to be represented with two companies in this top group. Zedler-Institut belongs to the leading companies in performing technical tests of bicycles and in drawing up technical experts’ reports. Leaserad is pioneer as such in the new business field of bicycle leasing. Both companies experience a considerable growth, i.e. a regular double-digit growth every year. For this reason, Zedler even started building a new company headquarter.
Both companies are characterized by a particularly cultivated corporate culture and invest a lot in personnel development and motivation of the staff. And both companies participated in the prize giving ceremony with almost the complete team; the staff members were visibly proud of their employers.
Beyond Baden-Wuerttemberg’s borders the awards for Leaserad and Zedler stand as symbols for the enormous innovational strength of the bicycle sector and the high identification with the subject. For this aim you have no problem in taking the efforts of application. (...)
Author: Michael Bollschweiler/Renate Haselhorst
Photo: Michael Bollschweiler