The award is under the patronage of Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann. It is recognition for entrepreneurs who realise their ideas with a great deal of commitment and honours innovation, creativity and above all the courage to 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", said Kretschmann. With all in all 604 candidates this year’s competition experienced a record participation.
On the occasion of a solemn prize giving ceremnoy Zedler-Institut was awarded as Top Ten Company 2016 at Neues Schloss in Stuttgart. The certificate was handed over by the L-Bank CEO, Dr. Axel Nawrath, who showed himself impressed by the motivation and the energy of the company founders and described the prize winners as "excellent mirror for the very special start-up culture in Baden-Wuerttemberg".
During two jury sessions Dirk Zedler was able to convince the nine-headed jury of his passion, the bicycle. He had been working as bicycle and e-bike expert for many years. In these years he wrote expert reports for manufacturers, insurers and courts collecting a large wealth of experience on the issue bicycle safety. With this knowledge as basis he founded Zedler – Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit GmbH in 2010. Dirk Zedler’s motivation: Bicycles should be as safe as possible, because shortcomings entail risks for many persons. With this issue in mind, Zedler and his team tested bicycles and pedelecs for customers all over the world on company-own testing systems developed on their own. Frequent model changes in the cycle industry require the consistent further development of the test stands. Therefore around ten percent of the turnover are invested into research and development of new testing systems and test procedures based on the wealth of experiences gained in thousands of expert reports.
It’s also in the field of user manuals that Zedler promotes his vision to make both the bicycle and the pedelec safer. Manuals from the Zedler-Institut team always include the latest findings on bicycles which had been an issue in court cases. Together with his team he enforces the digitalisation of his user manuals.
Dirk Zedler who has meanwhile 24 employees and was able to realise a turnover growth of 20 percent and more in the past years: "My company gives me a lot of pleasure, even when I often work 60 hours and more per week." It’s, however, not only his business concept that is important to him, but also the social commitment of his company. With three local schools he built up an educational partnership. With the establishment of a bicycle workshop at his own expenses he gives special care kids and teenagers from disadvantaged social backgrounds the opportunity to gain insights into the future-oriented bicycle technology. At present, the workshop is also used by the work group asylum.