Joy for a toymaker
The Rising Star prize for more established young companies was presented to Düsseldorf-based Boxine, which makes cuddly toy figures that play CDs of audio fairytales and music for children. The runners-up in this category were collaboration Factory, which develops “breathing” software for managing highly complex projects, and cutting-edge online marketer OMR.
“The GEA network is the Who’s Who of German enterprise, and we look forward to profiting from its expertise,” said Boxine cofounders Patric Faßbender and Marcus Stahl at the ceremony. Meanwhile, a special Lifetime Achievement award was given to Alfred Theodor Ritter, who rescued the Ritter Sport chocolate company from economic difficulty while making it ecologically and socially sustainable.
And last but not least is the prize for school initiatives. Last year, it went to the LUVAQ team from the western German town of Geisenheim for their ingenious ideas on how to provide clean drinking water for developing countries.
It’s not easy for companies to get nominated for a GEA, let alone win one. Any company, including foreign-owned ones, located and creating jobs in Germany is potentially eligible. However, candidates need to be nominated by a committee of 300 experts selected from companies, universities, government and venture-capital funds. Nominees are currently being evaluated, and the jury will whittle the shortlist down to the top three by April. The 2020 award ceremony will take place on September 8 in Berlin.