The 2021 German Entrepreneurs Prizes

September 2021

The winners of this year’s awards for Germany’s most promising young companies were announced at a gala celebration on September 14 in Berlin.

Taking top honors in the start-up category was yuri. Founded by three space engineers in the southwestern German town of Meckenbeuren in 2019, this company facilitates small-scale low- and zero-gravity experiments on the International Space Station and elsewhere.

The up-and-comer award went to Wildling Shoes from Berlin. The company is the brainchild of Anna and Ran Yona after moving from Tel Aviv to the German capital. It produces shoes made of thin paper that give wearers the feeling of going barefoot.

A special prize was awarded to BioNTech founders Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin. The scientist couple has achieved world fame for helping come up with one of the word’s two leading mRNA vaccinations against Covid-19.

Götz E. Rehn, the founder of health food brand Alnatura, was honored for his life’s work. And last but not least, the young people’s award went to students at the Internatsschule Schloss Hansenberg for HyClean, a soap that temporarily turns users’ hands blue, helping them wash their hands more thoroughly.

The German Entrepreneurs Prizes are awarded every year by public broadcaster ZDF, carmaker Porsche, the Sparkasse bank group and news magazine stern.

Winners of the special prize: the founders of BioNTech, Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin © BioNTech