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October 15, 2018

Six startups to pitch for the Smart Country Startup Award

The final will take place on 21 November at the Smart Country Convention in Berlin

Jury to award a total of 10,000 euros in prize money in the categories Smart City & E-government

Which startup has  the most innovative ideas and solutions for the Smart City and E-government? The answer will be revealed on 21 November when, for the first time, the winners of the Smart Country Startup Award competition will be announced at the Smart Country Convention in Berlin (20 - 22 November). Six finalists have now been decided upon, and they will deliver pitches in front of a jury of experts and a large professional audience for the opportunity to win 5,000 euros in each category. They will also receive free ’Get Started’ membership and the chance to engage with a large network of established companies, investors and contacts in the public sector. The six finalists overcame competition from some 100 entrants and were able to present convincing innovative solutions which also promise to benefit citizens and the public sector. “The Smart Country Convention, which is coorganised by Bitkom and Messe Berlin, brings together innovators and representatives of public administrations and local authorities at federal, state and communal level. For startups with ideas for smart cities or digital administrations it is the ideal venue in order to find customers, partners and investors“, said Niklas Veltkamp, managing director of Bitkom.


The finalists of the Smart Country Startup Award competition are:


Smart City

▪  Hawa Dawa (München) Artificial intelligence for cleaner air

Hawa Dawa has set its sights on improving urban air quality. That is why they have developed software which electronically measures air quality and provides cities with reliable environmental data at low cost and in real time. The data is evaluated using AI. This can pinpoint areas with particularly high levels of air pollution, enabling cities to respond with the necessary measures.

▪  Vialytics (Stuttgart) – Artificial intelligence for collecting data and assessing road surfaces

Vialytics, a recently founded company, is offering a smart solution that can help to improve the quality of the roads. Using a modified smartphone, municipalities can collect data on road surfaces and carry out their own assessment. The data can then be used to undertake the necessary repairs and maintentance work, for instance.

▪  Solmove (Potsdam) – Photovoltaics for roads and cycle paths

Solmove has developed a multi-functional road surface which produces clean electricity, can be illuminated and heated if required, and provides wireless charging for electric vehicles. To achieve this, Solmove has developed a photovoltaic module which can be placed on sealed surfaces.


CommneX (München) – Marketplace for municipal credit

CommneXm, a fintech startup, has developed an online marketplace where municipalities and local companies can invite tenders for their loan requirements. This digitally transforms an otherwise manual tendering process and makes it quicker, easier and more transparent.

▪  JobKraftwerk (Berlin) – Software for electronically managing the integration of migrants in municipalities

JobKraftwerk’s aim is to offer improved long-term support for integrating migrants in Germany. The company’s electronic integration and case management tool makes it easier to collect personal data for instance, which via its platform can then be accessed by various state-run and private partners.

▪  Nect (Hamburg) – Electronic identification procedure

With this startup’s application, users can record a brief video of themselves, photograph the front and back of their ID document, and thus electronically supply remote personal identification. Using this application, customers can identify themselves for a regulated online procedure such as opening a bank account. During the three-day Smart Country Convention digital solutions for the public sector will be presented at the CityCube Berlin. The Smart Country Convention targets tech companies, representatives of administrations and local authorities at federal, state and communal level, municipal companies and other public enterprises, as well as bodies supporting educational establishments and healthcare institutions. Full details of the Smart Country Convention can be found at

The Smart Country Convention is a new event which focuses on the digitalisation of the public sector and is co-organised by the digital association Bitkom and Messe Berlin. The three-day event will take place annually in November on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds and gather all the relevant players representing administrations, politics, the digital economy, associations and science. Combining a congress, workshops, expo and networking events, the Smart Country Convention will examine the digital transformation of cities, communities and the public sector. The focus will be on digital administrations as well as the digitalisation of public services in the fields of energy, transport, safety, waste disposal, water distribution, education, healthcare and housing.

Bitkom represents over 2,600 companies in the digital economy, over 1,800 of whom are direct members. With their IT and telecoms business alone, annual turnover is 190 billion euros, including exports worth 50 billion euros. Bitkom members in Germany employ a combined workforce of over 2 million. Among Bitkom’s members are 1,000 SMEs, over 400 startups and practically every global player. They market software, IT services, telecoms and internet services, manufacture appliances and components, represent the digital media or other parts of the digital economy. 80 per cent of these companies are based in Germany, 8 per cent each are in Europe and the US, and 4 per cent in other regions. Bitkom supports and is a driving force behind the digital transformation of the German economy and campaigns for a broad societal involvement in digital processes. The aim is to make Germany one of the world´s prime locations for digital business.

About Messe Berlin

Based on turnover and growth, Messe Berlin is among the world's ten leading trade fair companies. Each year it develops, markets and hosts hundreds of live events in Berlin and around the world. Its wide-ranging portfolio includes IFA, InnoTrans, ITB, FRUIT LOGISTICA and the International Green Week, all leading global trade fairs, as well as major conferences and outstanding events such as the street celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate. Messe Berlin has around 90 foreign representatives who market events in over 170 countries. Each year some 30,000 members of the media from all parts of the world obtain accreditation for events on the exhibition grounds in Berlin where the company has its headquarters. Thus, Messe Berlin acts as a driving force of the metropolis that is Berlin. Its aim is to be an outstanding host for visitors to every event at Messe Berlin, to give individuals an optimum boost for their business and to ensure fair conditions for everyone. This approach is reflected in the company slogan: ‘Messe Berlin – Hosting the World’.