Leading international trade show Eurobike notes that start-up players breathe new life into the bicycle industry. With this in mind, the Eurobike Award introduced a separate category for start-ups last year. In 2018, upcoming companies with their innovative products were offered a larger stage as part of the main Eurobike show, which runs from 8-10 July 2018.
For the first time, a separately convened panel of judges was devoted exclusively to start-ups. The 20 finalists additionally had to the opportunity to present their ideas to a broad audience on the eve of the main show. As a result, five newcomers were able to enjoy a judges’ prize, and heightened profile, while ‘one start-up emerged as the favourite’.
Competing product ideas for the Eurobike Start-Up Award involved 74 young companies. A preselection phase narrowed these applicants down to those who in the judges’ opinion were the 20 most promising innovations. Then, the start-up companies each presented their ideas to an interested audience in a three-minute pitch in Foyer East at Messe Friedrichshafen, southern Germany.
The event flanked by two specialist talks was not only open to trade visitors but also to the general public. In conclusion, a vote was held to determine the winner of the audience prize for the Eurobike Start-Up Award. At the same time, the expert panel selected their own favourites.
“It was a very good decision to give the start-ups their own forum as part of Eurobike this year,” said Dirk Heidrich, Eurobike Project Manager at Messe Friedrichshafen. “Visitors to the pitches find it fascinating to see the broad spectrum of innovations and ideas emerging from young companies in the bicycle industry.”
The judges’ prizes in the Eurobike Start-Up Award 2018 go to:
Muli by muli-cycles
Statement by the Eurobike Start-Up Award judges: “Everything about the muli is just right. Thanks to its short wheelbase, low width and small frame, it is easy to control for both big and small riders. We were particularly impressed by how easily the child’s seat can be installed and dismantled as well as how the basket folds up. Especially recommended for families.”
Split Belt Drive by Veer
“This innovation of a split belt, which is also suitable for retrofitting, represents true progress if the operating principle proves to be successful. It eliminates the drawback of having to modify the frame in order to change the belt, while retaining the already familiar advantages of the belt drive.”
Wink Bar by Velco
“This navigation system integrated in the handlebars has numerous useful solutions. We were particularly impressed by the use of light signals as a simple means of providing guidance. GPS and GSM connections for the accompanying app are already built into the handlebars. And for a navigation system it represents very good value for money. ”
PED by speaRoad
“An innovation that increases visibility and safety when cycling without the need for any additional batteries or recharging operations. For us, the crucial feature in this illuminated pedal was the fact that energy for the light is produced from actually pedalling. Especially recommended for children.”
Trenux by Trenux Trailers
“In the case of Trenux, it is the idea of a car boot for bikes that we find commendable. In our view, the concept of a bicycle trailer that folds up and fits onto the carrier rack is ingenious. We see it generating a large market if a good solution can be found for the challenges involved in implementing the idea.”
The Eurobike Audience Start-Up Award 2018 goes to:
TriEye by CFongen
The idea of glasses with an integrated rear-view mirror most impressed the audience. The glasses enable riders to keep an eye on what’s happening behind them in traffic, without having to turn round.
The high-ranking panel of judges brought together various areas of expertise from the bicycle industry and the start-up business. Heading up the six-strong panel was Ulrike Saade, who has been actively involved in the bicycle industry for many years as a retailer, consultant and event organiser. Panel member Dirk Sandrock can also look back on many years of experience in the bike industry. Consultant Ursula Kloé contributed her expertise from the fields of innovation development and user experience while her fellow judge Egbert Hünewaldt specialises in the financing of sustainable companies. As executive director of the German Cyclists’ Association (ADFC), Burkhard Stork is one of the most well-known champions of promoting the bicycle in Germany. Completing the line-up of Start-Up judges was the state-authorised bicycle expert Ernst Brust (CEO of velotech.de) who added his technical knowledge.