Winners 2019 have been announced

See all winners 2019


Google, McKinsey and Rocket Internet have joined forces to create the Digital Top 50 Awards to reward and celebrate the bold and trailblazing work of tomorrow’s top entrepreneurs, together with Freshfields law firm.

Since 2016, the Digital Top 50 Awards recognize Europe’s top entrepreneurial talent and endorse the continent’s thriving tech scene. The Awards cover the full spectrum of our diverse ecosystem. Startups from all over Europe (EU and EFTA) can apply for one of the 4 categories:

  • Best B2B Startup
  • Best B2C Startup
  • Best Early Stage Startup
  • Best Social Impact Startup


Applications are evaluated by DT50’s Executive Jury, a hand-picked panel of experts, veterans in venture building and growth mentoring. The jurors will choose four winners in their respective categories.

Of all applicants, 50 will be selected as this year’s Top 50 cohort and publicly announced in November. They will be invited to Berlin and offered the opportunity to exhibit their business and meet investors, journalists and decision makers at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Berlin Conference on December 11-12, 2019. The four winners of their respective category will be announced at an exclusive gala event during the conference and celebrated together with prominent guests and supporters of the DT50.

Applications for the DT50 2019 have been closed!

The deadline for all applications has closed on September 22nd. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest information and updates on the DT50 and be the first to be informed when we launch the 2020 edition of the awards.


Partnerships & Patronage

The awards were founded under the patronage of Mr Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. We are also grateful for INSEAD's and Ashoka's support as partners of the awards from the very beginning as well as the most recent support of the European technical university of Excellence, RWTH Aachen, as research partner and TechCrunch as media and conference partner.

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Oliver Samwer (Rocket Internet)
in a B2C startup
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Karel Dörner (McKinsey)
of B2B startups
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Torsten Schuppe (Google)
the Social Impact category

Executive Jury

We are very grateful for the support of our prominent Executive Jurors in the previous years and will announce this years jury board shortly

Harriet Green

Harriet Green is currently CEO & Chairman of IBM business in Asia Pac. She was previously Global Head of Watson Customer Engagement, Watson Internet of Things and Education at IBM. Prior to joining IBM, she served as CEO of the travel firm, Thomas Cook Group. In 2017, The Financial Times ranked Harriet No. 6 in their “HERoes ranking: Champions of Women in Business” list.

Roland Busch

Roland Busch is a Member of the Managing Board of Siemens. He is Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Osram Licht AG and is part of the Board of Directors of Atos SE. Roland studied physics in Nürnberg and Grenoble and holds a PhD from University of Erlangen.

Mike Butcher

Mike Butcher MBE is Editor-at-large of TechCrunch, and co-founder of ThePathfounder magazine. Mike has been named one of the most influential journalists in European technology by Wired and The Daily Telegraph. He co-founded The Europas Awards for European startups, the non-profits TechVets and Techfugees, the co-working network TechHub and has advised the UK government.

Peter Zemsky

Peter Zemsky is the Deputy Dean of INSEAD Fontainebleau. He holds the chair of the Eli Lilly Professorship for Strategy and Innovation at INSEAD. Peter graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with Summa Cum Laude and holds a PhD in Business from Stanford University.

Elizabeth Varley

Founded TechHub, the home of 400 high-growth tech companies in London that's worked with thousands of companies to support their growth. Members have exited to Google, Facebook, Oracle and others, and raised over $1billion. Elizabeth’s been selected for Computer Weekly’s UKtech50, Debrett's 500, Vogue UK’s Generation Tech. Advisory boards: Imperial College, Silicon Valley Bank.

Karel Dörner

Karel Dörner is a Senior Partner and Head of McKinsey Digital Labs Europe. Prior joining McKinsey, Karel co-founded and directed eBay Europe as well as the US-based mobile software provider Aventeon Inc. Karel studied at WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management and the University of Michigan.

Sandra Fruendt

Sandra is the Director for Google Marketing in Germany, responsible for all B2B activities. She has 20+ years Marketing experience in Tech companies. Her passion is helping businesses - regardless of big or small, new or old - to grow through the transformative power of technology. Prior to joining Google, she was Head of Mobile TV at Vodafone and VP Marketing at Cocomore AG.

Alexander Kudlich

Alexander Kudlich is the Group Managing Director of Rocket Internet. He is responsible for operations, product development, technology and resources at the company. Prior to Rocket Internet, Alexander joined Axel Springer AG as the Assistant of the Chairman and CEO (Dr. Mathias Döpfner) and held various managerial positions in a group company of Axel Springer AG.

Lars Meyer

Lars is a partner at global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and a senior member of the European technology, media and telecommunications team. He advises companies and financial investors on M&A transactions and other investments across the world, with a particular focus on transactions in the tech and digital space.

Julia Kloiber

Julia is a Partner at Ashoka – the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs – and the Managing Director of Superrr Lab. Where she works is at the intersection of technology and society. She is particularly interested in the impact of emerging tech on our everyday life and society at large. Julia is the founder of the Prototype Fund and Code for Germany.

Malte Brettel

Malte Brettel is a professor and vice-rector at Germany’s largest technical university, RWTH Aachen University. He founded the university’s business incubator “Gründerzentrum”, one of the leading university incubators in Germany. Prior to his university career Malte Brettel has worked as a consultant and successfully founded the online used-book platform ABEBooks, which is now owned by Amazon.

Who can apply?

Applications are open to Startups from within the European Union and EFTA countries that have a digital product or service as the central element of their business and revenue or enterprise valuation below one billion US Dollars. 

You can apply to four categories:

  • Best B2C Startup: You have the provision of products or services to consumers as the main focus of your value creation. Moreover you have typically received Series A+ funding and have usually achieved product-market fit in the first markets and are focusing on the expansion of  your business to new markets and on advancing products.
  • Best B2B Startup: You have the provision of products or services to other businesses as the main focus of your value creation. Moreover, you have typically received Series A+ funding and have usually achieved product market-fit in the first markets and are focusing on the expansion of  your business to new markets and on advancing products.
  • Best Early Stage Startup: You have typically received early-seed or seed funding for an existing MVP/Product and usually are proving product-market fit and retention in a first market.
  • Best Social Impact Startup: Having a lasting positive impact on society at large by solving a social problem is the main focus of your products or services.

For further details on the requirements of your application please also check out our Terms of Participation -here- .


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