Winners 2020 announced!


Google, McKinsey, Freshfields, 468 Capital and Hering Schuppener have joined forces to organize this year’s Digital Top 50 Awards to reward and celebrate the bold and trailblazing work of tomorrow’s top entrepreneurs across Europe.

Since 2016, the Digital Top 50 Awards have recognized Europe’s top entrepreneurial talent, endorsing the continent’s thriving tech scene. The Awards cover the full spectrum of the business and technology landscape. Startups from all over Europe (EU, EFTA and UK) can apply for one of the four categories:

  • Best Technology (Software, AI, Automation, IoT, Analytics)
  • Best Enterprise Business Model Innovation (SAAS, Marketplaces, Open Source)
  • Best Consumer Business Model Innovation (Marketplaces, D2C- Brands, Ecommerce, Services, Software)
  • Tech for Good (Double Bottom Line: solve social and/or environmental problems)


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 the winners in their respective categories.

50 applicants will be selected as this year’s Top 50 cohort and publicly announced in September. They will be invited to join the Bits & Pretzels Networking week from September 27 to October 2, 2020 where we will celebrate and announce this year’s winners.

Applications for the DT50 2020 are closed!

We are currently reviewing the applications for this year’s edition of the Digital Top 50 Awards. We will announce the finalists that will join us at the Bits & Pretzels Networking week in September shortly.

If you want to receive updates on this or future editions of the DT50 and be the first to be informed when applications are open again subscribe to our newsletter below.

What our previous winners say?

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 Sifted and Bits&Pretzels as media and conference partners.

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Karel Dörner (McKinsey & Company)
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Torsten Schuppe (Google)
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Raphael Neuner (Hering Schuppener)
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Alexander Kudlich (468 Capital)
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Lars Meyer (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)

Executive Jury

We are proud to present our prominent executive Jury comprised of leading representatives from the areas of technology, business, media and academia. We are very grateful for their support of this year's award and are looking forward to find and select the most promising and innovative startups in Europe with them.

Harriet Green

Harriet Green is the former Chairman & CEO, Asia Pacific at IBM. She is a global executive with extensive, multi-channel business leadership experience, having lived and worked on four continents. She was CEO of both Thomas Cook Group plc and the leading high service technology distributor Premier Farnell plc. Harriet is a current board member for the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and King’s College London. She was awarded an OBE in 2010 for services to industry, and most recently named one of Fortune's most powerful women internationally in 2019.

Felix Haas

Felix is Host & Chairman of Bits & Pretzels (Germany’s largest founders festival), Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of IDnow and a Founding Partner of FLEX Capital. Previously he was Founder & CEO of amiando, which he led to trade sale to XING in 2010. He served as an advisor to the German Vice-Chancellor for the “Young Digital Economy” and got awarded as “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum as well as “Entrepreneur of Excellence” by Technical University Munich.

Michael Slothard

Michael Stothard is editor of Sifted, the media platform for Europe's startups, backed by the Financial Times. He previously worked for the Financial Times, where his roles included Madrid bureau chief, Nordic bureau chief and senior correspondent in Paris. Before journalism, he briefly worked at a VC in London, where he realised picking winners is hard and a good idea is not the same as a good business.

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.

Florian Gschwandtner

Florian is a serial entrepreneur and startup investor. He has founded runtastic in 2009 which he led as CEO until the exit to Adidas in 2015 after which Florian stayed on with Adidas to lead the Digital Leadership group. In parallel to runtastic, he founded the pet tracking company tractive in 2012 where he is now back as Chief Growth Officer. Florian has also invested in 30+ startups with his investment company 8eyes as well as 6 Start-up funds.

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.

Lubomila Jordanova

Lubomila Jordanova is the founder and CEO of PlanA.Earth, winners of the DT50 2019. PlanA.Earth is developing an algorithm which predicts where and how climate change will hit the hardest and a software that helps businesses reduce their emissions by 50% within a year and save money while doing so. She also recently founded the Greentech Alliance, a collection of 300+ startups which are connected to over 200+ advisors from VC, media and business. She was recently announced as 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur of 2020 by Forbes.

Michal Kramarz

Since October 2019 Head of Google for Startups in Central & Eastern Europe, leading Google Campus in Warsaw. In the internet industry since 2004, joined Google in 2006 as one of the first employees in Poland. Between 2015-2019 leading team helping Polish startups in global expansion. Earlier responsible for development of Google's collaboration with retail, e-commerce, finance and travel industries. Before joining Google worked for Group. Graduated from the Technical University of Lodz & Executive MBA from Towson University/University of Maryland.

Alexander Kudlich

Alexander Kudlich is the General Partner and Co-Founder of 468 Capital. He has 15 years experience in tech investing and business building. Prior to 468 Capital, Alexander joined Rocket Internet in 2011 and has served as the company’s second most senior executive since. He started his professional career as the Chief of Staff to Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chairman and CEO of Axel Springer SE during its digital transformation.

Liz Ericson

Liz Ericson is a Partner in McKinsey’s London office. She leads the Firm’s Alliances and Acquisitions, overseeing technology alliances with Amazon, Microsoft, Google and more, as well as the Firm’s collaboration network and M&A activity. She spent her first nine years at the firm in McKinsey Digital and Marketing and Sales, where she focussed on digital transformations. Prior to McKinsey, Liz worked at Google for six years in London, Paris and Mountain view, next door to Stanford, where she studied International Relations.

Lars Meyer

Lars is a partner and Global Co-Head of Tech, Media and Telecoms 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.

Raphael Neuner

Raphael Neuner heads Hering Schuppener's Tech & Transformation practice and focuses on strategic communication in the digital age. He advises venture capital funds, start-ups and established companies on their positioning in the digital space and communicating the digital transformation.

Who are we celebrating?

The DT50 Awards are awarded to Startups from within the European Union, EFTA countries, and the United Kingdom that have a digital product or service as the central element of their business and a cumulative received funding below 100mn USD

We are celebrating winners in four categories:

  • Best Technology (Software, AI, Automation, IoT, Analytics): Advanced technology services or products are the focus of your start up concept. You are likely to have achieved product market-fit in your first markets and are focusing on the expansion of your business to new markets and on further product advancement.
  • Best Enterprise Business Model Innovation: (SAAS, Marketplaces, Open Source) The provision of products or services to other businesses is the focus of your start up concept. You are likely to have achieved product market-fit in your first markets and are focusing on the expansion of your business to new markets and on further product advancement.
  • Best Consumer Business Model Innovation (Marketplaces, D2C- Brands, Ecommerce, Services, Software): The provision of products or services to consumers is the focus of your start up concept. You are likely to have achieved product market-fit in your first markets and are focusing on the expansion of your business to new markets and on further product advancement.
  • Tech for Good(Double Bottom Line: solve social and/or environmental problems): Your business has a lasting positive impact on society and/or current environmental challenges. Your product or service helps promote a sustainable cause.

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


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