• Offering a platform to HR start-up innovations, especially during the crisis
  • Finalists win business coaching, networking and publication opportunities, while the winner also receives an marketing budget

Frankfurt am Main, February 22nd, 2021. The HR Start-up Award is entering the application stage, heading into the sixth edition in 2021. Once again this year, the German Association of Human Resources Managers (BPM), the hkp// group, the Human Resources Manager Magazine and Quadriga University are calling on all founders with innovative solutions for HR management and the future of work to apply for the prestigious award.

Start-ups reaching the final may expect sound business coaching from one of the high caliber judges, two days of networking in Berlin along with publication options and a major platform for their direct target groups. Winners will also receive a marketing budget of EUR 5,000 for wide-reaching HR media publications.

You can access the applicant portal via the award website (www.hrstartupaward.com). The application stage will end on May 30th, 2021.

Showdown at the personnel management congress

Just as every year, the Innovation Award will be presented, as part of the HR Management Congress in Berlin on August 31st, 2021 - one of the largest German-language HR events. The fact that the event, which otherwise has up to 1,500 guests in attendance, can be carried out successfully and safely even in times of the corona pandemic was already demonstrated last year by creative, hybrid formats and a well thought-through hygiene concept.

The HR Start-up Award can look back on a successful year: the second highest number of submissions was achieved in 2020 with 43 submissions (2019: 46). The finalists included three innovative solutions for human resources: Danielle Software presented a digital solution for personnel organization, which tackles time-consuming and paper-heavy HR processes. Jobpal introduced a chatbot for recruitment that allows companies to respond quickly to candidate inquiries. Userlane once more demonstrated a tool that makes it easier for employees to learn new software as part of navigating the application. The expert audience present on site and online voted – fittingly for the 5th anniversary of the award – two finalists onto the winner's podium: Günther Fernbach, CEO and founder of Danielle Software, and Kristina Schneider, Digital Adoption Consultant at Userlane.

HR Start-ups especially significant during the coronavirus pandemic

“The challenges we are currently facing in companies must not obscure the outlook on innovations in HR. The increasingly numerous HR Start-ups could form a significant part of the solution," explains Elke Eller, Co-initiator and Co-Chair of the Award Jury as well as Chief Human Resources Officer of TUI. “This is why the HR Start-up Award is shining the spotlight right now on long-term developments and emerging trends," says Eller.

Inga Dransfeld-Haase, President of the Federal Association of Human Resources Managers and Director of People and Culture Germany/Austria/Switzerland at BP Europa, highlights: “Start-ups in HR are an important driving force behind the further development of our profession. They are playing a key role in shaping the working world of the future. For this reason, it is a particular concern of mine both on a personal level and also for BPM as an institution to bring them into dialog with HR managers again through the HR Start-up Award in 2021.”

Michael H. Kramarsch, start-up investor and managing partner of the hkp/// group and, together with Elke Eller, initiator and judge chair, explains what is important to companies when it comes to cooperating with start-ups in difficult economic times: “Start-ups need to offer clear, discernible added value for companies. Right now, this lies in making processes more efficient, more effective and therefore more resource-friendly. The solutions presented at the HR Start-up Award are fantastic examples of this. Companies should therefore cooperate even more intensively with start-ups and open themselves up to their creative solutions and entrepreneurial spirit.”

The Judges

The high-caliber judges for the HR Start-up Award are a testament to the relevance of start-ups for HR professionals. As every year, a total of nine top decision-makers will select the finalists, who will compete for the favor of the professional audience in the form of pitches at the HR Management Congress. The judges are as follows:

  • Inga Dransfeld-Haase, Director of People and Culture and President of the Federal Association of Human Resources Managers Germany/Austria/Switzerland (BPM)
  • Dr. Elke Eller, HR Executive and Employment Director, TUI (Chair)
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Gärtner, Professor of Human Resources Management and Digitization of the Employment World, Munich University of Applied Sciences
  • Michael H. Kramarsch, Start-up Investor, Founder and Managing Partner of the hkp/// group (Chair)
  • Åsa Lautenberg, Chief People Officer (CPO), Viessmann
  • Dr. Michael Prochaska, Head of Human Resources and Legal Affairs Officer, ANDREAS STIHL
  • Marie-Eve Schröder, Director of Sales DACH, Facebook
  • Dr. Jochen Wallisch, Executive Vice President HR, Siemens
  • Dr. Rainer Zugehör, CEO, MovingIMAGE24

The HR Start-up Award was created by the hkp/// group, together with the Federal Association of Human Resource Managers (BPM), Quadriga University and Human Resource Manager Magazine to promote innovation in Human Resources Management and to develop closer networking between start-ups and already established companies.



Constantin Härthe
PR and Online Marketing Manager
hkp/// group
Tel +49 69 175 363 312
Mobile +49 176 15 363 312

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