An innovative start-up culture is highly relevant for the future development of human resources management. The HR Start-up Award is looking for new ideas and forward-thinking talents to shape the future of work for the fourth time.

An innovative start-up culture is highly relevant for the future development of human resources management. The HR Start-up Award is looking for new ideas and forward-thinking talents to shape the future of work for the fourth time.

An innovative start-up culture is highly relevant for the future development of human resources management. The HR Start-up Award is looking for new ideas and forward-thinking talents to shape the future of work for the fourth time.

An innovative start-up culture is highly relevant for the future development of human resources management. The HR Start-up Award is looking for new ideas and forward-thinking talents to shape the future of work for the fourth time.

An innovative start-up culture is highly relevant for the future development of human resources management. The HR Start-up Award is looking for new ideas and forward-thinking talents to shape the future of work for the fourth time.

HR Start-up Award


June 11th, 2019

There’s more opportunity than risk in every innovation!

It’s not long until it’s that time again: the winner of the fourth HR Start-Up Award will be crowned at the HR Management Conference in Berlin on June 26, 2019. But before the much-anticipated vote, the finalists will each hold a pitch. What does it feel like to be part of the competition and everything else that goes along with it?! Daniel Schmelzer, Managing Director of everskill – the lucky winner of the 2018 award – obliged us by giving his insights in an interview.

Daniel, what is everskill all about? What’s your USP?
We help people to train like top athletes once they’ve completed soft skill training sessions. We make sure that employees achieve lasting training success through receiving regular instruction with our mobile platform and that HR departments inspire the talented individuals working for their companies. Unlike most blended learning providers, everskill allows participants to draw up individual training plans and apply them directly in their everyday lives by practicing new behaviors. So, in a nutshell, if I were a participant, I’d receive a reminder to plan my working day at 8.45 a.m.. I’d then be able to track this in the app with the learning diary and then share my findings with my colleagues. Completing quizzes isn’t the only way to learn; it’s vital to specifically apply what you’re learning too!

How has your company developed since you won the HR Start-Up Award in 2018?
We have continued to develop since winning the award. Nowadays, it’s far easier for HR departments to get started with everskill – and also to keep an eye on all their training courses with everskill too. We’ve continuously further developed the app too. It’s even more intuitive today than it was before!

What stage were you at when you applied to take part in the competition last year?
everskill has already enjoyed superb success with all sizes of company. But we were right at the point where we wanted to, were able to and had to expand even further into the market.

How would you describe your experience at the HR Start-Up Award?
Thinking professionally, it’s really helpful to be asked what your actual USP is for the award. Emotionally, the experience was absolutely amazing and very multi-faceted too. The team was thrilled to bits about winning the award. So, Anna Hartmann and I naturally held a live FaceTime session with everyone who didn’t attend while we were at the event in person. For our existing customers, the experience also confirmed the fact that they’re working with an innovative company. The HR Development department of one of our large customers, for instance, sent us a picture of the award ceremony. They were at the conference too.

What a wonderful story! Especially since it confirms that HR managers and start-ups really are getting closer in the competition. And that’s one of our most important goals. Another one is to draw attention to innovations in HR management. Digitalization is currently on everyone’s lips. So, is that even necessary?
Definitely. Unfortunately, we often still find that HR managers are only making slow progress when it comes to innovation, which is why it’s important to show the market has to offer. However, it’s also important to stress that there’s more opportunity than risk in every innovation!

So, do you reckon that companies and start-ups need to interact more?
Yes. That’s definitely one technique you could use to pave the way. But it takes more than a five-minute pitch to see an innovation being implemented afterwards in reality. In this regard, decision-makers have to be prepared to travel down what is sometimes a rocky road. It’s just something you have to do if you are or want to be an innovator.

Do you have any tips for the finalists? How can entering the competition be a success, no matter whether you win it or not?
The finalists should get as much feedback on their pitch as they can when preparing. Doing that will not only improve their pitch for the competition, but more importantly, it will also refine their message when it comes to addressing decision-makers. When they’re actually at the event, it’s also important for them to market their own presence by word of mouth as well as on social media.

Daniel, thank you for taking part in this interview!

May 24th, 2019
The finalists  of the #HRStartupAward 2019
The finalists of the 2019 HR Start-up Award have been selected: quofox, MotionMiners and Vote2Work – three young companies that once again demonstrate the diversity of applications in HR: quofox as a “global learning platform for ‘lifelong learning’ in the digital age”, MotionMiners as an analytics solution for optimizing ergonomics, productivity and efficiency, and Vote2Work as a tool for collaborative personnel deployment planning, particularly of shift and blue-collar workers.

The three start-ups were selected by a panel of seven jury members, consisting of the jury chairpersons Dr. Elke Eller (President of the German Federal Association of Human Resources Managers) and Michael H. Kramarsch (Managing Partner, hkp/// group), as well as Prof. Dr. Christian Gärtner (Quadriga Hochschule), Angelika Gifford (member of several supervisory boards), Åsa Lautenberg (Global HR & Services, Samson AG), Dr. Jochen Wallisch (Executive Vice-President of HR, Siemens AG) and Dr. Rainer Zugehör (CEO, MovingIMAGE24).

The jury members are involved in start-ups as consultants, advisors or investors. The jury rules stipulate that they are excluded from evaluating and discussing the respective start-ups. Mr. Kramarsch has been a minority shareholder in Vote2Work since December 2018. The jury rules were applied.

The winner of the coveted innovation award for start-ups in HR will be chosen on June 26, 2019, on the stage at the “Personalmanagementkongress” in Berlin – in the form of pitches and a subsequent public vote. We can’t wait for the winner to be revealed!

April 9th, 2019

Last Call: Apply for the #HRStartupAward by April 14!

On Sunday, April 14, 2019 the application period for the fourth #HRStartupAward 2019 ends. If you like to present yourself and your product to the audience of one of the biggest events for HR decision makers in Germany in June – the Personalmanagementkongress 2019 in Berlin – you should use the last few days for your quick application! Two days of networking are waiting for all finalists. The winner gets rewarded with media budget worth 5000 Euro, individual coaching and access to a big HR network. A prize in the spirit of this year’s motto: HR Start-up Award – closer to business!

April 2nd, 2019

“Business Tinder for New Work — That describes it quite well.”
Jana Tepe, co-founder of Tandemploy, talks about her start-up and entering the 2016 HR Start-Up Award competition.

When Jana Tepe and Anna Kaiser entered the 2016 HR Start-Up Award competition, their software was not nearly as sophisticated as it is now. They made up for that with the strength of their vision and persuasion. Today the two co-founders are sought after go-to persons for policy makers and quite at home on any #NewWork stage up and down the country. There is no lack of customers either. The IT giant SAP, for instance, has not only started to use the Tandemploy solution, it also makes it available to its own clients. We talked to Jana Tepe about the development of Tandemploy and entering the 2016 HR Start-Up Award competition.

Jana, what exactly is Tandemploy, and what is its USP?

Jana Tepe: We develop software that helps businesses get their working models and structures ready for their own digital transformation. What we actually do is match up co-workers within an organization for any of the new working methods: project work, job sharing, secondment to another function, onboarding for a specific issue, tandem mentoring, or simply meeting up for lunch or coffee. Staff use the tool themselves, thus actually playing a substantial role in shaping their future working life. Senior and project managers can also use the software to reach out, helping them to quickly and transparently find the colleague who is most suited for the job they need filling. The other day someone called it “Business Tinder for New Work”. That actually describes it quite well.

In which “phase” of your development did you enter the HR Start-Up Award?

Jana Tepe: When we entered the competition, our software was still in its infancy. A lot has happened since then. We have won contracts with many major, well-known clients who we accompany on their journey to “New Work”.

How would you describe your experience of the HR Start-Up Award competition?

Jana Tepe: It was awesome, and faaairly unbureaucratic. Everything went really well; from the initial application and our pitch at the event to the progress and then final reports.

What did you get out of entering the competition, on a personal and business level?

Jana Tepe: We have met so many great people in the process. One of them even joined us as a shareholder and is now part of the team. And we made lots of connections with prospective clients at the award ceremony. So, it was a very rewarding experience for us.

Lots of people talk about FinTec and InsurTech, but not many about HR Tech. How important is technological innovation in personnel management?

Jana Tepe: Definitely very important because digital tools can take over many tasks, particularly administrative ones. That gives us more space and time to look at the real important questions of our time: For example, how do we want to work together in organizations, now and in the future? Amongst all this digitalization euphoria, we always focus on the question of “what is it for?” How do individuals, and therefore organizations, benefit from technological innovations? Digitalization is meant to serve people and must not be an end in itself. It should make our (working) world a little bit better. When it can and does that, it’s fantastic!

The HR Start-Up Award is part of the Personnel Management Congress and links up decision makers with innovators. Do we not need more of these meeting points?

Jana Tepe: Yes we do, absolutely! Networking is key. Just as our software helps connect people within organizations, it needs to go beyond the confines of the business to a much greater degree: A strong network of different players who want – and can – move innovation on together, and you end up with teamwork!

Do you have any tips for applicants or finalists? How can entering the competition be a success, no matter whether you win it or not?

Jana Tepe: Be yourself and share your vision and your “what is it for?” Come up with an entertaining pitch that will sum up the benefits for organizations and society in a nutshell — and just have fun!

March 26th, 2019
HR Tech: Hidden Champions shape the future of work

Do you remember the quest for the “next big thing”? It might be tempting, but leads you up the garden path. It is no longer about the emergence of single digital heavy-weights. It is about a diverse innovation sector, these days characterized by start-ups. They make a big contribution to future-proofing the economic sector. A far too rarely talked-about example for that are HR start-ups. Michael Kramarsch, Managing Partner of hkp/// group, together with BPM president Dr. Elke Eller a judge of the HR Start-up Award, explains at why start-ups in the personnel management field are playing a key role in the future of work (article in German).

March 13th, 2019

And the winner was… HUMANOO!
Founder Philip Pogoretschnik on his participation in the HR Start-up Award 2017

Many ideas are good in a timeless way, but eventually become outdated. Take, for example, company team sports. While providing a real benefit enjoyed by employers and employees alike, it rarely inspires wide sections of the workforce. HUMANOO, a digital health platform that incentivizes the health commitment of employees, has set out to change this. In 2017, CEO and founder Philip Pogoretschnik convinced the audience at the HR Start-up Awards with this idea. A short interview about his HR Start-up award experience and the development of his start-up.

Workplace health promotion with the help of a tool sounds good – but also a little fuzzy. What’s HUMANOO all about?

Philip Pogoretschnik:  Our goal is to accompany users on their way to better health and prevention, and to demonstrate measurable success. Our USP lies in monetary incentives to the user. This means that we can financially reward users’ commitment by bundling health insurance plans and insurance budgets.

In which phase were you when you applied for the HR Start-up Award?

Philip Pogoretschnik: At that time, HUMANOO was in its second year and we had won our first major corporate customers. It was an exciting time, as we continued to grow through customer feedback and also took a big step forward in the product development process.

What have been the benefits of participating in the HR Start-up Award?

Philip Pogoretschnik: The HR Start-up Award offers and excellent platform to present accomplishments to a critical audience of potential customers and to give an outlook for the future. Within a very short time, you can get feedback, compare your chosen path and expand on it. The HR Start-up Award and the HR Management Congress as a whole were a great opportunity to approach HR contacts and get them excited about the product and the idea behind it.

Apart from the opportunity to generate business contacts: How important is the exchange between HR and start-ups in your opinion?

Philip Pogoretschnik: I believe HR management is the source of innovation for every successful business. That’s why technological development in this field and the exchange of information are extremely important. Basically, everyone can have creative thoughts for themselves. But when it comes to implementing them, the dialog between different communities of interest is absolutely. It’s only through this dialog that creative ideas can be brought to life.

Do you have any tips for applicants? How does participation in the HR Start-up award lead to success?

Philip Pogoretschnik: It’s not always a matter of success – much more important is the path to positive character and entrepreneurial development. Preparing for the award, talking to participants at the personnel management congress and being open to critical feedback is a great help. But in the end, you always go in with the mindset of wanting to win. The only way to do that is to have a good product – and good preparation.

February 27th, 2019
HR Start-up Award 2019: Beginning of the application phase!
What kind of start-up wouldn’t want that? Have a conversation with many potential investors, users and customers? Participating in the HR Start-up Award can make this wish come true. Our platform allows you to talk to the relevant decision makers, such as top managers from the HR elite, about your business development. The winners can continue this dialog even directly after winning the award: You will have access to relevant stakeholders and the opportunity to network with the key stakeholders.
The application phase starts now and runs until April 14, 2019!

The eligibility requirements? Your start-up must not be older than five years, offer an innovation designed to make life easier for HR professionals or employees in general and you must be eager to present the product or service at the Human Resources Management Congress in Berlin on June 25/26, 2019.

Then what happens? All submissions will be judged by a top-class jury. The three best candidates will be invited to the Human Resources Management Congress for a pitch, where the audience will choose the winner. A worthwhile experience: “The HR Start-up Award was an important stepping stone for us. We got to know people who are still with us today”, Anna Kaiser and Jana Tepe, the two CEOs at Tandemploy, state. They won the prestigious HR Innovation Award in 2016.

“The co-operation with the young entrepreneurs is beneficial for both sides”, emphasizes Dr. Elke Eller, President of the Federal Association of Human Resources Managers (BPM). “Exchanging experiences, getting to know and appreciating different perspectives on human resources work and, of course, the joint development of digital solutions. Many different effects that are a lot of fun”, says Eller. It is no wonder that the award has received more and more attention since 2016.

“The huge interest of start-ups and HR managers makes us very happy,” explains co-initiator and jury president Michael H. Kramarsch, Managing Partner of the management consultancy hkp// group and a start-up investor himself. At the same time, the growing attention is justified. “The development of the HR Start-up Award ultimately reflects the phases of HR digitization, which is why the award can definitely be regarded as a trend monitor”, says Kramarsch.

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

The Award

The innovation prize for the HR community: The HR Start-up Award has been providing highly promising start-up companies, focusing on HR orientated products, a high-profile platform since 2016. Those who make it to the final are able to pitch their product in front of a top-class judging panel and a large audience of decision-makers and experts in the field of HR management. Apart from the award event itself, the finalists have the opportunity to interact with their target group as part of the Human Resource Management Congress. Previous winners include Tandemploy, Humanoo and everskill.

The initiators of the HR Start-up Award include the Federal Association of Human Resource Managers (BPM), the hkp/// group, Human Resource Manager Magazine and Quadriga University. The aim is to bring the innovations of Start-ups into the HR community, to learn from each other, to shape the future of work together – and, as a result, ensure economic sustainability in disruptive times.

As in other areas, start-ups also play a very significant role in promoting new HR practices. Whether it’s through innovative apps and IT solutions that bring the HR department closer to the customer or specific expertise in the areas of compensation and benefits, feedback, recruitment and talent management.

What does the winner get?
Who can apply?
How is the winner chosen?

These and other questions are answered on our FAQ page.

We look forward to your application!

The Judges

The Winners

The Initiators

“Creating solutions together for the workplace of the future!”

The Federal Association of Human Resources Managers (BPM) is the leading professional association for human resources managers from companies, associations and other organizations. Its mission is to build an HR community to network and learn from each other in order to jointly develop solutions for the workplace of the future. The HR Start-up Award contributes to this by showcasing the innovations and the subsequent exchange between founders and HR professionals.

“The HR Start-up Award shows entrepreneurs and companies the opportunities the future holds!”

As an international management consultancy at the intersection of strategy, HR and finance, the hkp/// group develops digitalization, its potential and challenges, in a diverse range of customer projects. As human resources management is an essential driver of change processes in companies, solutions not only have consequences for HR, but for the entire organization and its ability to innovate. As initiator of the HR Start-up Award, we want to show start-up entrepreneurs as well as established companies the opportunities the future holds.

Supporting disruptive potential!

Quadriga University of Applied Sciences is a catalyst for knowledge that fosters innovation and develops HR Executives into modern HR Leaders. Disrupting and empowering people to create innovation run through our institutional DNA just as much as digital transformation, leadership and professional excellence. And as we take our approach to revolutionizing professions such as Human Resources very seriously, we love to support your disruptive potential by bringing the HR Start-Up Award to life.

“The ideal opportunity to discover HR trends and the people behind them!”


Human Resources Manager is the leading magazine for HR management in Germany. Featuring opinion pieces, case studies and reports, the magazine is the knowledge-sharing platform for HR managers. The HR Startup Award presents the ideal opportunity to discover HR trends and the people behind them. With the ambition to report on new developments before anyone else, the award is a valuable source of content and inspiration.


If you have any questions,
don’t hesitate to ask:

Jil Lenarczyk
+49 (0)69 175 363 368

HR Start-up Award @ Personalmanagementkongress 2019, bcc – Berlin Congress Center