Review of the 3. Unicorn Pitch Grand Final on March 6, 2024

3rd Unicorn Pitch Grand Final

On March 6, 2024, the 3rd Unicorn Pitch Grand Final took place, marking an exclusive and unforgettable finale event for all participants. StartupDorf invited its members, key influencers of the startup scene, successful founders, and entrepreneurs to a special event that combined the best of pitch competition, fine dining, and networking. The splendid event location, Canonicus, hosted over 100 guests this time to showcase and celebrate the best startup ideas.

StartupDorf Unicorn of the Year

The five qualified finalists competed for the title “StartupDorf Unicorn of the Year,” while Ingo Köthschneider and his team from Canonicus delighted guests with delicious flying food. The fantastic ambiance, the beautiful panoramic view of Düsseldorf from the Heerdter Loft, and the lively atmosphere from the first minute created the perfect setting for one of the strongest StartupDorf events. A wonderful evening filled with strong startup pitches, a full house of great guests who all had a lot of fun and contributed to making this evening a memorable one.

Unicorn Pitch Grand Final 2024

The board of StartupDorf e.V. balanced the mix of pitch event, fine dining, and networking again to entertain all participants and visitors optimally. The highly qualified jury faced a tough decision.

The Course of the Grand Final at a Glance:

Hanns Tappen, Founding Chairman, opened the official part of the Unicorn Pitch Grand Final and expressed his gratitude to guests, jurors, and especially to the sponsors and supporters of the evening, who enabled a truly great event framework for the startup teams. Notably, alongside the mention of financial support from the state of NRW, the financial contributions and sponsorships from startups within the club received special attention, providing the highest individual sponsorships.

At the end of the opening, Hanns Tappen chatted with Patrick Imcke, last year’s winner with Your Easy AI, about the development of his startup and insights as a founder since the last final. Subsequently, Fabian Braun, Vice Chairman, introduced the jury members of the Unicorn Pitch Final, and thanks to thorough research by Jessica Ojelabi from the StartupDorf Marketing Team, had ample background information on the experts.

Dominik Klepek, as a newcomer to the StartupDorf board, explained the rules for the pitch battle to the audience. Then, Eugenia Gagin, in the tradition of a TV show warm-upper, got the audience really going. Eugenia Gagin and Florian Baum, both long-standing members of the association’s board, then guided the startup teams through the pitch evening. A break after the first 3 pitches was used for the initial courses of the excellent flying buffet. Towards the end, the jurors, but also the audience, were called upon again. Martin Boden, also active on the StartupDorf board, led through the online voting to determine the audience favorite, in which almost every guest participated. The jury, accompanied by the StartupDorf Marketing Team, including Michail Kosak and Jessica Ojelabi, had the opportunity to join the jurors’ discussions in the Canonicus Lounge during this time.

 

The Winners:

The startup pitches at the Grand Final 2024 were of a high level, and the jury had the challenging task of determining the first three places. In the end, Wohnsinn with Felix Weiß took first place, followed by ecodaya with Puya Rahimkhan and STYLIQUE with Alexander Lenz. The guests also had the opportunity to vote for the winner of the audience prize. Here too, Felix Weiß with Wohnsinn won, making it a novelty at the Grand Final that both jury and audience agreed. Felix delighted: “We are thrilled about the jury and audience award. Huge thanks to the StartupDorf team!” Get to know the startup teams and founders. You can also find Axel Dieterle from Faya and Alessandro Markus from KWARZ here:  Instagram post.

The startups in the pitch

Prizes for the Top 3 Startups

The jurors, including Tanja Rosendahl, Kirsten Best-Werbunat, Stefan Kirmse, and Mathis Breuer, explained the placements of the startups during the award announcement, highlighting that the decision-making within the jury took place in a constructive and harmonious manner – but was not always easy. The places from 3 to 1 were announced by Stefan Kirmse, Kirsten Best-Werbunat, and Mathis Breuer to the audience and the winners were celebrated with much applause. Wohnsinn GmbH with Felix Weiß, in addition to the title “StartupDorf Unicorn of the Year,” also received a prize check of 500 euros. Kirsten summarized her decision and that of her jury colleagues as follows: “In the end, Wohnsinn convinced us the most, acting almost like Tinder for the housing market with its business case. Ecodaya landed in second place because we were convinced by its purpose and market potential. Stylique took third place because their offering could satisfy a great need.” Get to know our jurors. Instagram post.

Unicorn Pitch Jury Members

The StartupDorf Family

We would like to thank all sponsors, jury members, supporting members, and the association board for making this event possible. Our special thanks go to the guests and especially to the startups that participated in the StartupDorf Unicorn Pitch Grand Final 2024. But also a big thank you to all startups that participated in the Unicorn Pitch Series 2023/24, thus being an essential part of the pitch competition.

Our sponsors and supporters of the Grand Final, who are all supporting members or startup members at StartupDorf e.V., also deserve our heartfelt thanks for their support:

The Unicorn Pitch as a Success Format

The great success of the Unicorn Pitch Grand Final 2024 shows how important such events are for the entire startup scene. They offer young founders an excellent platform to present their startups, expand their network, and receive valuable prizes and support. StartupDorf has proven that it can create a unique ecosystem with events like the Unicorn Pitch Grand Final, bringing together founders, investors, and experts while maintaining a personal touch. We look forward to the next Unicorn Pitch Grand Final and are excited to see which new ideas and startups will enrich StartupDorf and the entire startup scene in the future.

Do you like videos? Click here for our video highlights and sound bites from the evening (Video/Youtube) (Video 2)

 

Gallery:

 

Unicorn Pitch Grand-Final 2024 ist Gefördert durch das Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Industrie, Klimaschutz und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
Unicorn Pitch Grand-Final 2024 ist Gefördert durch das Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Industrie, Klimaschutz und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

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