The Eurobike Innovators Prize is a new award competition launched for the 30th edition of the show. Aimed at innovative products and start-ups, the format of the contest mixes a public vote and a Dragon’s Den style pitch round with a high-profile jury that decides on the winners.
The current dynamic of the bicycle business is attracting a lot of bright ideas, and the Eurobike organizers wanted to give them a proper showcase. This was the inspiration for the Eurobike Innovators Prize, a multi-stage contest held for the first time at the premiere of the show in Frankfurt am Main. Until June 6th companies could submit new, innovative products for the contest. A public online vote was then held to narrow the field to three candidates in each of five categories: complete bicycles, components, infrastructure, services and accessories.
These finalists made a three-minute pitch on the Black Stage in Hall 8 to convince a high-profile jury. The jury consisted of Pierer E-Bikes’ Susanne Puello, Zedler Institut’s Dirk Zedler, Bike EU’s Jan-Willem van Schaik, finance and investment expert Ralf Kindermann, Bikenomist’s Pinar Pinzuti, serial founder Andreas Gahlert (known for Cobi.Bike) and the European Cyclists’ Federation’s Jill Warren. After all 15 finalists made their pitches, the jury went into seclusion to discuss the presentations and decide on the winners. In addition, the audience was invited to cast a vote to decide on the crowd favourite.
Shortly after the official end of the second day of the fair, the suspense rose as the winners of the first ever Eurobike Innovators Prize were announced. The first winner called onto the stage in the accessories category was South African company Omnico for its compact and clever Groove Tool Pro marketed under the Ryder Innovation (9.1 / F25) brand. In the services category, the jury awarded Schwalbe (12.1 / C08) for its tire recycling program that reduces waste and is a step towards a circular economy. Dutch company Bike Cleaner (8.0 / C28) took the honours in the infrastructure category for its Bike Cleaner Plus station that not only cleans dirty bikes but also has the potential to create revenue.
In the components category, Mahle Smart Bike Systems (8.0 / F18) was the unanimous winner for its lightweight X20 drive system that shows that sometimes, less can be better. And in the bicycle category, the win went to Norwegian company Podbike (F12.0 / F23a) for its Frikar quad that weighs less than 100 kg, works with a Serial Hybrid assistance drive, offers a space for cargo or a child and protection from the elements and thus is marketed as “an e-bike for every day and any weather.” Last but not least Brazilian company Flashbike won the public on-site vote with its Work Hard & Improve program that brings the Lean 6 Sigma methodology used in large corporations and meant to implement constant improvements to small enterprises like bicycle shops.