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Hospitality UPGRADE Award

Hospitality UPGRADE Award

196+ forum Munich and Hospitality Pioneers (Gastgewerbe Magazin) are supporting young innovative start-ups from all over Europe, once more in cooperation with GNERATOR powered by GIRA.

The prize will be presented to the winner of the techno pitch on 6 October at the 196+ forum Munich conference. The competition appeals to innovative start-ups making a relevant contribution to sustainability in the hotel industry with efficient, future-oriented solutions along the entire value chain from hotel development to hotel operation, including the guest journey and employer branding:

  • processes and performance in operational hotel management or
  • the guest experience for both tourists and business travellers before, during and after their stay in a hotel - as well as or
  • processes, tools materials in the real estate, energy and construction industries that may be relevant for hotels or similar hotel properties

Hotel owners and operators are increasingly being called on to make their contribution to providing better environmental and climate protection, but also to lend appropriate expression to the “S” and “G” from “ESG”, referring to “social” and “corporate governance”, if they wish to be economically successful. Hotel guests are also making increasing demands when it comes to climate protection aspects during their travels and when staying in properties. It has furthermore been shown that sustainable hotels are at an advantage when it comes to employees.

This means that the industry needs to find solutions to the future challenges of the ESG criteria if they wish to succeed in an era of climate change, environmental pollution, pandemics, globalisation, staff shortages and digital transformation.

Conditions of participation:

Start-ups are eligible to participate that

- have a sustainable solution for the hospitality industry (see above),
- that have been founded within the last five years,
- can present a scalable business model,
- are innovative and growth-oriented, and are already 
- active in the market.

Participation is free of charge.
196+ hotelforum reserves the right to make exceptions to these requirements in individual cases, but there is no legal claim to this. Submission is free of charge.

196+ forum Munich presents the Hospitality UPGRADE Award to the techno pitch winner on 6 October at Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. An advisory board of hotel experts nominates five start-ups prior to the event to pitch against each other at the event in Munich. A jury will select the winner onsite.

The winner of the Hospitality UPGRADE Award receives 

  • network access in the GNERATOR powered by GIRA via a fellowship with mentoring,
  • a start-up exhibitor space at 196+ forum Munich in the following year,
  • a one-year junior membership of the Hotel Properties Working Group (Arbeitskreis Hotelimmobilien),
  • an invitation to a 196+roundtable event in the respective country as well as
  • an invitation to a Gira event.

For more information about the Award (in German) click the following link: https://hospitalitypioneers.de/hospitality-upgrade-award-2022/

For any questions with regard to the techno pitch, please send an email to hotelforummunich@196plus.com

2022 the Hospitality UPGRADE Award was awarded to PXNEL!

PXNEL has developed a modular wall covering system making it possible to attach a variety of panel modules with one simple click. The circular model makes it possible to extract around 90 per cent of the old parts and transform them into new panels with a fresh design. Omar Ghandour, co-founder and CEO of PXNEL, is delighted about the award, and explains: “PXNEL is for walls what apps are for smartphones: a unique, simple panel system that enables flexible, individual wall design.”

The advisory board nominated five start-ups in September 2022 out of more than 30 applicants to pitch against each other at 196+ hotelforum.

Advisory board 2022:

Peter Bachmann, Managing Director, Das Sentinel Haus
Stefan Bezold, Vice President Sales DACH, FutureLog Europe
André Pinto Gomes, Senior Investment Manager Investment Management Hospitality, Union Investment Real Estate
Madlen Dietrich, Head of Unit Startup Economy and Digitalisation, Unternehmensverbände Berlin-Brandenburg
Markus Fromm-Wittenberg, Startup Ambassador, GNERATOR powered by GIRA (Gira Giersiepen)
Harro Grimmer, Managing Partner, MPP MEDING PLAN + PROJEKT
Olga Heuser, Founder & Managing Director, DialogShift
Florian Montag, Business Development Manager, Apaleo
Nils Ziehn, VP Product, Limehome  

The following jury members attended the pitch in person along with Christian Fiedler: Peter Bachmann (Das Sentinel Haus), Markus Fromm-Wittenberg (GNERATOR powered by GIRA), Harro Grimmer (MPP Meding Plan + Projekt, Olga Heuser (DialogShift), Markus Marth (Schani Hotels), and Konstantinos Matsoukas (PropTech1).
2022 the following four finalists made it onto the hotelforum stage besides PXNEL (in alphabetical order):

Circonomit promotes environmentally-orientated decision-making by collecting standardised real data and integrating them into environmental impact assessments carried out on real estate, and thus also on companies.

Dripdrop is an automated umbrella lending system from Denmark that aims to reduce waste by avoiding, reducing, recycling and reusing umbrellas in hotels.
MiceRate is an automated revenue management system primarily aimed at the events sector, and is intended to be used as the basis for increasing revenue in the long term, and thus to enable a successful sales strategy for hotels with a strong MICE orientation.

Solaga uses algae pictures and walls to help reduce air pollution and increase biological energy production by microalgae, as well as developing the algae façades of the future.

The Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2021 und 2020:


Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2022    Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2022

Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2022 winner GauVendi.    Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2022

Techno Pitch 2020    Techno Pitch 2020

Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2020   Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2020

Photo credits: Grazyna Wislocka