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Hospitality UPGRADE Award

The Hospitality UPGRADE Award is an award dedicated to start-ups from all over Europe which provide innovative and forward-thinking solutions contributing to the entire value chain, from hotel development to hotel operations:

✅ for process optimization
✅ for providing improved basis for decision-making
✅ for increased efficiency and conservation of resources
✅ for enhanced services and an elevated guest experience

Start-ups are eligible to take part, which were founded within the past ten years that can demonstrate a scalable business model, and whose market activities are innovative and growth orientated.

Change will not happen without the courage, the visions and the perseverance of young people who are shaping the future. The ongoing transformation is affecting all sectors, and ours is no exception. This is where we want to make a difference with the prize that we are offering.

Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2024

The next Hospitality UPGRADE Award will be presented in 2024 at the 196+ forum Munich for the 8th time in collaboration with Hospitality Pioneers.

The prize will be awarded to the winner of the start-up pitch on 09 October 2024 on the same day by a jury of hotel experts. 

An advisory board nominates in advance up to five start-ups from among all applicants. These five finalists have the opportunity to pitch to an expert jury and to stakeholders from the hotel and property industry. They will be able to attend the entire programme, including the gala evening and benefit from various networking opportunities with the audience.

Participation in the application process is free of charge. The winning prize includes a one-year membership of the Hotel Properties Working Group (Arbeitskreis Hotelimmobilien) and an exhibitor space at 196+ forum Munich 2025. Podcasts of Hospitality Pioneers will also be published with all five finalists.

Registration for the pitch will open in spring 2024.

Want to know more about the Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2024? Contact Stephanie Wende at stephanie.wende@196plus.com 

Winner 2023

Congratulations to korbsauna® with Torsten Sauer, Managing Partner, for winning the Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2023 on this unique product!

korbsauna® is a combination of a beach chair with a sauna. The mobile innovation does not require building permits, so it can be set up anywhere. It is the first lounge furniture that offers maximum Finnish sauna enjoyment with minimal energy costs by using a 230-volt connection. It uses 2/3 less energy than a conventional outdoor sauna.

The prize was awarded together with Hospitality Pioneers and in cooperation with our industry partner GNERATOR powered by GIRA.


Other finalists in alphabetical order

From 31 applications, a 9-member board of trustees at PropTech.House selected the following other finalists (in alphabetical order), who competed for the Hospitality UPGRADE Award:

Avanera is a software platform for holistic sustainability management in the hotel industry. Cost efficiency is combined with sustainability. Sustainability is made accessible, plannable and measurable through AI-supported potential analyses, preliminary simulations of cost-benefit calculations and matching algorithms for the best measures. Sustainability as a service.

Remberg offers a CRM software solution that helps companies to manage equipment on the go and digitizes all surrounding processes in service, maintenance, etc. in one solution. All buildings and facilities in one hand.

Slooom is a design-led, modular sleep concept that transforms empty spaces into lively spaces of hospitality, using wood as a sustainable building material. The advantages are repurposing instead of building new ones, a healthy indoor climate, faster implementation times and more design freedom and possible uses.

Xingular offers a green button with which the guest can cancel room cleaning for the following day at the touch of a button. This information reaches housekeeping digitally and through integration into existing systems and without any renovation work. Advantages include decreasing housekeeping costs, automatic evaluations, incentives and upselling, green image.

Advisory Board 2023

Stefan Catic, Managing ConsultantI Head of Operator Search PKF hospitality group

Madlen Dietrich, Bereichsleiterin Digitalisierung und Startup-Wirtschaft Unternehmensverbände Berlin-Brandenburg 

Markus Fromm-Wittenberg, Start-up Ambassador Gira

Harro Grimmer, Geschäftsführer ProjektPuls

Olga Heuser, Geschäftsführerin Dialogshift

Fabian König, Investment Manager PropTech1 Ventures

Erich Nagl. Vorstand ETL Unternehmensberatung AG | ETL ADHOGA

Andreas Martin, Managing Partner hotelforum

Zeèv Rosenberg, Präsident HSMA Deutschland |Head of Business Development der AMANO Group