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Hospitality UPGRADE Award

Announcement of the Hospitality UPGRADE Award 2022

196+ hotelforum 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+ hotelforum 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.

Applications will be accepted up to 11 August 2022. 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.

Apply now 

196+ hotelforum 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 2022 receives 

  • network access in the GNERATOR powered by GIRA via a fellowship with mentoring,
  • a start-up exhibitor space at 196+ hotelforum 2023,
  • 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 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

2021 the Hospitality UPGRADE Award was awarded to GauVendi!

An advisory board nominated five start-ups in September out of more than 30 applicants to pitch against each other at 196+ hotelforum. 2021 the following five finalists made it onto the hotelforum stage (in alphabetical order):

Fanz: With an app to new customers, thanks to a fast payment solution, a smart customer loyalty program and positive reviews
GauVendi: Digitization and booking solution of room features for more guest satisfaction and revenue maximization
Plant Nest: The smart planting tower
Staymate: The individual experience planner for hotel guests at the push of a button
Uniberry: Comydo - When QR codes become keys

Advisory board 2021:
Madlen Dietrich, Head of Unit Startup Economy and Digitalisation, Unternehmensverbände Berlin-Brandenburg
Christian Fiedler, Managing Partner, Hospitality Pioneers and Speaker of the Advisory Board
Nina Fiolka
, Co-Founder elevatr
Markus Fromm-Wittenberg, Startup Ambassador, Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG
Harro Grimmer, Managing Partner, MPP MEDING PLAN + PROJEKT GmbH
Sandra Lederer, Editor in Chief hotelbau, FORUM Zeitschriften und Spezialmedien GmbH
Martina Maly-Gärtner, Member of the Board, UBM Development AG
Andreas Martin
, Managing Partner, hotelforum Management GmbH
Florian Montag, Business Development Manager, Apaleo GmbH
Marco Nussbaum, Managing Director, Next Hotel Accelerator GmbH and Board of Directors German Hotel Association (IHA)
Constantin Rehberg, Co-Founder LIVELY 
Martin Stockburger, Managing Director, Koncept Hotels Verwaltungs GmbH

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