For news and updates regarding the competition follow us on Twitter: @StartTourismUp.

© visitBerlin, Foto: visumate

Our competition

Creative hub meets tourism industry: Dit is Berlin.

Berlin is characterized strongly by the digital economy and tourism. Time to bring the two together. The first Berlin Startup Award for Digital Tourism Solutions "Start Tourism UP!" of the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research rewarded innovative digital applications in the tourism sector.

Under the patronage of Cornelia Yzer, Senator for Economics, Technology and Research, we were looking for…

  • an outstandingly innovative and creative digital B2C or B2B application,
  • that creates sustainable added value for the booming Berlin tourism,
  • while focusing on visitors from international growth markets.

Our winners

60 digital ideas for Berlin tourism have been submitted for the competition. Experts from the digital and tourism industries have chosen five finalists to present their projects at the world's leading trade fair show ITB Berlin on 9th of March 2016. After these presentations, Senator Cornelia Yzer annouced the jury's decision:

  • 1st place: ASK HELMUT – an app that compiles a personal selection of events for each user.
  • 2nd place: Edaole – a shopping guide for chinese tourists that shows interesting offers in Mandarin on the smartphone.
  • 3rd place: TimeRift Tours – a virtual reality project, that creates three dimensional tours by using head-mounted displays and apps.

The other finalists were DGMK with their interactive "Time Travelling on Potsdamer Platz" via QR codes and Urban Totem, whose app connects tourists with local businesses. You can read about the winners in our portraits and find more information on the award ceremony in the press release (both in German).

What we offer

A high-profile jury of experts from the digital and tourism industries ensured feedback and support for the participants. The winners of Start Tourism UP! received prize money for the successful implementation of their competition entries:

  • 1st prize: 50.000 €
  • 2nd prize: 30.000 €
  • 3rd prize: 20.000 €

The projects with the best ideas received an individual support package of our cooperation partner Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator. Additionally, the winning team got invited to an exclusive dinner at Axel Springer Journalists' Club.

In pitching sessions, all nominees had the opportunity to present their projects at the world's leading trade fair show ITB Berlin.

All rights remained with the development teams.



October: Call for competition entries
16th of November: Upload-Tool for applications will be available on this site
21st of December: Submission deadline for entries


January: Nomination by the jury and invitation to pitch
9th of March: Pitches and announcement of winners


Start Tourism UP! Berlin Startup Award for Digital Tourism Solutions was organized by the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research and unter the patronage of the Senate Department's Senator Cornelia Yzer. 

Our jury

Stefan Athmann
Presidium Member DEHOGA Berlin, General Manager Regent Hotel Berlin

Agnes von Matuschka
Business Developer OpenCampus

Verena Pausder
Founder & CEO Fox & Sheep

Johannes Reck
Founder & CEO Getyourguide

Anja Seugling
Director Corporate Communications & Strategic Brand Management visitBerlin

Jan Thomas
PublisherThe Hundert / Berlin Valley

Christian Wiesenhütter
Deputy Chief Executive Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin


Our competition Start Tourism UP! – Berlin Startup Award for Digital Tourism Solutions was organized by the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research in cooperation with Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator.

organized by: in cooperation with:


The organizers of Start Tourism UP! - Berlin Startup Award for Digital Tourism Solutions wish to thank Berlin Startup Unit, ITB Berlin, Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V., traffics Softwaresysteme für den Tourismus GmbH and Travel Massive for their support.

Impress & Privacy



Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research
Department for SMEs, Crafts, Trade, Services and Tourism
Martin-Luther-Str. 105
10825 Berlin

Concept, layout and implementation

WE DO communication GmbH GWA
Chausseestr. 13
10115 Berlin

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Formal and Legal Framework


Young startups with an annual turnover of up to €1 million and creative minds with innovative ideas on their way to startup are invited to participate in the competition. The companies should be based in Berlin.

From 16th of November 2015 till 21st of December, 12 pm/noon you will be able to upload your application on our website. Applications can be uploaded in English or German. Please use our upload tool and follow the instructions. We can only accept application via our website. Please do not send us applications in any other way.

All rights to the competition entry remain with the entrant. The submission of several competition entries is permitted. The entrant confirms that his competition entry is free of third-party rights. The entrant is liable to the organizer of the competition for the competition entry/submission not violating any third-party rights. Where applicable, the sender will release the organizer of the competition from all claims and possible expenses incurred which may be asserted by third parties due to a violation of rights.

By submitting the entry documents the entrant agrees to the submitted works (photo material, etc.) being used by the organizer of the competition to advertise, document and report on the competition, and grants all the required rights of use. The right of use of the organizer is not exclusive, but it is unlimited in time and space and applies to all known and unknown forms of utilisation.

The organizer of the competition is entitled to forward the personal data of the subscriber, such as name, C.V. and photos obtained in conjunction with the competition to third parties such as the media, exhibition organizers or potential sponsors or cooperation partners. If disclosure is not desired, the entrant shall inform the organizer of the competition in writing upon submission of the entry, indicating to which data the desire for non-proliferation applies.

Should individual provisions be invalid, this does not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.

The prize money is seen by the European Commission as state aid and will therefore be paid off as so called de minimis aid, where 200.000 € cannot be exceeded within three fiscal years per recipient. This is based on Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid (Official Journal of the European Union Nr. L 352 from 24th of December 2013, p. 1) in the case of industrial de minimis aid.

The prize money is provided solely for company purposes that implement the rewarded digital tourism solution.

The prize can be revoked if the awardee turns out to be unworthy of the award. In this case the prize money needs to be paid back. A revokement includes the loss of all rights connected to the award.

According § 661 German Civil Code (BGB) the jury’s decision is final an there is no right of legal appeal.