Kassel's all-new Social Startup Contest and Pitch Event

Despite many prejudices about North Hesse being the rural, slightly backward and tranquil part of Hesse, the region with Kassel at its center offers far more than any cliché would suggest! As a increasingly dynamic, well connected region in the heart of Germany, North Hesse is home to many medium-sized companies with their traditional roots going far back, some of which prove to fall into the category hidden champions. In addition to renowned companies with a wide reputation and the immense cultural richness of the region, this creates a fertile business environment which innovative and aspiring young entrepreneurs have begun to discover und use.

Let’s show the potential – Tales already being brought to life

The new START UP! KASSEL contest – initiated by TEDxKassel in 2020 – sets the stage for startups from Kassel and the region of North Hesse to pitch their ideas for shaping a better tomorrow in front of professional, experienced and established judges, as well as the TEDx audience. After pitching their concepts and visions, each audience member has the opportunity  to give feedback by voting for their favourite social startup. START UP! KASSEL will award an audience price to honor the dynamic, visionary output for our society.


Audience Award


In a tight head-to-head finish VertrauTier – an animal-based therapy center from Willingen in North Hesse – have won the audience award endowed with 1,500€. Congratulations!

Jury Prize


After a long debate, the jury decided to award Saatgutkonfetti – who have developed sustainable confetti – with a wildcard to pitch to the investors club of North Hesse.

The Contest | October 25

It’s Sunday, October 25. The virtual TEDxKassel conference is nearing its end, but its final act is yet to begin. So, at 6pm the moderators once again enter the stage to introduce the six participating teams of the first START UP! KASSEL contest.

Each team had a 4 minute time slot to pitch their concepts to the TEDx audience and a jury of professionals from the field of startup promotion, and the social startup scene. Followed by a brief Q&A session with each team, it was on the TEDx audience in Kassel and at home to vote for the winner of the main award endowed with 1,500€. Meanwhile the jury retreated to its own council to determine which team would win the jury prize: A wild-card to pitch before the investors club of North Hesse.

The Teams:

Allerleih, Saatgutkonfetti, SoLocal Energy, Veload, VertrauTier, Aktive Medienwerkstatt


The Jury:

Christoph Jacob (Jakob & Sozien, Investorenclub Nordhessen) Norbert Kunz (Social Impact) Alexander Grau (Hessen Trade & Invest)

Pitch-Training | October 17

To prepare their pitches for the all-new START UP! KASSEL contest, TEDxKassel offered all 6 participating social startups a professional pitch training by experienced entrepreneurship coach and pitching expert Barbara Valenti and Christian Martin, managing director of the University of Kassel’s Research and Teaching Center for Entrepreneurial Thinking and Acting.