“Selfapy” health app wins Focus Innovation Award


The 2021 Focus Innovation Award has been awarded to the “Selfapy” health app. From the German start-up of the same name, this digital therapy service offers self-help courses for people suffering psychological stress – the courses are available on prescription, making them free for users. The company’s founders, Katrin Bermbach and Nora Blum, were delighted to receive the award along with one million euros of advertising in Burda media outlets. Thomas Kuchling, CMO at Selfapy, accepted the award on their behalf from Burda board member Martin Weiss at yesterday evening’s champions dinner in Munich.

“In these dynamic times, we believe it’s particularly important to highlight creative and innovative potential in our own country. Germany is a country of inventors, as demonstrated by this year’s Innovation Award, which received hundreds of revolutionary submissions that have what it takes to make long-lasting, positive changes to our society. For the jury, ‘Selfapy’ (a digital medical product) is a key innovation at a time when healthcare systems and our mental health are under considerable strain. A solution that helps people deal with the emotional burden of the pandemic quickly, easily and free of charge – relieving the strain on the system – is definitely worthy of the Focus Innovation Award.”

Robert Schneider, Focus editor-in-chief

Focus also presented its first Special Award for Sustainability to a project whose core business has made a valuable contribution to protecting the climate. Powered by For Our Planet, the award went to the start-up “Unverpackt Umgedacht” for their innovative multi-use system for dry foods. Managing directors Leonhard Kruck and Vanessa Zaccaria received the award from Professor Schaltegger, a sustainability expert.

The champions dinner, which took place during the “Munich Transition for Tomorrow” sustainability conference, was hosted by Focus editor-in-chief Robert Schneider and attended by high-ranking figures from the worlds of business and politics. Peter Altmeier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, attended digitally. Also present were Professor Monika Schnitzler (Council of Economic Experts), Matthias Mey (Mey), Eberhard Brandes (WWF), Benedikt Herles (KPMG), Heiko Schäfer (Hugo Boss) and Helmut Schönenberger (UnternehmerTUM).

The top 10 submissions

The top-ranked nominees included the Munich start-up Everdrop, which offers innovative solutions for waste-free cleaning, and the digital carbon dioxide detector from PlanA.Earth. All submissions focused on three main topics: sustainability, digitalisation and health.

  • Selfapy GmbH – Selfapy: digital healthcare app available on prescription
  • Icho systems GmbH – icho: ball that helps autistic and disabled people and people with dementia to engage in play-based therapy
  • Feral GmbH – inne minilab: the first hormone-based fertility test for home use
  • PlanA.Earth GmbH – Carbon Manager: software that calculates the carbon footprint of companies
  • Getsafe GmbH – Getsafe: complete digital insurance service
  • Aidhere GmbH – Zanadio: the first therapy app to combat obesity
  • Everdrop GmbH – Everdrop: cleaning products in tab form with no plastic packaging
  • Perfect-iD GmbH – Pia: app focused on data sovereignty
  • Likeminded GmbH – Likeminded: digital service for mental health
  • Evocal Health GmbH – EVOCAL Health: the human voice as vocal biomaker

Jury of experts

The jury for the Focus Innovation Award 2021 was made up of Thomas Jarzombek (Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, Commissioner for the Digital Industry and Start-ups at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy), Professor Monika Schnitzler (Council of Economic Experts), Matthias Mey, (CEO at Mey), Martin Weiss (Hubert Burda Media board member and designated chairperson), Laure Berment (Country Manager Germany at TooGoodToGo and winner of last year's award), Kerstin Schiefelbein (CEO of Cobranded Studio), Helmut Schönenberger (CEO of UnternehmerTUM) and Robert Schneider (editor-in-chief at Focus).

About the Focus Innovation Award

After successfully launching the award in 2020, Focus magazine continues to honour outstanding, forward-thinking companies and founders who are changing the market with their products and services and making valuable contributions to society. A special “Sustainability” category was introduced this year – powered by Burda’s For Our Planet initiative – that ties in with BurdaVerlag’s “Munich Transition for Tomorrow” conference, which took place at the same time.

More images & downloads

Thomas Kuchling (CMO Selfapy), the winner of the Focus Innovation Award, Leonard Kruck, winner of the Special Sustainability Award together with his companion Vanessa Zaccaria (from left to right) (c) Daniel Grund for Hubert Burda Media

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