INNOspace Weekend announces the winners

Cologne, 21 September 2017 – INNOspace Weekend, a new event hosted by the DLR Space Administration in the course of the INNOspace initiative was a 3-day intensive weekend of activities where aspiring entrepreneurs could unlock their creative potential, invent the future and build a startup in just 60 hours. The high-energy and dynamic event provided the participants with the tools they needed to incubate their own startup idea. The 10 teams presented their final solutions on Sunday evening when the three winning teams were announced.


The first-of-its-kind event took place in Cologne at “Solution Space – Innovationshaus am Dom” for an extended weekend from 15th-17th September 2017. The first, second and third ranked teams were awarded with prizes that shall help them advance their presented business concepts.


First prize was won by the team Streety whose idea is to use earth observation data from satellites for more up-to-date maps. A pattern-recognition algorithm will compare pictures from different days to detected changes in the road system and provide these updates to navigation companies. As the overall winner team Streety won a 1000€ travel voucher to a space/startup event of their choice, consultancy interview with ESA BIC Darmstadt and Airbus Bizlab in Hamburg, a visit to Airbus’s space facilities in Bremen and a company branding package by Design & Data GmbH.


The team CropSpy – a “Grow-how” app for farmers in developing countries – won the second place prize. CropSpy will combine scientific earth observation data collected by drones, satellites and IoT devices and translate this data into action plans and instructions for farmers in developing countries. Farmers will profit from knowledge and education on precision farming, which boosts their productivity. The service will be accessible via an app that works on smartphones and PCs. As the second-placed team, they won a consultancy interview with ESA BIC Bavaria, a pitching session with OHB Venture Capital, a Meccanoid XL 2.0 and a bundle of books on entrepreneurship, startups and innovation.


Third place went to team Take Me Home. Its goal is to make elderly and handicapped people more independent in their daily lives by using space technology to create an autonomous intelligent friend specifically-designed for their needs. This multi-function multi-purpose robotic companion will provide stowage, directions, safety and help these people to participate in our modern society. The idea won a pitching session at OHB Venture Capital, a MeccaSpider and one year’s subscription to VentureCapital Magazine.


For more about the winning teams visit:


The first INNOspace Weekend was a complete success for the participants, as well as for the organisers and partners. 65 participants from over 17 countries showed the high international resonance. For many participants, this cultural diversity contributed to the success of the event and to the development of innovative and groundbreaking business ideas.


Amongst the notable guests who participated personally were Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker; Dr Gerd Gruppe, Head of DLR Space Administration; and Dr Michael Scharnberg of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Keynote, Dr Mario Herger spoke about the Silicon Valley mindset and what we can learn from the masters of innovation.


Go to to read more information about the event. You can also gain an overview of the social media impressions of the event with the hashtag #INNOspaceWeekend. Additionally you can view the highlights of the event we recorded as a livestream.


INNOspace Weekend was supported by Stadt Köln, OHB SE, Airbus, P3 Group, RheinCargo GmbH & Co. KG., ESA BIC Darmstadt and ESA BIC Bavaria. It was organised by Design & Data GmbH for the DLR Space Administration.

About the INNOspace Weekend

The INNOspace Weekend provides a platform for developing innovative applications and start-up concepts connecting the space, automotive and logistics sectors. DLR Space Administration facilitates access to expertise and to corporate networks in the space sector and in cooperating sectors. These networks will also make it easier to establish contacts with promotional and financing options to take those ideas to the next level.

About the INNOspace Initiative

The Space Administration division of the German Aerospace Center (DLR: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) launched the INNOspace® initiative in 2013.


INNOspace® is an initiative that forms part of the National Programme for Space and Innovation run by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Since 2014, it has been part of the high-tech strategy of the German government and it comprises the following instruments:

  • Multi-disciplinary symposia to initiate cooperation projects
  • Expert and user workshops on ‘New Markets’ and networking sessions
  • Financial support for innovation and transfer projects through funding from Germany’s National Programme [Nationales Programm].
  • INNOspace Masters, an ideas-based competition in cooperation with the German ESA BICs and Airbus Defence and Space
  • The mobile INNOspaceEXPO “ALL.täglich!” [SPACE.daily], an effective PR platform that present everyday space applications.
  • Website

Direct quotes:

Erik Schwan from Streety (Winner of 1st prize) describes his experience of INNOspace Weekend and winning 1st prize:

“Discussions with the variety of mentors about the current driving fields in space definitely had a huge impact on our thought process and the idea shaping. Furthermore the diverse participants and their curiosity formed an open-minded and inspiring atmosphere in which we had a lot of fun working in. In the end I think we were lucky to find a good combination of ideas, resources and people and feel very excited and encouraged to continue building a great startup out of the INNOSpace Weekend.”


Robin Ravi Gajria from Crop Spy (Winner of the 2nd prize) is delighted that he, as a participant without a formal background in space, was able to thrill participants and jury with his idea:

“If anyone has any doubt about coming to INNOspace Weekend, feel the fear and do it anyway. I was surprised how you don’t have to be a space expert. I normally go to student conferences, which are a lot of fun but lack clear outcomes. The next steps for our startup are clear.”

Michal Leszek Urban (participant) describes the INNOspace Weekend as a fantastic experience:

“A very big thank you to the organizing team for such a great event; as somebody mentioned tonight, it is rather impossible to find anything negative about what you guys have done in the last three days. Equally big thanks to the mentors who were so willing to share their rich expertise with us, and thanks to every participant for a weekend full of ideas and fun.”


Dr Franziska Zeitler (DLR), host and judge was positively surprised by the quality of the presented business models:

“I am thrilled by the performance of the teams. If you consider that the participants just had two days to organize themselves as a team, this is a remarkable achievement. We as jury did not have an easy task selecting the three best business concepts.

Overall it was a fantastic event. My thanks to the partners, mentors and the organizing team. I hope we can establish this event concept as a series.”


Ryan Laird
Design & Data GmbH
Hohenzollernring 56
50672 Cologne, Germany
E-mail address:
Tel. +49 (0)221 169 23 209


Dr Franziska Zeitler
DLR Space Administration
Königswinterer Straße 522-524
53227 Bonn, Germany
E-mail address:
Tel. +49 (0)228 447 434


Notable guests at the first INNOspace Weekend.
Left to right: Dr Franziska Zeitler, Head of Department of Innovation & New Markets, DLR Space Administration; Dr Michael Scharnberg, Regierungsdirektor, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi); Henriette Reker, Oberbürgermeisterin Köln (Mayor of Cologne); Dr Gerd Gruppe, Head of DLR Space Administration; Andreas Kriechbaumer, Innovation; New Markets, DLR Space Administration
Credit: Design & Data GmbH/DLR Space Administration


Winning teams of the 1st INNOspace Weekend.
Credit: Design& Data GmbH/DLR Space Administration


1st prize – Streety
Credit: Design & Data GmbH/DLR Space Administration


2nd prize – CropSpy
Credit: Design & Data GmbH/DLR Space Administration


3rd prize – Take Me Home
Credit: Design & Data GmbH/DLR Space Administration


Participants, judges and organisers at the 1st INNOspace Weekend. Credit: Design & Data GmbH/DLR Space Administration


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