The TOP 100 competition
Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 seal of approval to SMEs with a particular ability to innovate and above-average success rates for innovations. Professor Nikolaus Franke has coordinated the project since 2002. He is the founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and worked as a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is one of the world's leading innovation researchers and has won 18 science awards and published over 200 articles. The TOP 100 is mentored by science journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar and organised in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW). Media support for the company benchmarking competition is provided by manager magazin, Impulse, and W&V. Further information is available at www.top100-germany.com.
Überlingen/Ludwigsburg – The innovation leaders in Germany's SME sector are dusting off their evening wear in preparation for the 25th TOP 100 awards. The winning companies have been selected following independent scientific analysis by Professor Nikolaus Franke, who will be joined by the competition's mentor, Ranga Yogeshwar, and its initiator, compamedia, at the fifth German SME Summit on 29 June in Ludwigsburg to present the winners with their awards.
For the 25th round of the TOP 100 awards, the scientific panel appointed by compamedia sifted through 471 applications from small and medium-sized enterprises. Franke and his team drew up some 100 parameters as testing criteria, organised around the competition's five assessment categories: Innovative Processes and Organisation, Climate of Innovation (involvement of employees), Innovation-friendly Senior Management, Outward Looking/Open Innovation, and Successful Innovations. This year, 288 companies were successful and received the TOP 100 award in one of the three size categories (100 max. per size category).
"The way the TOP 100 companies approach challenges is really fascinating. They are using their creativity, determination, and audacity to achieve what we need as a society: novel solutions to problems, resulting in prosperity, growth, and employment," commented TOP 100's scientific director, Professor Nikolaus Franke, on the occasion of the awards.
Competition mentor Ranga Yogeshwar was equally impressed: "The TOP 100 are small and medium-sized businesses that are willing to shake things up and aren't afraid of letting go of the old. People who don't fear new ideas and practices, and indeed embrace change. Entrepreneurs, whose businesses remain stable and successful, precisely because they are constantly evolving."
Statistics from this year's competition illustrate the special status of the top innovators, with 120 German or global market leaders among the winners. These SMEs have together applied for 4,511 patents in the past three years. Their revenue growth over the same period was 21.1 percentage points higher than the average for their industries. The proportion of their revenue attributable to innovative improvements and products new to the market was 40 per cent. And their strong position is also driving employment, with around 14,000 new jobs being created between 2017 and 2019.