Meet the judges

Curiosity about new ideas and new perspectives is what drives the members of our SMART TECH TROPHY judges’ panel. The six experienced minds will enter into intensive discussions with the startups during the upcoming “Selection Days”, and look forward to some exciting pitches. But who are the seasoned personalities putting their heads together on our panel?
Markus Völkel, for example, who is responsible for managing prototype projects at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Bremen. He himself attempted to run a startup around 20 years ago, and enjoys unconventional ideas.
Jens-Uwe Freitag, managing director of swb Erzeugung AG & Co. KG, wants to promote top business ideas and brave business owners in his capacity as initiator, investor and driver of the kraftwerk.
Simone Lordieck, head of the Business Development division of swb AG, focuses particularly on the startups’ potential, assessing how their ideas could be incorporated into swb AG’s operations.
Their colleague, Guido Kühling, head of EWE’s group development, has a similar view; he believes the startup founder DNA must be fitted into the group DNA in order for the group to be able to develop even more exciting products and solutions. After all, many innovations these days occur externally.
For Prof. Jörg Freiling from LEMEX – SME, startups and entrepreneurship division –, his job is all about assisting startup founders. He joins the SMART TECH TROPHY judges’ panel to support startups even beyond the academic world.
Dr. Carl Evertsz, managing director of Pandushi Vermögensverwaltungs-GmbH and CE & Co GmbH, meanwhile, is an entrepreneur and expert in the potential of business ideas. Because when it’s all said and done, it’s about making our startups’ ideas marketable.

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