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What is the TOP 100 seal? Germany's most important innovation competition for medium-sized companies

The TOP 100 is the most important innovation competition for medium-sized companies in Germany. Every year, successful companies from a wide range of industries are awarded the TOP 100 seal. They are honored for future-oriented innovation management.

What exactly is the TOP 100 Innovation Competition? As a newly crowned TOP 100 Innovator, we will take you through how we became a TOP 100 Innovator 2023. Who are the people and medium-sized companies behind it?

Logo Top 100 Innovator


The origins of TOP 100

The roots of the innovation competition go back to 1993. At that time, one of the owners and managing directors of compamedia GmbH, Joachim Schuble , launched the TOP 100 project in Überlingen on Lake Constance. What started out as a regional competition quickly attracted the attention of renowned experts, scientists, politicians and companies, who then supported the national preparation. Here, the common goal was particularly important: to give a platform to the most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany.

So the most significant innovation award for innovation management has now been presented for the 30th time to participating companies from the SME sector.

The competition

As in any competition, predefined criteria must be met in the innovation competition.

The TOP 100 seal is distinguished by three size categories:

  • Size class A: up to 50 employees

  • Size class B: 51 - 200 employees

  • Size class C: over 200 employees

A medium-sized company applies in the respective size category to which it belongs on the basis of its current number of employees at the time of application.

Before facing the scientific jury as a medium-sized company, a detailed innovation analysis is carried out. The innovation analysis, which includes questions on innovation management, forms the basis for the subsequent scientific analysis. The scientific analysis determines the most innovative and sustainable companies, each of which is awarded the TOP 100 seal.

What exactly is evaluated? Participants' strengths and innovation skills are evaluated in five categories. These include:

  • Top management that promotes innovation

  • Innovation climate

  • Innovative processes and organization

  • External orientation/ open innovation

  • Innovation success

The decisive factor in obtaining the TOP 100 seal is innovation management that is future-oriented and optimally suited to the company.

The TOP 100 jury

In addition to compamedia GmbH, there are two other people who, together with their team, analyze and evaluate the applications in the innovation competition.

Prof Dr Nikolaus Franke


Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke

The internationally leading innovation researcher has been taking care of the scientific management of the competition since 2002. At the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke founded the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and thus has the best prerequisites, together with his team, to assess the analyses and evaluations of the medium-sized companies.



Ranga Yogeshwar

A native of Luxembourg, he serves as a mentor for the innovation competition. In this role, he gets to know new and, above all, innovative companies every year that have a great future ahead of them if they maintain their potential and innovative spirit. With more than 60 professional prizes and awards to his name, Ranga Yogeshwar is one of the most important business journalists in Germany and an expert when it comes to future-proof innovation management.


Ranga Yogeshwar


"Innovators of the Year" are chosen by renowned jury

An "Innovator of the Year" will emerge from each size category after the overall analysis. The TOP 100 jury is made up of well-known representatives from the fields of business, politics, media and science. Among others, founder and entrepreneur Frank Thelen, former parliamentary party leader of the Left Party Dr. Gregor Gysi and UNICEF ambassador Sabine Christiansen are represented in the jury.

The "Innovator of the Year" award

Receiving the recognized TOP 100 seal is a special moment for both the organizers and the winners of the seal. After all, the award shows that one belongs to the innovation elite in the German SME sector. This, in turn, is an enormous advantage for companies, because it demonstrably shows customers, suppliers and interested parties that one is both prepared for the future and has excellent innovation management. The basis of trust for successful cooperation is thus given.

In addition to the external effect, the analysis of one's own capabilities is also interesting. With comprehensive innovation assessments and recommendations for action by the scientific management, steps can be taken to further optimize your own innovation management and make your company fit for the future.

TOP 100 Award


WWM GmbH & Co. KG is honored with the TOP 100 Innovation Award

From classic stand builder to software provider! Digitalization does not stop at the trade fair industry. We took this as an opportunity to lay the foundation a few years ago. "Trade fair stand at the push of a button" was the idea and was turned into reality by the software solution myWWM. This makes it possible for companies to plan their trade fair appearances online with just a few clicks. Modular trade fair systems, catering, individual graphics as well as logistics and set-up and dismantling. Everything from a single source!

In addition to the software and cloud solution, with which our customers can plan their trade fair stand in just a few clicks, the in-house Innovation Lab has also developed the Event Metrics application, which can analyze and optimize trade fair appearances. Similar to what Google Analytics does with websites.

This innovation in the event industry brought us the award in size class B in the anniversary year of the TOP 100 seal. Together with about 500 other medium-sized companies, we presented our future-oriented innovation management. With success!