Green City Solutions wins Union Investment/GTEC's inaugural Proptech award

Green City Solutions of Berlin has emerged as the winner of the world's first PropTech Innovation Award at a ceremony in the German capital on Wednesday.

The startup was founded in 2014 and develops smart solutions for greener and more liveable cities including its award-winning vertical plant filter CityTree. The company won the First Prize, as well as the Community Prize.

The prize was awarded by Hamburg-based open-ended fund manager Union Investment and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC).

'We are offering the PropTech Innovation Award to identify potentially disrupting business models for the real estate industry,'said Jörn Stobbe, jury member and Managing Director of Union Investment Real Estate, Hamburg. 'The applications and ultimately the winners showed us what exciting changes our industry is undergoing.'

The announcement of the winner followed live pitches in front of the audience and jury at the the ESMT-Campus at Schlossplatz in Berlin-Mitte. The decision was made by an interdisciplinary jury who created the shortlist out of a field of more than 200 applications from 46 countries.

Nine finalists
Green City Solutions beat eight other international startups that had been nominated for the award. The winner receives a cash prize of €35,000 and will also get free office space in the recently-opened new GTEC Lab in Frankfurt am Main where they will also have access to the GTEC network of mentors and investors.

The second prize went to Architrave - a Berlin-based startup that provides a digital real estate management solution through a centralised platform for all management and operational tasks concerning documents and processes.

Union Investment is one of the leading real estate investment managers in Europe with assets under management of €32 bn. The Hamburg-based investment manager is promoting digitisation in different areas of activity such as the automation of business processes and smart analytics. It has teamed up with GTEC as part of its efforts to exploit the potential to expand and develop the business model.

GTEC is the first private-sector, open campus for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe and connects an international network of companies, universities, and startups with the public. Founded in Berlin in 2015, GTEC is supported by ESMT, Globumbus, Henkel, Innogy, Noerr, Sigmund Kiener Stiftung, Tishman Speyer and Union Investment.

The CIO of the winning company Green City Solutions Liang Wu is pictured here (centre) together with Reinhard Kutscher, CEO of Union Investment, and Prof Wolfgang Schäfers of IREBS.