STUTTGART, Germany – A team of students from the Lingen Wirtschaft vocational school was awarded the special prize in chemistry in the 2019 Jugend gründet (Youth Startups) competition for a sustainable business idea. The winners, Lea Großmann, Felix Ströer, Christin Stover, Anneliese Bangert, and Bennet Elfert, can look forward to a trip to one of ALTANA’s largest research and production sites, in Wallingford, Connecticut, where the students will gain exclusive insights into the work processes of ALTANA’s BYK division.

The prospective entrepreneurs entered the competition as a team called “Grün und Clever GmbH.” Their business idea is a perfected mini biogas system for the restaurant trade that produces electricity and heat. What is more, the organic waste can be disposed of. With the innovation, they want to promote ecological thinking in society and ensure that with sustainability everyone can contribute to a better future. During the competition, the students were supervised by their teacher Mariska Knappert, who will fly to the United States with them.

ALTANA’s special prize in chemistry was presented for the fifth time in a row. It honors an innovative business idea within the framework of the Jugend gründet competition in order to heighten young people’s awareness of the fascinating field of chemistry research. “This year, we were particularly convinced by the winning team’s consistent focus on the sustainability of the business idea,” explained Dr. Anette Brüne, Head of Marketing & Sales Services of the ALTANA subsidiary BYK-Chemie GmbH, in her speech during the festive award ceremony. “The students from Lingen showed once again that innovative solutions in the field of chemistry can make an important contribution to climate protection and at the same time be economically successful.”

The team from Lingen that won the special prize was the only group from Lower Saxony to be invited to the nationwide final in 2019. The 10 best teams of the competition year, consisting of 37 students from the federal states of Berlin, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Rhineland-Palatinate, had the task of designing a tradeshow booth and convincing the jury members of their business ideas. Their efforts paid off: the winning teams from Berlin and Oppenheim can look forward to a guided tour in Silicon Valley.

In the 2018-2019 Jugend gründet competition year, a total of 739 business plans were submitted and evaluated individually by the jury. Around 4,000 participants were registered at the end of the competition year. Jugend gründet has been sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2003 and is on the list of student competitions recommended by the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Jugend gründet is supported by a number of sponsors who help publicize the event and fund the prizes and the events. The main sponsor is Porsche. The organization of the nationwide final of “Jugend gründet” is supported by the Stuttgart Foundation for Economic Promotion.

Detailed information on the federal competition can be found at