26. June 2015

"TOP 100"

"TOP 100"


26th June 2015 – UNISENSOR was awarded as one of the most innovative SMEs throughout the whole of Germany at the "Top 100" summit meeting in Essen. "Top 100" mentor Ranga Yogeshwar, a physicist and well-known radio and television presenter in Germany, honored UNISENSOR with the "Top 100" seal of approval, an award presented annually since 1993.


The Top 100 project 


Benchmarking – public relations – networking – seal of approval

Four components make the Top 100 project so rewarding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – benchmarking, public relations, networking and the Top 100 seal of approval. Effective media publicity draws attention to the companies throughout Germany and enhances their appeal as business partners. Finally, the Top 100 process creates a network of top-class companies that are able to benefit from one another. The Top 100 seal of approval supplies entrants with an efficient marketing tool, giving them a credible means of promoting themselves in the market. This process was developed by Professor Nikolaus Franke of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. As its coordinator, he ensures the quality of the Top 100 seal of approval.

Evaluating the Top 100/The concept of innovation

Dr Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, has developed a process for analysing how SMEs manage innovation. For entrants to be selected as Top 100 firms, they have to perform well in five different categories: ‘Innovation-friendly Senior Management’, ‘Climate of Innovation’, ‘Innovative Processes and Organisation’, ‘Innovations Marketing’ and “Innovatory success”. 

The criteria for ‘Innovation-friendly Senior Management’ include the formulation of innovation strategies, the extent to which innovations management is defined as a boardroom issue and whether sufficient funds are provided for research and development. Among the issues investigated with regard to a ‘Climate of Innovation’ are the priority given to innovation in a company, whether staff have the scope needed for creativity and whether innovative ideas are encouraged, or have to be pushed through in the face of significant resistance. In the ‘Innovative Processes and Organisation’ category, the researchers consider whether innovations are chance occurrences or the result of a systematically organised process. The issues examined in the ‘Innovation Marketing’ category are the extent to which marketing staff are involved in the innovation process from the outset and the amount of market research the company conducts. The bottom line is that they investigate whether a company’s structures and resources are conducive to innovation, how systematically innovations are handled and the degree to which a climate is created that facilitates innovation over the long term. “The innovative ability of a Top 100 company should focus on the future; it should be sustainable – both in-house and in the outside world. This requires a rounded, well-balanced innovation strategy”, explains Professor Franke.


Identifying innovative capability (analysing the implementation of new ideas) results in a meaningful benchmarking process, while analysis of potential provides insights into further resources that have yet to be exploited. All the participants who make it into the Top 100 have the option to receive their own benchmarking reports that clearly show them the strengths and weaknesses of their company’s innovation strategies and give specific suggestions for improvements. The purpose of Professor Franke’s detailed questionnaires is to encourage companies to focus closely on their innovations work and their goals. Comprehensive benchmarking enables precise comparisons to be made among competitors, even in minor areas of activity. 

Entry terms and conditions

Companies can compete in one out of three size categories: the first is for companies with up to 50 employees, the second for companies with 51 to 250 employees and the third for those with more than 250 employees. To become a Top 100 company, all entrants undergo a two-stage process. The decision about which firms continue into the next round lies exclusively with the project management team. Their verdicts are based on a direct comparison of one entrant’s performance with those of the other participants. The entry fee for each category is € 300 (plus VAT). Entrants who make it into the Top 100 pay € 7.600 (plus VAT) for a package of services, which includes for example an illustrated company profile or extensive PR work.

The Innovator of the Year award

The competition for the title Innovator of the Year is a key element of the Top 100 process. A distinguished panel of judges makes the final decision about which company in each of the three categories will bear the title Innovator of the Year. 

The event 

The project culminates in an annual awards ceremony, a summit meeting of the Top 100 companies that marks the start of a press campaign run by compamedia, the project’s organiser. It is also the launch pad for high-level networking. 

The book – ‘TOP 100 – The most innovative medium-sized businesses’

A book showcasing Germany’s top SMEs is launched every year at the Top 100 event. Illustrated company profiles describe the firms and their innovations management, while the results of Professor Franke’s study are discussed in detail and the companies’ strengths and weaknesses are debated. Specialist articles by prominent authors complete the book. It is on sale from bookshops and major online retailers or directly from REDLINE VERLAG for €24.90.

Press campaign

The book and event attract huge attention by themselves, but the organiser’s extensive press campaign ensures even greater public awareness. It targets major newspapers, business and news magazines, online media, TV channels, radio stations, the local media and trade journals relevant to the Top 100 firms.

The network

The objectives of the Top 100 network are establishing new contacts and learning from one another. The network gathers together an exclusive group of innovative SMEs to share information, either in person or virtually. 

The mentor

Ranga Yogeshwar was born in Luxembourg on 18 May 1959. He is the son of an Indian engineer and a Luxembourg artist. After studying experimental physics at RWTH Aachen University, he worked at the Swiss Institute for Nuclear Research (SIN), CERN and the Jülich Research Centre. Ranga Yogeshwar started his career as a journalist in 1983, initially working at various publishing houses before moving into radio and television. In 1987, he became involved in a number of german television science programmes including ‘Kopfball’ and ‘W wie Wissen’. The TV shows he currently presents include ‘Quarks & Co’ (WDR) and ‘Wissen vor 8’ (ARD).

The sponsors

Top 100 is a project organised by compamedia GmbH in conjunction with Dr Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. compamedia also coordinates Top Consultant.