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ISPO Brandnew is the place where the best 50 newcomers of the year present themselves - selected by an expert jury of entrepreneurs, trade journalists, traders, investors, manufacturers and former winners. At the ISPO Munich the most outstanding sports start-ups of the year were awarded.

Miriam van der Ham begins to increasingly enjoy her moment on stage at ISPO Brandnew. With red cheeks, the petite designer with the baby bump stands on the Brandnew stage and presents her label Mvdham - fashionable functional clothing made of natural raw materials for the city. She has 90 seconds to convince the four jurors and the 250 or so spectators in Hall B4.

Two hours earlier, she had said that she was not interested in winning. "Just the fact that I can be here at ISPO Brandnew and show my collection is great," says Miriam. For the elevator pitch of the eight best, she had at best hoped for outsider's luck. But now she tries to use it - and can hardly believe that she wins the category Urban Outdoor.

Mvdhami - Winner of ISPO Brandnew 2020
Miriam van der Ham is happy about her victory in the category Urban Outdoor.
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

At ISPO Brandnew Dreams Come True

ISPO Brandnew is the place where the 50 best newcomers of the year present themselves. Anyone who makes it to the Brandnew area in Hall B4 can celebrate.

"For me, a dream comes true here," says Tobi Deckert, for example. The product developer from Siegsdorf has been coming to ISPO Munich for 15 years. Now he explains how he has been walking around the Brandnew area for years with enthusiasm and curiosity. Now he is allowed to show his ShredRack, an inflatable roof rack for sportsmen and women on the road. "This is a very special moment for me", says Tobi.

The Topic of Sustainability Is Also Changing the Start-Up Scene

The trends of the year? They're not even trends any more. The digital technology that characterizes many products has long gone beyond the trend. And the topic of sustainability has long begun to completely change an entire industry. Anyone who does not produce in a resource-saving manner is likely to have a hard time in the future," explains textile expert and juror Charles Ross. "Evolution isn't enough anymore. If you want to be successful in the long term, you have to think revolutionary".

Like the makers of Cowboy. The bicycle manufacturer from Belgium is showing a fully networked e-bike for the city at ISPO Brandnew. Navigation, drive control, anti-theft device and lighting of the cleanly designed urban bike are controlled via a dedicated app. The Belgians do not want to be satisfied with a bicycle that makes life easier for commuters or makes it easier to change from the car. "Our aim is to completely change the traffic in the city," explains Jan Huber from Cowboy.

ISPO Brandnew 2020 - The revolutionary electrical bike by Cowboy
Jan Huber from Cowboy explains the fully networked e-bike.
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

ISPO, Too, Must Constantly Reinvent Itself

For ISPO itself, the newcomer competition is not an end in itself. After all, the entire industry and thus ISPO must constantly reinvent itself, says Franziska Zindl, who is responsible for the awards at ISPO.

I guess you have to look at it that way: People tend to think that the equipment they grew up with is the pinnacle of their development. It goes on and on. Even a platform like ISPO Munich needs constant new inputs and must be open to trends and developments. It must necessarily be a detector for new ideas and approaches.

This works very well with ISPO Brandnew. Because among the young start-ups in particular, there are always companies that do not originally come from the sports industry. "In doing so, they bring completely different perspectives and approaches to our market," says Franziska Zindl. "With Brandnew, we are opening new horizons and looking into the future of the industry".

The Gateway to the Future Is at ISPO Munich

Whereby the gate to the future is only a few square metres in size. The stands of the 50 top newcomers measure about three by three meters. Bright carpets, white walls and shelves. All color comes from the products of the manufacturers. No elaborate trade fair construction should distract from the design of the start-ups.

Because this is what's important. On the one hand, it's always about who can use a product, who needs it and how big the potential is on the market. "But of course a start-up also needs good design and very good communication," says Tina Umbach, one of the four jurors of the evening.

The Competition Becomes a Start-Up Party

What makes the Brandnew area so special: The 50 best newcomers are not spread over the huge area of the 18 halls, but present themselves close together. The most diverse types, products, ideas and approaches collide here, colourfully mixed. The competition quickly turns into a big start-up party, a contact exchange and its own small ideas fair. The mood among the individual applicants is increasingly cheerful, competition or not.

"The atmosphere is great", says Sven Altdorf. With his brand Be the Change, the man from Switzerland produces sustainable sports nutrition. He sees the award to be part of ISPO Brandnew as an important internal sign: "We have only recently become an AG - ISPO Brandnew is a sign to our investors that they have bet on the right horse.

ISPO Brandnew 2020 - The Enda Lapatet Running shoe
ISPO Brandnew: The Enda Lapatet Running Shoe.
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

The Overall Winner Will Be Announced at the Fair

Only in the afternoon, one can feel something like tension. At least among the winners of the eight categories. The overall winner of the ISPO Brandnew should be chosen for the first time this year at the fair itself. For the founders, this means: 90 seconds of "elevator pitch", then strict questions, then the vote. The highlight: In addition to the four jurors, the approximately 250 spectators in the hall can also ask questions live via a website. And the chance to grill the applicants is something that the guests make good use of.

And not every founder is made for the stage. For months, they worked on their products, negotiated with investors, thought about distribution channels, marketing and packaging. For some people, the spotlight comes a little suddenly. And yet in the end it is the product that decides, not the show.

ISPO Brandnew 2020 - The innovative diving equipment by EXOlung
Jörg Tragatschnik (left) Secures the Victory at Brandnew with his Exloung
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

Jörg Tragatschnik Secures Victory

The Austrian Jörg Tragatschnik from Zell am See secures the Overall Winner of ISPO Brandnew 2020 with his Exolung. With his actually quite simple and cheap diving equipment, water sportsmen can dive up to five meters deep - without expensive compressed air bottles and almost unlimited in length. With his or her leg movements, the swimmer pumps air downwards through a hose attached to a buoy on the water surface. This could open up whole new worlds for many athletes. The opinion of the jury: "Revolutionary".