Karlsruhe, November 20, 2009. The Audemars Piguet ‘Changing Times’ Award 2009 goes to Gameforge, the world’s largest independent provider of browser- and client-based online games. The founder-run Karlsruhe company met all the requirements and was named “European Technology Entrepreneur of the Year 2009”. Gameforge CEO and co-founder Klaas Kersting accepted the award yesterday evening at a festive gala in Geneva. Audemars Piguet has been awarding the prize since 2006 to the company that has had the greatest possible impact on the greatest number of people in the shortest possible time. This year alone, over 180 applications were submitted.
“We are very proud that we were able to assert ourselves against this large number of competitors. The award is yet another confirmation of the hard work of the entire team. Today, online games inspire millions of people and it is fantastic to see the success story of Gameforge is reflected in the winning of this award “, says Klaas Kersting.
The top-class jury of the “Audemars Piguet ‘Changing Times’ European Technology Entrepreneur of the Year” award consists of representatives from Google, Good Energies, European Tech Tour Association (ETT), Wellington Partners, Sofinnova, Go4Venture, Partech, Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Northzone Ventures together. Applicants had to be able to show an annual growth rate of at least 50 percent over the past three years. The company was not allowed to be older than ten years and had to draw its income from several countries. Preference was also given to companies with management and founding leaders from Europe.
About Audemars Piguet:
Audemars Piguet is the oldest watch manufacturer that is still owned by the two founding families (Audemars and Piguet). The company has set major milestones in the history of fine watchmaking since 1875, including numerous world premieres. In the Swiss Vallée de Joux, the coveted masterpieces are created in small numbers at the highest horological level:
Watch models in the sporty and bold avant-garde, but also tradition and classic as well as extraordinary pieces of jewelry for women up to one-offs.
About Schroder & Co Banque
With an investment tradition of over 200 years, Schroders is one of the largest independent, globally active asset management companies with 340 investment experts at 34 locations and manages EUR 133 billion for private and institutional investors worldwide.
About European Tech Tour:
The European Tech Tour Association (ETT) was founded in Geneva in 1998 in response to the growing interest in technology companies emerging in several European regions. The ETT is an independent, non-profit organization formed by leading stakeholders in the high-tech industry. The association is based on the conviction that Europe’s continued prosperity depends on its ability to translate today’s innovative projects into tomorrow’s world-leading technologies. The Cleantech Tech Tour aims to offset the CO2 balance of all those involved in line with this topic.
Gameforge is the world’s largest independent provider of browser- and client-based MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games). The company offers 16 games in over 50 languages. More than 85 million players worldwide have registered for Gameforge games. OGame is one of the best-known browser-based MMOGs from the Karlsruhe gaming specialist. In addition, Gameforge offers other top games in the fast-growing online games market with Ikariam, Legend Online, WarpFire, Gladiatus or BiteFight and, with its wide range of games, is one of the leading developers and publishers of browser games. The second strategic core area of the company is the publishing of client-based online games. This also includes the largest MMOG in Europe, the oriental action game Metin2.
In December 2003, Klaas Kersting and Alexander Rösner, the former co-founders of Schlund & Partner AG, founded the game company Gameforge. Over 300 people are employed at the Karlsruhe location. A well-known investor, Accel Partners, has been involved in the company since August 2007.
In 2008 Gameforge was awarded the ‘Red Herring 100 Europe’, the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2008’ and the ‘Technology Fast 50 Rising Stars’. Gameforge was also voted ‘Technology Pioneer 2009’ by the World Economic Forum. The International Business Awards named Gameforge 2009 as “Most Innovative Company of the Year in Europe”. In 2009 Gameforge won the German Computer Game Award in the “Best Browser Game” category with ‘Ikariam’. The game was also a finalist at the 2009 International Business Awards in the Best New Produc category