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Founders of Appsfactory named “Saxony’s Entrepreneurs of the Year 2020”

The founders and managing directors of Appsfactory, Dr. Alexander Trommen, Dr. Roman Belter and Dr. Rolf Kluge, have been named Saxony’s Entrepreneurs of the Year 2020. The founders reached the top 5 of the competition in 2018. This year, the award jury honoured the extraordinary success of the three entrepreneurs who founded the digital agency in Leipzig in 2009. In the 2019 financial year, Appsfactory’s turnover rose by almost 70 per cent to 16.3 million EUR. This growth spurt created more than 100 new, high-skilled jobs.

About the competition

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award has been honouring smart ideas that have developed into an in-demand service or a popular product for 15 years now. A down-to-earth approach, close ties to the location, social commitment and environmental work also play an important role. The award focuses on Saxon success stories and people who further the region’s potential with creativity and courage.

From product to project business: national contacts, digital know-how and state-of-the-art technologies as a recipe for success

The two commercial IT specialists and former school friends Rolf Kluge and Roman Belter began developing the SmartRunner running app with tracking function for runners years before Appsfactory was founded, and also launched it on the market. In 2009, the pair teamed up with Alexander Trommen to found Appsfactory, which was initially called SmartRunner GmbH. Trommen looks back on many years of professional experience in mobile marketing and other areas. The decision to progress from product to project business, and thus from the (further) development of the sports tracking app SmartRunner to the orientation as a digital agency creating individual software on behalf of customers, proved fundamental to Appsfactory’s success: “We were faced with the question of how to proceed. Whether to expand the tracking business with SmartRunner, which would have required outside capital, as numerous imitators were flooding the market. On that basis, we decided to found Appsfactory,” says Roman Belter.

Well-known major customers and 220 employees at four locations in ten years

The agency’s portfolio includes over 90 clients from the media, automotive, finance, eCommerce, education, health, travel and telecommunications sectors, including companies such as Mercedes, public broadcaster ARD’s “Tagesschau”, Samsung and Deutsche Bahn. “The beauty […] of it is that most of our customers remain loyal to us,” explains CEO Trommen. What’s more, many projects are the result of recommendations from existing customers, which is a special tribute to the way the agency works. In addition to the impressive growth in sales, Appsfactory was particularly convincing in the 2019 financial year, notching up outstanding achievements in the area of employee recruitment and retention. Appsfactory is one of the fastest-growing digital agencies in Germany, and was able to create over 100 new, high-skilled jobs at its four sites in Leipzig, Hamburg, Erfurt and Munich last year alone. The working environment for new and existing colleagues is inviting and modern: all the branches are located directly in the city centre, and feature minimal open-plan offices, state-of-the-art technology and height-adjustable desks. With employees from over 27 nations, the company language is now English, and a wide range of language courses facilitates communication. Despite the strong growth, neither the further training of employees nor the optimisation of internal structures and processes are being neglected – last year, further training in the areas of Scrum and mobile development amounted to an impressive total of 5,500 hours.

Appsfactory is delighted to mark this important milestone and continues to focus on its future plans!

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