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The two Hamburg tech and AI pioneers Petra Vorsteher and Ragnar Kruse are this year's winners of the prestigious GABA Award of Excellence. The award was presented to them by the German American Business Association (GABA) at a ceremony in San Francisco. Vorsteher and Kruse are currently supporting German AI startups in particular with their various initiatives to mobilise private capital, including from the USA.

© AI.GROUP: Ragnar Kruse and Petra Vorsteher
© AI.GROUP: Ragnar Kruse and Petra Vorsteher

Two pioneers from the fields of e-commerce and AI

The GABA organisation has been promoting the transatlantic exchange of knowledge between US and German business and technology circles since 2003. The award has previously been presented to renowned German entrepreneurs, including SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner, Sun Microsystems co-founder Andreas Bechtolsheim, Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of the online academy Udacity, LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke and the former president of Stanford University Gerhard Casper. Vorsteher and Kruse were honoured for their life's work and their ‘outstanding contributions to transatlantic business relations and inspiring success stories on both sides of the Atlantic’.

Even in the early days of online shopping, the two recognised the potential of e-commerce. In 1996, they played a key role in developing Intershop from a startup to a listed company with a market capitalisation of 12 billion dollars. In 2005, they founded the leading global mobile advertising platform Smaato in San Francisco, which has since been successfully sold. Today, Vorsteher and Kruse and their AI. GROUP are at the forefront of the integration of AI in companies and are involved in initiatives such as AI.HAMBURG, the AI.STARTUP.HUB, AI.IMPACT, the international AI.SUMMIT and AI.FUND the first European fund for the promotion and development of young AI companies in Germany and Europe. Vorsteher and Kruse have both lived in Hamburg and San Francisco for decades.


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