Erfurt, 27 October 2020 - IUBH International University of Applied Sciences, one of the largest Universities of Applied Sciences in Germany with over 35,000 students, is presenting its Alumni Award for exceptional graduate careers, entrepreneurial success as well as digital education projects for the first time this year. The winners were announced today: SABA Hospitality, a start-up that aims to revolutionise communication between guests and hotels; a young single mother who took the third path of education to become a leader in a male-dominated industry; and an MBA graduate who is highly involved in social digital education projects. This year's awards will be presented during the "IUBH Alumni Reunion" in Bad Honnef in 2021. 

"We are very pleased with the high number and quality of nominations - we are very proud of the achievements of our graduates, which we can publicly acknowledge for the first time with the Alumni Awards," says jury member and IUBH Rector Prof. Dr. Peter Thuy. All three winners from the categories "Professional Success", "Entrepreneurial Award" and "Digital Education Development" have qualified through outstanding achievements and performance:


SABA Hospitality: Entrepreneurial Award for innovative business models

SABA Hospitality, the guest communication platform founded in 2018 by two IUBH graduates Alexander Wessels and Stefan Renziehausen (Alumni of 2008), receives this year's Entrepreneurial Award. "The idea behind SABA represents the transformation to use new technologies in an industry strongly shaped by classic business models and thus drives digitisation in the hotel industry. With customers in 23 countries within only two years, SABA Hospitality already shows great success. Expanding into other large markets such as Europe and the Middle East also promises high growth for the future," explains the jury. SABA Hospitality has already received several innovation awards, including the E20X People's Choice Award at HITEC in Minneapolis 2019, the world's most important technology trade fair for the hospitality industry.


Rita Schmidt: Professional Success Award for outstanding professional achievements

Becoming a mother at 17, then graduating from night school to earning a business degree from IUBH in 2019 ‒ and from there on to becoming the Head of Quality & Management Systems at a logistics service provider: this is what distinguishes the career of this year's Professional Success award winner. Rita Schmidt is the first woman in the 90-year history of Ultra-Brag AG to hold the position of Head of Quality & Management System. "Especially with regard to our IUBH core aspects of flexibility and equality, we would like to honour Rita Schmidt's extraordinary career from night school to a management position in a male-dominated industry," commented the jury.


Nina Schwarting: Digital Education Development Award for advancing the digitisation of education

In addition to her position as Senior Manager Digital Learning at Otto Group, Nina Schwarting, a 2014 IUBH graduate, has been involved in digital education projects for ten years – including at ReDI School of Digital Integration, which promotes digital skills for young refugees, and with her social start-up Cr8, which has been working on digital learning strategies for schools since the start of the COVID pandemic. "As a result of the lockdown in schools, Nina Schwarting immediately focused her digital expertise on providing rapid relief. With her innovative approach to digital learning with Cr8, she is making an important contribution to translating the demands of the future into education programmes," is how the jury explains its decision.


The jury is made up of the following members: Prof. Dr. Peter Thuy, Rector, Prof. Dr. Claudia Bornemeyer, Member of the Rectorate, Thorsten Bald, Executive Board member.

Awards, accreditations and certifications