Germany’s top entrepreneurs come from HechingenOn the grand stage at the Motorwerk in Berlin: the EY Entrepreneurs of the Year 2023, Lars Sunnanväder (3rd from left) and Sebastian Büchert (4th from left) with last year's overall prize winner Dr. Kuhn from va-Q-tec (3rd from right) and presenter Judith

November 10, 2023

Germany’s top entrepreneurs come from Hechingen

  • CEO Sebastian Büchert and founder Lars Sunnanväder of the medical technology company Bentley are winners of the “EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023” award
  • Bentley InnoMed will represent Germany in the global competition for “EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2024”

Hechingen (November 10, 2023) +++ The leading-edge medical technology from Hechingen has received outstanding recognition for its entrepreneurial drive and innovation on a grand stage in Berlin. Bentley company founder Lars Sunnanväder and CEO Sebastian Büchert have claimed the internationally renowned “EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023” business award. The two entrepreneurs from Hechingen not only won first prize in the “Innovation” category, but also remarkably came out on top of all 20 finalists and will represent Germany in next year’s global competition for “EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2024”.

For Bentley, this is the most prestigious award in our company’s 14-year history,” said an overjoyed Bentley CEO Sebastian Büchert, in his comments on the award ceremony. “I am delighted for Bentley as well as for our employees. It’s wonderful to see our work for patients recognized on such a grand stage. We are especially pleased that we will be the only company representing Germany at the global competition in Monaco on June 6, 2024.” At this global event, Bentley will compete against award-winning, owner-managed mid-sized companies from 60 countries.

The Entrepreneur Award for Germany was presented Thursday evening at the event venue Motorwerk Berlin. Sebastian Büchert and Lars Sunnanväder were part of a show hosted by TV journalist Judith Rakers. The competition, which was launched 27 years ago, is organized by the well-known auditing and consulting firm EY in cooperation with the investment company LGT and business publication Manager Magazin.

The speaker bestowing the award to Bentley was Martin Dürrstein, Managing Director of Dürr Dental AG based in Bietigheim-Bissingen, who won the Entrepreneur Award 2021 in the “Family Business” category. He praised Bentley InnoMed, founded in Hechingen in 2009, as an outstanding manufacturer of leading-edge medical technology “made in Germany”. Dürrstein underscored how patients around the world benefit from Bentley’s medical products. The company Group, which now has around 420 employees, focuses on minimally invasive treatments for vascular diseases and disorders throughout the body and for all artery diameters. Bentley is one of the most innovative companies in the industry when it comes to development and production, including the only manufacturer to offer a balloon-expandable stent in a diameter range of 2.5 to 30 millimeters. The speaker went on to highlight that, since the market launch of Bentley’s first implant in 2012, the company has demonstrated the same characteristics that make its own products successful: stability where it is indispensable, combined with the greatest flexibility possible – making it essential to the successful work of cardiologists and surgeons in more than 80 countries.

Bentley’s win across all categories is, at the very least, attributable to the company’s unique approach to the employee involvement during its planned initial public offering. Through its BeShareholder program, Bentley gives employees an opportunity to become shareholders in the company. The jury also recognized Bentley’s outstanding investment in the research and development of life-saving products.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award is the icing on the cake of a great entrepreneurial career for Hechingen-based medical technology pioneer Lars Sunnanväder. “I found it was a great honor for us to be one of the few finalists for this prestigious SME award,” explained the 83-year-old. “It is an enormous tribute to the performance of our strong and passionate team that we have now won and can represent Germany on a global level. The fact that our relatively young company has already gained a reputation as an important employer nationwide is outstanding.” And this perception is likely to grow again in the near future: Bentley is featured in a major article in the December issue of Germany’s Manager magazine, titled “Hightech in Handarbeit” (“High-tech by hand”). The article also focuses on the “Bentley style”: The team led by CEO Sebastian Büchert practices a “work hard, play hard” attitude.

For Sebastian Büchert and Lars Sunnanväder, the gala at the Motorwerk in Berlin was also an example of “playing hard”. They were greatly honored to be able to be present when entrepreneur Prof. Dr. Reinhold Würth from Künzelsau received the honorary award for exceptional entrepreneurial and social commitment. Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Economic Affairs, gave the laudatory speech.


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