Serial entrepreneurs Petra Vorsteher and Ragnar Kruse, German-American tech ambassadors, honored with GABA Award of Excellence

German entrepreneurs Petra Vorsteher and Ragnar Kruse have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to transatlantic business relations and their inspirational success stories on both sides of the Atlantic. On Friday, the two serial entrepreneurs and investors were presented with the prestigious GABA Award of Excellence by the German American Business Association (GABA).

The award ceremony, held in San Francisco, honored Vorsteher and Kruse for their lifetime of work in the tech and AI industries. They have been at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship, shaping the future with their passion for technological progress and sustainable business practices.

Throughout their careers, Vorsteher and Kruse have played key roles in the development of several successful companies, including Intershop and Smaato. They are currently leading the integration of AI in companies through their Hamburg-based company and growing ecosystem, AI.GROUP. They are also dedicated to promoting and developing young AI companies in Germany and Europe through initiatives such as AI.HAMBURG, the AI.STARTUP.HUB, AI.IMPACT, the international AI.SUMMIT, and the first European AI fund, AI.FUND.

“We are honored to receive the GABA Excellence Award for our lifetime achievement,” said Petra Vorsteher. “Entrepreneurship that connects people and companies and builds bridges is more important today than ever. In particular, strengthening and promoting German-American friendship and economic cooperation is very important to us and close to our hearts.”

Ragnar Kruse added, “The USA is the epicenter of innovation and technology. It is therefore important for German and European AI start-ups to go to the USA, the largest IT market with an immensely rapid spread of technologies. We have numerous exciting AI start-ups from Europe that can definitely compete internationally.”

The GABA organization has been promoting the transatlantic exchange of knowledge between US and German business and technology circles since 2003. The GABA Award of Excellence has previously been presented to well-known German entrepreneurs, including SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner, Sun Microsystems co-founder Andreas Bechtolsheim, and LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke.

Oliver Schramm, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco, praised the two winners, saying “What Petra and Ragnar have achieved with the numerous initiatives of their Hamburg-based AI.GROUP is truly groundbreaking. They encourage numerous young German talents to realize their potential and accompany them on their way to a successful AI startup.”

U.S. Consul General, Hamburg, Jason Chue also commended Vorsteher and Kruse, stating “Petra Vorsteher and Ragnar Kruse are true ‘tech ambassadors’ who give generously of their time, passion and expertise to start-ups on both sides of the Atlantic. It is a great pleasure for the U.S. Consulate General in Hamburg to work with AI.GROUP on programs that promote transatlantic collaboration and support AI experts, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who want to shape a better future for us all.”

GABA, an alliance of corporations, organizations and professionals, aims to strengthen transatlantic business. The organization has been building on German-Californian networking and knowledge sharing since 2001 and operates at the forefront of international business, trends, and technology. The GABA Award of Excellence is presented once a year to recognize outstanding contributions to transatlantic business relations.

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