Pioneering Sustainable Innovations: A Journey of Impact with a Young Entrepreneur

A 25-year-old German entrepreneur and founder of 3 companies shares his drive and his reason for dedicating his life to making an impact on a global scale through founding startups in sustainable innovations. In this article, we will focus only on two of his main startups.  We recently talked to Gernot Sümmermann, a 25-year-old visionary […] Cover image

A 25-year-old German entrepreneur and founder of 3 companies shares his drive and his reason for dedicating his life to making an impact on a global scale through founding startups in sustainable innovations. In this article, we will focus only on two of his main startups. 

We recently talked to Gernot Sümmermann, a 25-year-old visionary hailing from Aachen, Germany. Embarking on his entrepreneurial journey which started at the age of 15 Gernot’s impact-focused pursuits have led to remarkable innovations. He’s the force behind Cynteract, a startup gamifying physical rehabilitation, and Refresherboxx, a water-free, chemical-free washing machine that’s redefining sustainability. In this article, we uncover Gernot’s inspiring path, insights, and the transformative outcomes of his ventures.

Are You a Sustainability Professional? Become a Member of the World’s Only Digital Platform That Brings Impact Driven Individuals Together

Some Quick Stats about Gernot’s Startups

  • Refresherboxx is present on 4 continents with major clients including international hotel chains such as Radisson.
  • Cynteract’s two rehabilitation products have a market presence in 10 countries and have impacted the lives of hundreds rehabilitation patients.

Refresherboxx: Pioneering Sustainability in Textiles

The inception of Refresherboxx began with a simple idea – to clean shoes using innovative methods. As Gernot’s co-founder, Stefan Chang, pondered the lack of effective shoe-cleaning solutions, the journey toward Refresherboxx was ignited. The concept quickly evolved, leading to the realization that this technology could be harnessed to address a more significant global issue – the wastefulness of the textile industry. With over 90 million tons of textiles discarded annually and over 10 million tons of microfibers polluting oceans, Gernot’s team saw an opportunity to redefine washing for a sustainable future. What started as a solution for shoes transformed into a mission to revolutionize textile cleaning methods. Refresherboxx has already made its mark in the B2B market, catering to hotel guests who can refresh their clothes within 30 minutes. Some  notable customers of Refresherboxx include global hotel chains Radisson, and Steigenberger Hotels. The path ahead involves expanding into the B2C market, poised to reshape how individuals approach washing and environmental stewardship.

Source >

Revolutionizing Industries with Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Solutions: The Impact of Refresherboxx

The journey of Refresherboxx isn’t just a tale of innovative textile cleaning; it’s a narrative of transformative environmentally friendly solutions. Amidst the tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic, Refresherboxx emerged as an indispensable solution. Collaborating with esteemed institutions like Miele, Fraunhofer, and testing laboratories, Gernot’s team validated the technology’s power to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and fungi from textiles – including the complete eradication of the COVID virus. All done with zero toxic chemical runoff or damage to the clothes. This validation propelled Refresherboxx into medical settings, satisfying the critical demand for hygienic garments. The venture’s versatility was further showcased by addressing the challenge of denim jeans – those iconic cowboy jeans celebrated for their unique aging process. Gernot’s innovation introduced a method to refresh these jeans without compromising their distinct character.

Watch Gernot explain the Refresherboxx concept, source > GSEA

Refresherboxx’s journey extended to fitness studios, reinforcing its versatility and relevance across diverse sectors. Spanning four continents – North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa – Refresherboxx’s impact is genuinely global. The magnitude of its adoption is reflected in the quantity of boxes sold, emblematic of the myriad businesses embracing this revolutionary approach to textile care. Gernot and his team’s unwavering commitment facilitated the development of global patents, prototypes, and pioneering solutions that reshape industries and propagate sustainability.

Gamifying of Rehabilitation: Cynteract’s Innovative Approach

Impressively, Gernot started Cynteract at the age of 15 as a school project. The birth of Cynteract was spurred by a deeply personal experience – a friend’s struggle with the aftermath of a stroke at a young age. This encounter led to a fundamental shift in Gernot’s journey. While already deeply involved in developing a glove for feeling virtual objects in VR environments, he realized that traditional rehabilitation processes were boring and discouraging. This realization sparked the idea of adding enjoyment and engagement to these routines. The concept was straightforward but groundbreaking – using a sensor-based glove, a technology already in the works, to revolutionize the rehabilitation journey. By combining physical exercises with computer games, Cynteract aimed to make the challenging rehabilitation process an interesting and interactive experience.

Cynteract products in action. Source >

The outcome was the creation of a medical-grade glove that gained certification as a legitimate medical device. This innovative glove found its purpose in assisting individuals around the world in their recovery from strokes, rheumatism, Parkinson’s, and even dementia. Cynteract’s device has reached more than 10 countries across three continents, allowing over 150 people to engage in cognitive and fine motor function training through interactive gaming. The glove became a way to regain movement and vitality, effectively turning the often boring path to recovery into an engaging game.

Contributing to Change: A Lifelong Dedication to Innovative Problem-Solving

Gernot’s involvement extends beyond Refresherboxx and Cynteract; he’s engaged in a multitude of companies that are making a positive impact. It’s evident that he’s committed his life to solving problems in fresh and inventive ways. The question arises: What fuels this relentless drive?

Gernot explains, “Over time, the commitment has only grown stronger. As you become increasingly aware of the challenges facing the world, you feel compelled to do more. Sometimes, the sheer magnitude of problems can be overwhelming. Especially when it comes to pressing environmental issues and the alarming rate of species extinction, the need for action becomes urgent. This sense of urgency prompted the creation of my newest venture, Autak, [a startup that seeks to reinvent the wheelchair]. Our focus extends beyond developing innovative solutions; we aim to raise awareness about these challenges.”

We salute Gernot Sümmermann a young and driven entrepreneur who is putting innovation & impact over all else in his incredible journey. Follow him and his startups:

Connect with Gernot on Linkedin & his website

Visit Refresherboxx:

Visit Cynteract:

Visit Outalk:


Leave a Comment

About Author

Joel Zorrilla


Joel Zorrilla is a content marketing & SEO expert and leads the marketing team at Failfighters. His passion for sustainability comes from growing up in the presence of his parents, who are both activists in environmental protection, female empowerment, & sustainable development in rural Ecuador.

Expert Highlight

Gernot Sümmermann

Social & Serial Entrepreneur

Linked In

Get involved and become a FailFighter

Become a member of the world's first digital platform that brings together and connects individuals & organizations who fight global challenges and drive positive impact.

© 2023 FailFighters, Inc. Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy