Finance & Funding

For many start-ups and founders, financing and funding are the central issue at the beginning. The right financing or funding is an important factor in whether a company will be successful or will fail. There are a large number of funding programmes that support young Berlin businesses with staff and equipment grants, customised loans and non-monetary offers to start up and establish young companies.

The Road to Financing

The central question of how to finance the start-up is one that many founders and start-ups ask themselves. To give you an initial overview and help you develop a strategy, the IHK offers an orientation guide on its financing pages.

If you want to know whether there are grants, loans or subsidies available for your project, you can use the IHK finance finder.

Comprehensive information on various business funding programmes in the Federal State of Berlin and nationwide offerings can be found in the IBB Business Support Guide.

Start-Up Funding

The following programmes run by the State of Berlin support founders:

Berlin Start

Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) and Bürgschaftsbank Berlin fund start-up and consolidation projects with financing of up to € 500,000 with a combination of low-interest loans and guarantees.

Funding is available for founding new companies, taking over existing companies and projects to consolidate a start-up in the first five years after founding.

Applications should be submitted to Bürgschaftsbank Berlin via your own bank (your bank or savings bank).

Microloans from the KMU Fund

IBB makes loans of up to € 25,000 available through microloans from the KMU Fund. Under certain conditions, the programme is also open to refugees with temporary residence and settlement permits.

 Applications can be submitted to IBB online.

Guarantees from the BürgschaftsBank Berlin - Loans

BürgschaftsBank Berlin acts as a guarantor for loans to support founders without sufficient security. Start-up founders, SMEs in the commercial sector (trade, industry, skilled trades, service sector) and members of the freelance professions in Berlin are entitled to apply.

Applications should be submitted to the BürgschaftsBank Berlin through your own bank.

GründungsBONUS (Founding BONUS)

GründungsBONUS is a funding programme run by the Federal State of Berlin that supports start-ups that are less than 12 months old and based in Berlin with initial start-up funding of up to € 50,000 in the establishment phase. Do you want to develop, manufacture or introduce innovative applications, products, services, methods or processes - or ones that are not yet on the market? Then visit the website now to find out more about the programme.

More information and applications:

IBB Business Team
Bundesallee 210
10719 Berlin
Tel: 030 / 2125 2351
Fax: 030 / 2125 4680
Email: gruendungsbonus(at)

Start-Up Funding from the Federal Government

The Federal Government also offers funding programmes for founders and SMEs. The Federal Government’s funding database contains all the relevant Information.

Innovation Financing

The following programmes finance innovations by founders and entrepreneurs:

Berlin Start-Up Grant

The Berlin Senate uses the Berlin Start-Up Grant to fund the development of innovations and the internationalisation of Berlin’s economy. When choosing projects, priority is given to proposals that develop sustainable, innovative, technical solutions for key social and policy issues: Smart City, Zukunftsorte (future locations)/Innovative Districts, sustainable urban development, energy transition, electromobility, local public transport, health, food, closed-loop economy, social economy, authorities as (launch) customers, clean urban industry, internationalisation and transnational cooperation.

The Berlin Start-Up Grant supports founders with a technology-based start-up concept with start-up workshops over a period of six to twelve months, provided that the prototype in development still requires further development for market launch to be realised. In this period, the prospective start-ups receive grants amounting to up to € 2,000 per person per month.

Information and contact:


The aim of the Programme to Fund Research, Innovation and Technology – ProFIT is to advance technological competitiveness, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, by increasing the intensity of research and development in single and joint projects and to launch the innovations on the market.

ProFIT project finance:
Grant: Research projects by companies and, in the case of joint projects, research institutes in industrial research and experimental development Projects.
Loan: Single and joint projects for experimental development and setting up production, market preparation/market launch carried out by companies.

ProFIT early phase:
Grants and loans: Support for newly founded businesses in the development and operation of business infrastructure, before and/or parallel to the implementation of an innovation project

Information and applications: Investitionsbank Berlin, Tel.: (030) 2125 4747

Innovation Assistant

The goal of the programme is the personalised transfer of expertise from science, especially to small and medium-sized enterprises. The project-oriented placement of qualified university graduates helps companies master operational and/or technological innovation challenges. 

Personnel Cost Grant: Innovative projects to be implemented in the context of qualified, newly concluded employment contracts.

Information and applications:
Investitionsbank Berlin, Tel.: (030) 2125 4747

VC Fund Technology

Through the provision of equity and quasi-equity capital in the early stages of entrepreneurial development, a lasting, sustainable capital base is established in innovative Berlin technology companies with the supplementary involvement of private financiers, thereby reducing the financial risk.

  • Open equity investments, which can be supplemented by silent investments or shareholder loans, primarily for projects that strengthen the company’s competitive position and for the market launch of innovative products

Information and applications:
IBB Ventures, Tel.: (030) 2125 3201

Design Transfer Bonus

The Design Transfer Bonus funding programme supports the transfer of expertise from the design sector and universities to SMEs that develop technology-oriented products or services. The goal of the funding programme is an application-oriented incorporation of design skills into the innovation process as early as possible.

Information and applications: zukunft im zentrum GmbH, Tel.: (030) 27 87 33 – 0
Contact SenWTF: Nadja Clarus, Tel.: (030) 9013 8477

IGP-Funding program for non-technical innovations

With the IGP-Program, the BMWi has been offering since 2019 a new pilot funding for non-technical innovations. There are various rounds of tenders for specific subject areas, such as digital and data-driven business models, innovations in the cultural and creative industries and innovations with a special “social impact”.

Green Start-up Sonderprogramm

The German Federal Environmental Foundation funds innovative, exemplary and solution-oriented projects for the protection of the environment, with special consideration of small and medium-sized enterprises. The funding activities focus on environmental technology and research, nature conservation, environmental communication and protection of cultural assets.


Capital Investment and Crowd Funding

Equity Finance

Equity financing covers all financing transactions in which you receive additional capital. An investor (a company or private individual) participates in your start-up or established company with its own capital. The conditions are arranged individually. You can find more information on the IHK website.

Information on investment capital: IHK Berlin

Crowd Funding

Crowdfunding refers to the accumulation of smaller financial contributions via special crowdfunding platforms on the internet. IHK Berlin offers an overview of various forms of crowd funding.



IBB MikroCrowd

The Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) offers the IBB MikroCrowd. It is co-financed by European Union ERDF funds and provides low-interest loans of up to € 25,000. Through a combination with crowd funding via the cooperation partner Startnext, start-up projects are tested for market relevance in advance. The simple application process allows interested parties to benefit from fast and unbureaucratic lending. Project applications are submitted via the online form on the Startnext partner page IBB MikroCrowd.



Start-up from Unemployment

Set-up grant

If you take up an independent, main occupation from unemployment, you can apply for a Set-up grant from the Agentur für Arbeit (Employment Agency) pursuant to Article 93, para. 2 No. 2 German Social Code Book III to secure your livelihood and social security. All the relevant information is available on the IHK Berlin website.

Information about the Set-up grant

Start-Up Financing for Skilled Trades

Masters Founding Premium

Masters in skilled trades who - found or- take over a company or- actively invest in an existing companyin a skilled trade in Berlin, in which they completed their training as a master, are granted a premium by the Federal State of Berlin under certain conditions. You can find everything associated with the Master Founding Premium on the HWK information pages: Information on the Master Founding Premium

Qualification, Advice and Network Fostering

The following programmes offer the opportunity to apply for a grant for coaching or consultancy services associated with founding a company. Furthermore, both young and established companies can get advice on various key issues in the context of the national “Fostering entrepreneurial expertise” programme at IHK Berlin.

Coaching in the Pre-Founding Phase

The Berlin funding programme “Coaching in the Pre-Founding Phase” offers coaching services for start-up founders in the pre-founding phase. People intending to found a company must conduct an orientation interview with the contact person before submitting their application and outline their start-up project regarding the purpose of the business, customer target group and financing aspect.

Applicants then undergo a four-day assessment to evaluate their level of knowledge and abilities. The start-up founder will only receive coaching if the assessment results in a recommendation for supporting coaching. The coaching services can only be provided by facilities or coaches listed with the programme sponsor.

More information:

Coaching BONUS

The Berlin Coaching BONUS funding programme supports small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups with their headquarters in Berlin with grants for business management coaching. Selected and qualified coaches for everything to do with business plans, financial planning, marketing strategies, organisational structure, etc. are available. Coaching BONUS therefore offers “help to help yourself” for both the idea and start-up phases and the subsequent restructuring phases of existing companies. Find out more at

More information and applications:

IBB Business Team GmbH
Coaching BONUS Bundesallee 210
10719 Berlin
Tel: 030 / 2125 2352
Fax: 030 / 2125 4680

Transfer BONUS

Transfer BONUS is a funding programme offered by the Federal State of Berlin for small and medium-sized Berlin enterprises (SMEs). The aim is to bring together industry and science and to fund companies with a link to technology or technology-oriented projects for cooperation with science and research facilities in Berlin/Brandenburg. Find out more about the programme at and receive a grant of up to € 45,000 for your knowledge and technology transfer.

More information and applications: 

IBB Business Team GmbH
Transfer BONUS 
Bundesallee 210
10719 Berlin
Tel: 030 / 2125 4668
Fax: 030 / 2125 4680