Finance & Funding

For many founders and startups, the founding a company stands or falls with financing and funding. There is a whole range of funding programs for young Berlin companies. This includes special offers for startups, which are particularly innovative with their products, services, business models and technologies and also aim for strong growth in sales and personnel.

Pre-seed phase for startups

In the pre-seed phase, the business model is developed in startups. In addition, the founding team is formed here, which must cover all necessary competencies. For technology, knowledge or research-based startups, two funding options are available in this phase:

EXIST Business Start-up Grant

It grants support to students, graduates and scientists from universities and research institutes, who want to turn their business idea into a business plan. The startup projects should be innovative technology or knowledge based projects with significant unique features and good commercial prospects of success.

More informationen concerning EXIST Business Start-up Grant

EXIST Research Transfer

It supports outstanding research orientated projects that involve expensive high-risk resource development.

More informationen concerning EXIST Research Transfer

All around founding

The following programs support all types of founding projects:

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 SME Fund

IBB makes loans of up to € 25,000 available through microloans from the SME 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 - Credit

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.

Startup BONUS (GründungsBONUS)

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 websitewww.ibb-business-team.de and read more about the program.

More information and application:

IBB Business Team
GründungsBONUS
Bundesallee 210
10719 Berlin
Phone: 030 2125 2351
Fax: 030 / 2125 4680
Mail:gruendungsbonus(at)ibb-business-team.de
Internet:www.ibb-business-team.de

Startup 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.

The following programs primarily support startups in this phase:

In the seed phase, the company is founded. In addition, the business model and business plan are further adapted to the market and, in most cases, contacts to funders are already established.

Berlin Startup Grant

The Berlin Senate uses the Berlin Startup 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 Startup Grant supports founders with a technology-based startup concept with startup 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 startups receive grants amounting to up to € 2,000 per person per month.

Information and contact: startupstipendium.berlin

Micromezzanine Fund Germany

Funding is provided in the form of silent participation by the Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaften, which are represented in all German states.

Informationen concerning Micromezzanine Fund Germany

High-Tech Founders Fund (HTGF)

HTGF is a venture capital investor for innovative technologies and business models. As a seed investor, it has already financed more than 650 startups in the industrial tech, digital tech, life sciences and chemicals sectors.

More informationen concerning High-Tech Founders Fund

INVEST - Venture Capital Grant

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection promotes private investors, especially as business angels, when they acquire newly issued shares (business shares or shares) in young, innovative companies. The INVEST venture capital grant can be obtained as

  • Acquisition grant at the time of an investment and
  • Exit grant when shares are sold.

Both grants can be applied for at the Federal Office of Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA).

Informationen concerning INVEST - Venture Capital Grant

Crowdfunding

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

 

Growth of startups

In the growth phase, the company continues to expand its production and and especially its sales. Access to international markets gains in importance. Additional employees are hired. Additional capital providers for venture capital come on board. These grants are available:

VC Funds of the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft

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

DeepTech Future Fund

The DeepTech Future Fund (DTFF) is a new investment fund in the field of high technology (deep tech), financed with funds from the “Zukunftsfonds” and the ERP Special Fund. It invests in the hidden champions of tomorrow, helping to create the next technology-based generation of Germany’s “Mittelstand”.

More informationen concerning DeepTech Future Fund

Co-investment fund Coparion

It helps young technology companies achieve swift and sustained growth. It supports entrepreneurial vision with ist know-how, but without intervening in daily business operations.

More informationen concerning Coparion

Venture Tech Growth Financing

This program offers loans to young innovative and fast-growing technology companies that have a resilient and promising business model to finance their future growth.

More informationen concerning Venture Tech Growth Financing

 

Innovation financing

Innovations in startups, and as well in existing companies, are of particular importance for their success and future viability. That is why they are given special support.

DIGITALPRÄMIE BERLIN

The aim of the business development program "Digitalprämie Berlin" is to support the digitalization process for self-employed individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

More information concerning DIGITALPRÄMIE BERLIN

ProFIT

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

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”.

Environmental protection/climate protection

Environmental protection and climate protection in companies are increasingly supported:

Berlin Program for Sustainable Development (BENE)

The funding program consists of a package of measures for climate protection (BENE Climate), which includes five funding priorities, and an environmental protection part (BENE Environment), which supports the goals of sustainable urban development.

More information concerning BENE

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.

Information: www.dbu.de

KfW Climate protection offensive for SMEs

The Climate Protection Offensive promotes investments in measures to reduce, avoid and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in order to help SMEs to operate accordimng to the upcoming EU taxonomy for climate-friendly activities.

More information concerning KfW Climate protection offensive for SMEs

Startup from Unemployment

The main focus supporting startups from unemployment is on the cost of living in the startup phase.

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

Startup Financing for Skilled Trades

In crafts, the start of self-employment is usually the master craftsman's examination.

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 promotion

The following programmes offer the opportunity to apply for a grant for coaching or consultancy services associated with founding. In addition, both young and established companies can seek advice by help of the nationwide program “Förderung des unternehmerischen Know-hows”.

Coaching in the pre-founding Phase

The Berlin funding programme “Coaching in the pre-founding Phase” offers coaching services for startup 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 startup 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 startup 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: www.foerderdatenbank.de

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 startup phases and the subsequent restructuring phases of existing companies. Find out more atwww.ibb-business-team.de.

More information and applications:

IBB Business Team GmbH
Coaching BONUS Bundesallee 210
10719 Berlin
Tel: 030 / 2125 2352
Fax: 030 / 2125 4680
coachignbonus@ibb-business.team.de 
www.ibb-business-team.de

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 atwww.ibb-business-team.de 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
transferbonus(at)ibb-business-team.de 
www.ibb-business-team.de