All Support Programs

NameLocationTagsDescriptionBenefit / $Requirements
EXIST (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)
GER country-wide
GrantLivelihoodindustry-agnosticIndividualUniversity
The EXIST start-up grant from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports start-ups that originated from university. Funding is available to students, graduates, and scientists from universities and non-university research institutions. The scholarship for one year ensures a personal livelihood.
- Graduates with a doctorate 3k EUR/month - Graduates with university degree 2.5k EUR/month - Technical staff 2k EUR/month - Students 1k EUR/month - Child supplement: 100 EUR/month per child - Material expenses: up to 10k EUR for individual start-ups (max. 30k EUR for teams) - Coaching: 5k EUR
- Scientists from public, non-profit non-university research institutions/Universities - University graduates and former research assistants (up to five years after graduation or retirement) - Students who have completed at least half of their studies at the time of application, whereby the team may not consist of a majority of students - Founding teams of up to a maximum of three people - One of the up to three team members can also be funded with a qualified vocational training as a technical employee
ERP- Gründerkredit (by Kfw)
GERcountry-wide
Loanindustry-agnosticSMEs
The KfW is a German state-owned investment and development bank, based in Frankfurt. As of 2014, it is the world's largest national development bank. Among other things it aims to foster the development of Startups. With the ERP-Gründerkredit - StartGeld, you receive up to 125k to start your business under very favorable conditions.
- Up to EUR 125k financing per founder - From 3,4% p.a. effective annual interest rate - Financing of investments and running costs - Start-up and consolidation in sideline or full-time business up to 5 years after start-up - Easy access to credit: KfW assumes 80% of the credit risk - No equity capital required - Repayment is very flexible
You will receive the grant if you: - Start a business - Want to consolidate a young company (up to 5 years after starting business) - Participate in a company as a managing director - Take over a company as part of a business succession - Want to run a company as a main business or temporarily as a sideline business.
ERP-Kapital für Gründung (by Kfw)
GERcountry-wide
Loanindustry-agnosticSMEs
The KfW is a German state-owned investment and development bank, based in Frankfurt. As of 2014, it is the world's largest national development bank. Among other things it aims to foster the development of Startups. With the ERP-Kapital für Gründung, you receive up to 500k to start your business under very favorable conditions.
- Up to 500k financing - From 3.44 % effective annual interest rate - No redemption installments in the first 7 years, only interest payments - Start-ups and consolidations up to 3 years after foundation - Easy access to credit: KfW assumes the credit risk - Financing of up to 40 % of investments
You will receive the grant if you - Start a business - Want to consolidate a young company (up to 3 years after starting business) - Participate in a company as a managing director - Take over a company as part of a business succession - Want to run a company as a main business.
BayTOU (by Bavaria’s State Government)
GERBavaria
GrantProject-basedindustry-agnosticSMEs
Backed by Bavaria’s State Government, BayTOU (short for “Bayerischen Technologieorientierte Unternehmensgründungen“) is another of Germany’s startup grants. The funding aims at encouraging startups to invest in innovative technological projects and, more broadly, to support the creation of new businesses in Bavaria.
The funding can cover up to 35% of the eligible project expenditures for medium-size business (and 45% for small businesses). Yet, note that the grant funding is limited to EUR 150k maximum for software companies.
In order to apply for the grant you must: - Have a technology-oriented business - Your company must be incorporated less than 6 years ago - Have less than 10 employees - Prove the project will be carried in Bavaria.
Horizon Europe
EUall member countries
GrantTendersStage-agnostic
Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation with a budget of EUR 95.5bn; It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.
Numerous grants and other means of financing for several topics related to ESG (mostly GreenTech). To see a list of all funding & tender opportunities click here
The requirements differ for each project but in general a PoC is required and it is usually only given to SMEs with less than 50 employees & less than EUR 50m revenues p.a.
EIC Accelerator (part of Horizon Europe)
EU all member countries
GrantProject-basedindustry-agnosticSMEs
The EIC (European Innovation Council) Accelerator supports high-risk, high-potential SMEs and innovators to help them develop and bring onto the market new innovative products, services, and business models that could drive economic growth.
The accelerator phase usually lasts one to two years, usually covers up to 70% of the project costs and offers the following two options: 1) Funding between EUR 0.5 and 2.5m 2) Funding plus additional equity capital of up to EUR 15m
Concerning the selection process, the main criteria are marketability, quality of implementation, risk and market potential, and USP. The process is centered around the question of whether your startup can create European added value.
KMU-Innovativ (by Federal Ministry of Research & Education)
GER country-wide
GrantProject-basedindustry-agnosticSMEs
The funding program of the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) primarily supports high-risk industrial research and pre-competitive development projects.
Up to 50% of eligible costs for an innovative project as a grant (can e.g. be the costs for developers of software)
SMEs (max. 250 employees and less than EUR 50m p.a.), also in association with other SMEs or research institutions. Startups, if own contribution (50 percent of the project costs) can be demonstrably provided.
Pro FIT Project Financing (by IBB)
GER Berlin
GrantProject-basedindustry-agnosticSMEs
The funding program launched by Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) occupies a special position: It supports companies in the research and development of innovative technologies and the associated marketing activities.
Up to 80% of project expenses as a grant (up to EUR 400k) and low-interest loans (usually up to EUR 1m).
Legally independent, profit-oriented SMEs (including startups) with their registered office or a place of business in Berlin. Cooperation between science and business is particularly sought after.
Pro FIT Early Phase Financing (by IBB)
GER Berlin
GrantExpendituresindustry-agnosticStage-agnostic
With the "Pro FIT -Early Stage Financing" Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) helps founders to build up the company infrastructure and necessary personnel capacities. It is aimed at supporting innovative projects.
Early phase 1- Expenditure is financed 50% each by a non-repayable grant and a loan Early phase 2 - Expenditures are financed with a loan. Funding of 100% of eligible expenses is possible in both early phases. The total grant can amount to a maximum of EUR 500k for both phases, of which a maximum of EUR 200k is allocated to early phase 1.
Newly founded, technology-oriented small enterprises (KU) based in Berlin are eligible to apply. They aim to carry out an innovation project ("R&D anchor project") and must be no more than 12 months old to be eligible for funding from early stage 1, and no more than 24 months old if only funding from early stage 2 is applied for.
Innovationsassistent (by IBB)
GER Berlin
GrantHiring / WagesUniversityTechnology
One popular program offered by Investitionsbank Berlin is the "Innovation Assistant". It supports the hiring of up to two university graduates per year, for example to strengthen the IT team of startups.
The wage of the new employees (up to two simultaneously) are subsidized by 50% each, max. EUR 20k.
Technology-oriented, legally independent SMEs in the commercial sector and the social economy that develop their own products, processes or services and carry out the main development steps themselves. One (of the) office(s) must be located in Berlin.
GRW (by IBB)
GER Berlin
GrantProject-basedHiring / Wagesindustry-agnosticSMEs
GRW funding is aimed at existing companies and start-ups in the commercial sector. With an investment or wage cost subsidy, Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) supports investment projects to create and secure permanent jobs on behalf of the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy, and Operations.
Grants are available for investments (starting from EUR 10k) in fixed assets or for wage continuation - up to 30 percent is subsidized with an investment period of 36 months.
Support is provided for start-ups and existing commercial enterprises with predominantly supra-regional sales. In addition, the company's headquarters should be located in Berlin. There are regional differences in the amount of funding depending on the region.
Gründungsbonus (by IBB)
GERBerlin
GrantExpendituresTechnologySustainabilityCreativeSMEs
Backed by Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB), GründungsBONUS is a grant funding scheme which helps fund SMEs and startups cover the costs incurred in their first 2 years of operation.
The grant offers funding for 50% of startups costs up to EUR 50k maximum.
In order to be eligible for the grant your startup must: - Be incorporated less than 12 months at the time of application - Be operating within a technological, digital, creative or sustainable industry - Must have its business headquartered and/or operate in Berlin for at least 3 years after the last payment of the grant has been made
Berlin Start (by IBB)
GERBerlin
LoanGuaranteeindustry-agnosticSMEs
With "Berlin Start", IBB offers you favorable loans, even if you bring hardly any collateral with you. The start-up loan is granted in conjunction with a guarantee from the BBB (Bürgschaftsbank zu Berlin-Brandenburg).
- House bank procedure in conjunction with a guarantee of up to 80% from BBB Bürgschaftsbank zu Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH. - Business start-up loan of up to EUR 1.5m (minimum loan amount EUR 5k) - Financing share is up to 100%
Supported are: - Start-ups in the field of trade and industry and the liberal professions, - SMEs in the commercial sector, - freelancers, whose date of foundation is no more than 7 years prior to application. - Companies based in Berlin.
Gründung Innovativ (by ILB)
GER Brandenburg
GrantExpendituresTechnologySMEs
This funding program of the Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB) is aimed specifically at start-ups. The aim is to support young companies with innovative business ideas, especially in financing production facilities, as well as to finance fees for external consultants and part of the personnel costs.
Up to 75% of the total eligible expenses as a grant (between EUR 25k and 100k).
SMEs in the first three years after establishment with a registered office or a place of business in Brandenburg. One of the founders holds at least 10 percent of the company, self-employment as main occupation, financing of the start-up must be secured and the project to be funded has not yet started.
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (by UK Government)
UKcountry-wide
Tax Reliefindustry-agnosticSMEs
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is designed to help your company raise money when it’s starting to trade. It does this by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who buy new shares in your company.
You can receive a maximum of GBP 150k through SEIS investments. This will: - Include any other de minimis state aid received in the 3 years up to and including the date of the investment - Count towards any limits for later investments through other venture capital schemes
Your company can use the scheme if it: - Carries out a new qualifying trade - Is established in the UK - Is not trading on a recognised stock exchange at the time of the share issue - Has no arrangements to become a quoted company or a subsidiary of one at the time of the share issue - Does not control another company unless that company is a qualifying subsidiary - Has not been controlled by another company since the date of your company being incorporated. Your company and any of its subsidiaries must: - Not have gross assets over GBP 200k when the shares are issued - Not be a member of a partnership - Have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees in total when the shares are issued. If you’ve received investment through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or from a venture capital trust, you cannot use SEIS.
Enterprise Investment Scheme (by UK Government)
UKcountry-wide
Tax Reliefindustry-agnosticSMEs
The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is designed so that your company can raise money to help grow your business. It does this by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who buy new shares in your company.
Under EIS, you can raise up to GBP 5m each year, and a maximum of GBP 12m in your company’s lifetime. This also includes amounts received from other venture capital schemes. Your company must receive investment under a venture capital scheme within 7 years of its first commercial sale. You must follow the scheme rules so that your investors can claim and keep EIS tax reliefs relating to their shares. Tax reliefs will be withheld or withdrawn from your investors if you do not follow the rules for at least 3 years after the investment is made.
Your company can use the scheme if it: - Has a permanent establishment in the UK - Is not trading on a recognised stock exchange at the time of the share issue and does not plan to do so - Does not control another company other than qualifying subsidiaries - Is not controlled by another company, or does not have more than 50% of its shares owned by another company - Does not expect to close after completing a project or series of projects Your company and any qualifying subsidiaries must: - Not have gross assets worth more than GBP 15m before any shares are issued, and not more than GBP 16m immediately afterwards - Have less than 250 full-time equivalent employees at the time the shares are issued.
Innovate UK
UKcountry-wide
GrantTendersindustry-agnosticSMEs
Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. They support business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. This funding for small businesses grants UK entrepreneurs with the means to pursue testing and development of new services and products. The application process is relatively detailed, so you will need a rather detailed idea of your product before you apply for a small business grant.
Numerous grants and other means of financing for several topics. To see a list of all funding & tender opportunities click here.
There are different eligibility criteria for each of UKRI’s funding opportunities. The best way to see if you are eligible is to look at the individual funding opportunity that you want to apply for. Search funding opportunities.
County Durham Growth Fund
UKDurham
GrantProject-basedExpendituresindustry-agnosticSMEs
The County Durham Growth Fund is an GBP 8.9m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme supporting capital expenditure to accelerate business growth.
Able to finance the balance of the investment cost, as grants are typically 20% to 45% of the eligible expenditure. Small companies (less than 50 employees and annual turnover and balance sheet of less than EUR 50m) may apply for up to 45% of their eligible expenditure and medium-sized companies up to 35%, in accordance with the State Aid Regulations. The grant must be the minimum necessary for the investment to go ahead (see below).
You could be eligible for a grant of up to 45% of expenditure, if you are: - A small or medium sized business - Planning capital investment of at least £100,000 - Expanding or establishing in County Durham. For more information click here.
Invest to Grow
UKEast Midlands
GrantLoanProject-basedindustry-agnosticSMEs
The University of Derby's Invest to Grow programme provides grants and loans of between GBP 15k and GBP 250k to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs. The programme is now funded by the repayment of loans awarded to successful applicants.
The minimum award size is GBP 15k, for which the minimum project cost must be GBP 50k. The maximum award size is GBP 250k. The majority of awards are a mix of grants and loans. Applications where the loan amount requested is higher than the grant amount, will stand a greater chance of being successful.
For your project to qualify for Invest to Grow funding, you will need to demonstrate that it meets the following criteria:  - It will create new jobs or safeguard existing positions in your company - It will increase the scope or scale of your company activity - It will improve the company’s performance - It has not commenced and will not be achievable in the timescales proposed without Invest to Grow support.
Pfif
GERLahr (Baden-Württemberg)
research and development
PFIF assists the selection process (determines optimal funding opportunity), successful application, and funding bureaucracy in the proper processing of funds.
work performance-based (only pay if successful), no funding more finding the best financing option and helping with bureaucratic effort
-only supports research and development projects