EXIST Startup Grant

The Startup Incubator Berlin supports students, graduates and scholars in applying for an EXIST start-up scholarship who have very innovative technological start-up projects.

The EXIST Start-Up program is powered by the Federal Ministry of Economics and by the Energy and the European Social Fund (ESF), and provides you the tools to create startup ideas and to implement them in a business plan.

The grant gives the startups the necessary financial needs to implement their ideas both technically and entrepreneurially, and to prepare for the successful entry into the market. The teams are supported through the ensuring of their personal life support, material resources for the project, and comprehensive coaching.

EXIST Gründerstipendium
  • Innovative technology based start-up projects.
  • Innovative knowledge based services based on scientific findings.
  • The company must not be established yet.
  • The company is accompanied by a professor as mentor.
  • University graduates and former academic staff members (up to five years after getting a degree or dropping out).
  • Students who have completed at least half of their studies at the time of applying.
  • Entrepreneur Teams of up to three people. Teams that are made up of a majority of students are only funded in exceptional cases.
  • One of the maximum of three team members may have a qualifying professional education and can be funded as the technical staff or one of the team members may have a degree that is more than five years old.
  • Securing personal living support through a scholarship: PhD founders 3,000 euros / month | Graduates with a university degree 2,500 euros / month | Technical staff 2,000 euros / month | Students 1,000 euros / month| Children’s supplement: 150 Euro / month per child
  • Materials and equipment: worth up to 10,000 euro for solo start-ups (for teams max. 30,000 euro)
  • Coaching: 5.000 euro
  • The maximum period of funding is one year.


In the following, we outline the ideal process for the application for the EXIST start-up grant via the Startup Incubator Berlin. Please do not hesitate to contact us for detailed questions about your individual situation.

Firstly, we would like to get to know you and your project in order to check whether the application for an EXIST start-up grant from our point of view is meaningful and promising, or whether we recommend a different support program.

If your project meets the necessary requirements, we can assist you in finding a mentor and completing your team, if you don’t have them already.

In the next step, we ask you to sketch your idea, which allows a better assessment of your project.

After a positive preliminary examination, with your permission we will submit the final EXIST application to the project manager. A feedback from the manager can take up to 3 months – so plan some time.

In the best case, the granting and preparation of the grant contracts are carried out. If the decision is negative, there is the possibility of a revision.