The Prototyping Scholarship

Berlin Startup Scholarship

The Berlin Startup Scholarship supports founders who have a prototype and/or MVP in preparation of their market launch. The aim of the scholarship is the establishment of the company and market entry. We are looking for founders who follow the Lean Startup method, striving for continuous improvement and focus on user-centric product development.

The Program

The scholarships are awarded at the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin). The scholarship is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) as well as the State of Berlin (Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises).

In addition to financial support, each scholarship includes the use of the infrastructure of the Startup Incubator Berlin and the HWR Berlin. The scholarship furthermore includes support through our internal coaching team, our pool of external advisors, our scientific mentors from the HWR Berlin and from our business network.

Even before potentially receiving the scholarship, joining our Startup Now program can offer a high level of added value.

Scholarship application documents are preferably submitted in German (in English only after consultation).

  • One to four founders per team receive 2,200 Euros per month per person for 6 months.

  • The Startup Incubator Berlin provides workplaces, a prototyping lab and further infrastructure during the funding period.

  • Included is the intensive coaching by our internal SIB coaching team, our pool of experts from the industry, scientific mentors from the HWR Berlin and representatives from our business network.

  • Additionally to the BSS scholarship, every startup team is granted an extra coaching budget for external experts (in coordination with lead coach).

  • The funding focus is on business models that provide solutions for social, economic or ecologic problems. Aside from technology-based or SaaS startup projects, we strive to promote social startups.

  • Teams of 2 to 4 persons can participate in the funding program.

  • The potential scholarship recipients are competent key personnel and significantly involved in the development of the business model, the development of the product or service, and the subsequent management of the business.

  • The business model is foreseeably aligned towards sustainable economic success.

  • The company may be not yet founded or not yet economically active on the market.

  • The company must be mentored by a professor. Verification of the mentorship has to be provided by the team after shortlisting for the pitch.

  • The founders preferably have a university degree.

  • The founders work full-time on their startup project, mainly on-site (SIB Co-Working Space) at their provided workplace.

  • We particularly welcome applicants from the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin).

  • The place of residence (registration address) for each funding recipient is in Berlin.

  • Founders who have already received a BSS scholarship from another provider or the EXIST startup grant are unfortunately excluded from participation.

From A to Z

Your way to funding

The current Berlin Startup Scholarship has started on June 1, 2024.
The next call will open at the end of 2024 for the scholarship period starting on February 1, 2025, see timeline below.
Please check our website and our social media channels for current updates.

Application Process



Questions and Answers

Yes, but only if the trading licence (Gewerbeschein), stating the beginning of the registered business activity, is not older than 3 months at the date of application.

The scholarship recipients preferably have a university degree. The BSS is a full-time scholarship, a grantee can not maintain any study or work engagement parallel to the scholarship.

In the course of the application process, each team should search for a mentor from the HWR. The SIB team supports applicants in this process if necessary. The search for the mentor can only commence after the pre-selection of the applications for the pitch.

No. For the Berlin Startup Scholarship it doesn’t matter in which year you have finished your degree.

The application documents should preferably be submitted in German, since the project language is German. By prior arrangement, the documents can be completed in English, but there are no English application forms. The pitch in front of the selection jury can be held in English or German. And most events and workshops at the SIB are held in English.

The scholarship is paid out as a gross amount. The fulfillment of legal obligations (taxes, social security contributions, health insurance, etc.) that may arise as a result of the scholarship is the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. If you have any questions, we strongly recommend that you contact your responsible tax office as early as possible.

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