Research to business

EXIST Business Start-up Grant

The Startup Incubator Berlin supports students, graduates and scientists, who have innovative technological start-up projects, in applying for an EXIST Business Start-up Grant.

The program

The EXIST Startup program is powered by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and the European Social Fund (ESF) and aims to provide the tools to create startup ideas and to implement them in a business plan.

The grant provides financial support to help startups to implement their ideas both technically and entrepreneurially, and to prepare for a successful entry into the market. The teams are supported through funding of living expenses, material resources for the project, and comprehensive coaching.

  • Innovative technology-based startup projects.

  • Innovative knowledge-based services that are based on scientific findings.

  • The company is not yet established.

  • The company has a professor as mentor.

  • University graduates and former academic staff members (up to five years after receiving a degree or leaving program)

  • 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 a maximum of three team members can also be supported as a technical employee when a qualified professional education is completed. Alternatively it is also possible to fund one team member with a degree that is older than five years.

  • Securing personal living support through a scholarship: PhD entrepreneurs €3,000 /month l Graduates with a university degree €2,500 /month l Technical stuff €2,000 /month l Students €1,000 /month l Children supplement: €150 /month per child

  • Materials and equipment worth up to €10,000 for solo startups ( for teams max. €30,000)

  • Coaching: €5,000

  • The maximum funding period is one year.

From A to Z

Your path to the scholarship

The following outlines the ideal application procedure for the EXIST startup grant via the Startup Incubator Berlin. For more detailed questions concerning your individual situation, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

In the first step, we would like to get to know you and your project in order to determine whether the application for an EXIST startup grant is sensible and promising from our point of view or whether we recommend a different support program.

If your project meets the necessary requirements, we will assist you in finding a mentor and completing your team, if necessary.

In the next step, we ask you to draw up a sketch of your idea, which will allow a better assessment of your project.

After a positive preliminary examination, with your permission, we will submit the final EXIST application to the project management organization. Please plan to wait up to three months for feedback from the sponsor.

Best case scenario, the grant will be approved and the scholarship contracts drawn up. If the decision is negative, it may be possible to revise and resubmit your application.

Supported by