Startup Support for Women


The EXIST Women scholarship specifically supports women in order to introduce them to founding their own business. Even at the beginning of a start-up project, the business idea can be developed and tested over the course of the program. Individual founders and teams can apply; in mixed teams, only women receive funding.

The program

EXIST Women is aimed at female graduates (degrees also older than 5 years), scientists, students (bachelor’s degree or ≥ half of the coursework completed) and women with vocational training and a connection to the university who are interested in the topic of founding a company and want to partcipate in a 12-month qualification program.

Participation is also possible while studying or working. A concrete startup idea can exist, but is not mandatory. Ideas that are not science- or research-based but are aimed at future economic activity are also supported.


  • Female founders receive a scholarship for three months depending on their qualifications:

    – Students: 1,000 Euros (gross)
    – Completed vocational training: 2,000 Euros (gross)
    – Completed studies (MA, BA): 2,500 Euros (gross)
    – Completed Ph.D.: 3,000 Euros (gross)

  • The Startup Incubator Berlin provides a co-working space, a prototype workshop and other infrastructure for 12 months.

  • Support from our SIB-internal coaching team as well as from an experienced business mentor from our network for 12 months.

  • Participation in the EXIST Women workshop program.

  • The goal of EXIST Women is to increase the proportion of female founders in the start-up scene.

  • You do not need to have a specific start-up idea to apply. This can be developed and tested over the course of the program.

  • In addition to the founding of innovative startups, the program also supports women’s path to self-employment.

  • Individual founders as well as team founders can apply. In mixed teams, however, only women can receive funding.

  • By participating in EXIST Women, participation in the Berlin Startup Scholarship program can be excluded, as the program qualifies participants as entrepreneurs.

  • EXIST Women can be used specifically to prepare for an EXIST start-up grant and the application can be submitted during the program.

Application Process

Your path to the scholarship

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

Participants can apply for the program using the online form (button below) and answer the key questions about their start-up project.

The initial application is evaluated according to the following qualitative requirements:
• Competencies of the founders: This assesses the applicants’ specialist knowledge, experience and ability to found and run a successful company.
• Ecological relevance: The contribution of the start-up project to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is assessed here.
• Initial market and competition assessment: It is checked how well the applicants have understood the market and the competitive situation and how they would like to position themselves.
• Prospects of economic success: This evaluates the potential profitability and long-term success of the proposed business model.

After all applications have been evaluated, the most qualified applicants will be invited to a pitch event. Here they have the opportunity to present their projects in a three-minute presentation to a selected jury of experts. The jury consists of experienced cooperation partners and renowned entrepreneurs with excellent expertise to objectively evaluate the pitches.

The jury’s decision will be communicated to the applicants immediately after the event. A kickoff event is planned at the beginning of the program, where the selected applicants will have the opportunity to get to know our mentors and partners in person.

Application deadline: Sunday, January 7, 2024

Jury selection pitch: Thursday, January 18, 2024

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