Financial support programs for startups | 5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health

Financial support/ Funding programs

Startup funding in Germany.

Several national financial support programs for startups have been established. These programs range from early investments and scholarships for founders to investments for innovation projects in SME. In the following tables you will find overviews of selected startup funding programs from the European Union (EU) as well as from different national sources.

EU funding programs

Relevant funding programs

EU funding programs can usually be accessed through national and regional authorities; see also on eu.europa.eu.

National funding programs
Relevant funding programs

Startups also receive funding at the federal level. The following table shows the different framework conditions for this.

Program name Amount For whom & conditions
ERP-Gründerkredit Up to 125,000 (80%)
  • pre-seed, seed & SE
  • < 5 years old
EXIST-Gründerstipendium up to 3,000 per month, up to 30,000 material expenses, 5,000 coaching, max. 1 year
  • Founder teams up to max. 3 persons, students, graduates, scientists with a business idea
EXIST-Forschungstransfer Up to 250.000
  • pre-seed & seed
  • Research team of max. 3 persons + person with business competence
High-Tech Gründerfonds 1 million - 3 million
  • seed
  • < 3 years old, Industrial & Digital-Tech, Life Sciences, Chemie
BMWi-Innovationsgutscheine (go-inno) Covers up to 50% of the company's expenses for external consulting services
  • SME
  • Companies with < 100 employees & < 20 million annual sales
Zentrales Innovationsprogram Mittelstand (ZIM) max. 420,000 to 2.3 million
  • SME
  • Individual & cooperation projects, Innovation networks
ERP-Mezzanine für Innovation Up to 5 million
  • SME
  • 2 years old
Federal-State Funding Programs
Relevant funding programs

Financial support for startups is also available from the state level. Since the Rhine-Neckar region is located in three federal states, there are different programs depending on where your company is located. In addition, the funding requirements differ slightly between the federal states. In Hessen and Rheinland-Pfalz, a legal entity must be local and the funding should be used in the respective states. In Baden-Württemberg, the startup's headquarters must be located in the state.

The experts in our network can advise you on suitable programs and how to apply. Below you will find an overview about various relevant programs per state and links to further relevant information (in German).

Federal state Baden-Württemberg

Program name Amount For whom & conditions
BW Pre-Seed 50.000 - 200.000
  • Startups in early founding phase
  • Not yet financed by third parties
Innovationsgutscheine A und B 2.500 (A) - 5.000 (B)
  • SMEs & entrepreneurs
  • Companies with < 100 employees & < 20 million prior year sales (R&D)
Innovationsgutschein Hightech Start-up Up to 20.000
  • pre-seed & seed
  • < 5 years old, companies with 100 employees max. & < 20 million previous year`s revenue
Innovationsgutschein Hightech Digital & Mobilität Up to 20.000
  • SME
  • Companies with 100 employees max. & 20 million turnover (R&D)
BW Startfinanzierung 80 Up to 125.000 per person & 500.000 per company
  • SMEs & entrepreneurs
  • < 5 years old
  • Companies with < 250 employees & < 50 million annual sales
Gründungsfinanzierung 5.000 - 5 mio. (90 % guarantee, optional)
  • SMEs & entrepreneurs
  • < 5 years old
Wachstumsfinanzierung 10,000 - 5 million (90% guarantee, optional)
  • SME
  • At least 5 years old
Innovationsfinanzierung 4.0 10,000 - 5 million , for larger companies up to 25 million (50% or 70% guarantee, optional)
  • SME or private companies with < 500 Mio annual turnover
  • Innovation or digitization projects (R&D)
Individuelle Bürgschaften 1,25 Mio - 15 Mio & 50% guarantee of the loan
  • Any
Innovfin max. 1.25 million, house bank receives 70% guarantee
  • SME
  • < 500 employees

Federal state Hessen

Program name Amount For whom & conditions
Innovationskredit Hessen 100.000 - 7.5 million
  • SME & small mindcaps
  • Sustainable & economical project
Hessen Mikrodarlehen 3.000 - 35.000
  • Persons running business idea < 5 years
Wachstumskredit der Europäischen Investitionsbank (EIB) Up to 12.5 million
  • SME & mindcaps
Gründungs- und Wanchstumsfinanzierung Hessen Up to 1 million
  • all entrepreneurs & SMEs
Bürgschaften zur Bonitätsstärkung Up to 1.25 million per company (80%)
  • SME
  • < 5 years old, otherwise max. 60% guarantee
Kapital für Kleinunternehmen (KfK) 25.000 - 150.000 & 50% loan from the house bank
  • Small companies from the commercial sector
  • < 25 employees, < 5 million annual turnover
Hessen-MikroCrowd 3.000 - 25.000
  • Persons running business idea < 5 years
  • Combination of crowdfunding and microloans
Business Angels (Frankfurt) 1 – 5 million CV
  • pre-seed to series A
Futury Venture Beteiligungen Deutschland-Hessen GmbH up to 500,000 per round
  • Seed phase to series A
  • Technologieorientiert
Technologiefonds Hessen 100.000 – 1 million
  • SME & Freelancer
  • in business for at least 2 years

Federal state Rhineland-Palatinate

Program name Amount For whom & conditions
Effizienzkredit RLP max. 10 million
  • SME & mindcaps
  • Contribution to climate and environmental protection
Betriebsmittelkredit RLP max. 5 million
  • SME & mindcaps
Innovationskredit RLP 25.000 - 2 million
  • SME & mindcaps
  • at least 3 years active
Business Angels RLP usually 1.25 million - 3.5 million
  • pre-seed to series A
Bürgschaften RLP usually 1.25 million - 3.5 million
  • all companies
Wagniskapital (Innovationsfonds) max. 1 million
  • SME
  • < 5 years old
Funding programs from the region
Local grants and risk capital

There are also local grants and risk capital available for startups. Below you will find a selection of regional options that are corporate venture capitalists and banking-backed VCs.

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