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 2,500 per month - 35,000 Coaching in kind
  • Students, graduates, scientists with a business idea
EXIST-Forschungstransfer Up to 250.000
  • pre-seed & seed
  • Research team of max. 3 persons + person in management
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
  • SME
  • Companies with < 100 employees & > 20 million annual turnover
Zentrales Innovationsprogram Mittelstand (ZIM) 550.000 - 2,3 million
  • SME
  • Individual & Cooperation Projects
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
BW Pro-tect 50.000 - 200.000
  • Startups suffering from Corona-crisis
  • < 5 years old, already < than 3 million of equity raised
Innovationsgutscheine A und B 2.500 (A) - 5.000 (B)
  • SME
  • Companies with > 100 employees & > 20 million previous 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
  • SME
  • < 5 years old
Gründungsfinanzierung 5.000 - 5 mio. (50 % guarantee, optional)
  • Startup
  • < 5 years old
Wachstumsfinanzierung 10,000 - 5 million (90% guarantee, optional)
  • SME
  • < 5 years old
Innovationsfinanzierung 4.0 10,000 - 5 million (50% or 70% citizenship, optional)
  • SME
  • Innovation or digitization projects (R&D)
Individuelle Bürgschaften Up to 20 million & 50% denaturalization from the loan
  • Any
Innovfin Up to 70% deficiency guarantees
  • Not available again until 7/1/2021

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
  • pre-seed to series A
  • < 5 years old
Bürgschaften zur Bonitätsstärkung Up to 1.25 million per company (80%)
  • Startups & SME
  • < 5 years old
Kapital für Kleinunternehmen (KfK) 25.000 - 150.000 & 50% loan from the house bank
  • SE
  • < 1 year old, < 25 employees, < 5 million annual revenue
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 100.000 - 500.000
  • Seed phase to series A
  • Technologieorientiert
Technologiefonds Hessen 100.000 – 1 million
  • SME, all phases
  • < 500 employees

Federal state Rhineland-Palatinate

Program name Amount For whom & conditions
Effizienzkredit RLP 100.000 - 7.5 million
  • SME & mindcaps
  • Contribution to climate and environmental protection
Betriebsmittelkredit RLP 3.000 - 35.000
  • SME & mindcaps
Innovationskredit RLP Up to 12.5 million
  • SME & mindcaps
  • < 3 years old
Business Angels RLP Up to 1.25 million per company (80%)
  • pre-seed to series A
Bürgschaften RLP Up to 1.25 million per company (80%)
Wagniskapital (Innovationsfonds) 25.000 - 150.000 & 50% loan from the house bank
  • SME
  • < 6 years old
Regional funding programs
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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