Public funding

Founders in Germany can gain access to public financial assistance at local, national and EU levels.

Public funding

Such financial aid aims to provide systematic support to founders and start-up businesses. The most common types of public financial support are loans (with or without guarantees), equity, grant programmes as well as consultancy allowances (cf. "further options"). As financing terms and criteria may vary considerably, founders are advised to review the relevant details well in advance.

Funding programmes
Overview of funding programmes (loans, grants, guarantees and investments) which are particularly popular among start-ups in Hamburg
Hamburg Chamber of Commerce

InnoRampUp (subsidy)
The programme supports innovative startups and companies, which are in particular technological and younger than two years. The maximum amount of the grants are up to 150,000 €.
IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH (german) 

The programme supports founders and founding teams in the pre-startup and foundation phase by a personalised flat-rate grant. The maximum amount per startup is 75,000 €.
IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH (german) 

Innovationsstarter Fonds
As an early-stage investor, the Innovation Starter Fund Hamburg provides to young, innovative startups in the startup and growth phase with venture capital up to 1 Mio € in the form of open participations.
IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH (german)

This programme offers a loan guarantee to entrepreneurs in Hamburg who are asking for a loan from their house bank.
Bürgschaftsgemeinschaft Hamburg GmbH (german)

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF)
Germany’s seed stage investor. HTGF invests venture capital in technology companies
High-Tech Gründerfonds

Funding instrument at European level (SME instrument)
Innovative small and medium-sized enterprises can get a financial investment of up to €2,5 million as well as support in the form of business coaching enabled by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program
European Commission

Startup competitions
Start-up competitions are another possibility to receive financial and non-financial funding. This website lists some federal and regional competitions. (This website only exists in German)
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

EIT Digital Challenge
An annual contest in the areas Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing &  Digital Infrastructure, Digital Finance. The „EIT Digital Challenge“ offers access to a broad ecosystem of partners, internationalisation support, participation in an event in Berlin, complimentary publicity and visibility and the possibility to join the EIT Digital Accelerator (see: accelerators). The winner of each category receives 50,000 Euro.
EIT Digital