What is EXIST Start-Up Germany

EXIST Start-Up Germany  has been established with the purpose of fostering the cooperation and exchange between German and Israeli entrepreneurs. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, the program supported tech-entrepreneurs willing to apply for the EXIST Business Start-up Grant. This grant  supported teams in the development of their start-up idea while living in Berlin or Munich for the period of one year.

The application for EXIST Start-up Germany was a three-step process:

  1. Application for the Berlin/Munich Visit: during the first phase the tech-entrepreneurs from Israel applied via our website to take part in the Berlin/Munich Visit -an intensive three-day program to immerse in the thriving start-up scenes of these two cities. The event concluded with a Live Pitch Competition.
  2. Coaching phase: chosen teams  were then closely assisted in preparing their application for the EXIST Business Start-Up Grant. The support ranged from assistance with the administrative process to coaching tailored to the requirements of each team. During this process, which took about three months, the participants did not have to live in Germany full-time.
  3. Final application for the EXIST Start-up Business Grant: at the end of this process, the participants submitted their final application for the EXIST Business Start-Up Grant. If the application was successful, the project received financial support (€120,000 on average, up to €150,000 max. for 12 months), office space, mentoring, coaching, access to VC networks and other vital resources for the growth of your start-up! Note that no equity is taken. 



So what was the catch? There was no catch.

The founders receive the funding during their first year in Berlin or Munich  without giving anything in return. Neither the EXIST Grant, nor EXIST Start-Up Germany have any stake interest in participating companies.



The exist Business Start-Up Grant

Exist Existenzgründungen aus der WissenschaftThe EXIST Business Start-up Grant supports students, graduates and scientists from universities and research institutes who want to start-up and develop their innovative business idea. The start-up projects should be technology or knowledge-based projects with significant unique features and good commercial prospects of success.


What is funded by the grant?

The “EXIST Business Start-Up Grant” funds

  • Innovative technology based start-up projects.
  • Innovative knowledge based services based on scientific findings.


How does the funding work?

The grant covers personal living expenses:

  • Entrepreneurs with a doctorate receive 3,000 euro/month
  • Graduates with a university degree receive 2,500 euro/month
  • Students receive 1,000 euro/month
  • Child benefit: 150 euro/month per child
  • Materials and equipment: worth up to 10,000 euro for solo start-ups (for teams max. 30,000 euro)
  • Coaching: 5,000 euro
  • The maximum period of funding is one year.


What do the university, research institute and entrepreneurs have to achieve in Germany?

The university or research institute

  • is involved in an Entrepreneurial Network.
  • provides the entrepreneur with a mentor, a workplace and guarantees free use of infrastructure.
  • manages the grant


The entrepreneurs

  • receive coaching services from the Entrepreneurial Network.
  • participate in a one-day “Entrepreneurial Personality” Seminar.
  • present a first draft of the business plan after five months.
  • submit the business plan after ten months.
  • take on the responsibility of making tax and national insurance payments.

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