The Berlin Startup Scholarship

1. What is the context of the programme?

The support of startups is among the most successful instruments of forward-looking economic promotion strategies. As part of the Operational Programme of the Land of Berlin for the European Social Fund (ESF) in the funding period 2014 – 2020/23, innovative startups are being supported in the framework of “founders’ workshops” and similar formats. The funding relates to new skills requirements in connection with innovation processes of the economy, technological change (in particular related to the use of modern information and communication technologies or the advancing digitisation) as well as ecological objectives (e.g. climate protection, energy efficiency and use of renewable energies).

2. What is the programme about?

The aim of the programme is to promote innovative, technology-related startups through coaching, training and scholarships, especially in the context of ICT, digitisation and internationalisation. For this purpose, the founding teams (usually two to four people) are being provided the necessary technical infrastructure such as PC workplaces or laboratories. Prerequisite for the founders are at least initially developed business plans and prototypes or prototype-like procedures. The participants are being selected through competitive procedures of the project providers (incubators) and supported over a period of six to twelve months. The aim of the projects is to improve the skills of the founders, and to develop the marketability of the relevant products and services.

3. How does it work?

The selection of coaching and training staff is carried out by the project providers (incubators) according to the needs of the projects and startups. Funding is being provided to startup centres namely incubators at universities, research institutions and companies with research and development focus. The volume of the scholarships amounts from 1.000 to 2.000 € per person and month for a period of six to twelve months.

Project providers, more specifically, beneficiaries are specialised organisations with the tasks of overall coordination, application, implementation, accounting, public relations and networking as well as evaluation if necessary. In the context of European State Aid Law, the de minimis Regulation is applied to every single startup supported. The total programme volume amounts to € 39.8 million, of which 50 % is funded by the ESF and 50 % by the Land of Berlin. The implementation of the programme is managed by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises of the State of Berlin in cooperation with the European Funding Management GmbH (EFG), which is a trustee of the Land of Berlin and the approval authority.

Currently, the following seventeen projects are funded under the program: (list by order of approval, as of January 2020).

Overview of the supported startups in the program of the Berlin Startup Scholarship