Financing/Financial Support

Bavaria offers a variety of financial support programmes, which are tuned to the specific interests. Depending on the branch and start-up status, there are custom-fit programmes which support the first essential steps of a start-up or the growth of a company.


Subsidies, that is  non-repayable funds, are offered to various start-up target groups. The individual programmes are presented in detail, however this list is by no means conclusive. These programmes also particularly apply to foreign start-ups:

Start?Zuschuss! - Financial Support for Start-ups in the Sector of Digitisation

What is funded? Start-ups in the sector of digitisation with a particularly sustainable innovative business model

Who can receive funding? Companies established a maximum of two years prior. The company must be based in Bavaria.

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Innovation voucher

What is funded? Services by external research and development institutions, e.g. planning, development and implementation of new products, production processes or services and/or significant improvements to existing products, production processes and services.

Who can receive funding? Small enterprises (fewer than 50 employees, annual sales or annual balance sheet up to a maximum of 10 million euros). The company must be based in Bavaria or must plan to establish a start-up in Bavaria.

How is funding provided?

  • Up to 50%, up to a maximum of 15,000 euros
  • Up to 60% in areas especially affected by demographic change, up to a maximum of 18,000 euros

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What is funded?   

  • Projects which are associated with a considerable risk but which nevertheless seem to be technically and economically feasible on the basis of the planned approach,
  • which are marked by a high innovation content,
  • which have the prospect of gaining a key economic significance.

Who can receive funding? Graduates and scientific employees of Bavarian higher education institutions. This also applies to foreign start-ups provided they belong to a Bavarian higher education institution.

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What is funded?

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

Who can receive funding?

  • Scientists (male and female) from public, non-profit-oriented non-university research institutes or universities.
  • University graduates and former scientific employees (up to five years after graduating or leaving the university).
  • Students who at the time of application have successfully completed at least one half of their degree.
  • Start-up teams of up to three people. Teams consisting mainly of students only receive financial support in exceptional cases.
  • Financial aid is also available if one of the team members has completed professional vocational training as a technical employee. This also applies if the team member’s degree was completed more than five years ago.

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BayTOU – Bavarian Programme for Supporting Technology-oriented Business Start-ups

What is funded? Creation of an evaluable concept for the company foundation and/or execution of a development project.

Who can receive funding? Persons who intend to establish a technology-oriented commercial enterprise or technology-oriented enterprises that have existed for less than six years, have fewer than ten employees and satisfy the SME definition criteria. Also applies to foreign applicants.

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Information on additional technology support programmes, which are not exclusive to start-ups only, can be found at the Bayerische Forschungs- und Innovationsagentur [Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency] via telephone at +49 800 0268724 or online.

Loans, Guarantees and Liability Exemptions

State loan support programmes generally offer lower interest rates than normal bank financing, a longer time coverage as well as more favourable repayment terms. Depending on the individual situation of each start-up, the type of start-up project and the respective prerequisites and conditions of the individual programme, an appropriate programme can be selected.

In order to ensure that companies without adequate securities qualify for bank loans, a system of public risk relief options through, for example guarantees and liability exemptions exists in Bavaria. Applications for guarantees will always be made in accordance with the loan via your local bank.
For further information and offers see LfA Förderbank Bayern.

Venture Capital and Risk Capital

Particularly young, high-growth high-tech start-ups are financed by institutional investors or informal investors such as Business Angels. The provision of venture capital, unlike bank lending, does not depend on the start-up’s or its owner’s guarantees but is solely based on the estimated earnings prospects of the start-up to be financed.

Bayern Kapital

What is funded? Equity capital for the development and market launch of innovative products and processes by start-up companies – from the seed phase to expansion.

Who can receive funding? Applicable to most programmes: commercial enterprises that satisfy the SME status of the EU.

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High-Tech Gründerfonds

What is funded? Venture capital for young, promising technology enterprises; provision of the required seed capital with a combination of open investment and loans

Who can receive funding? Young, technology-oriented start-ups

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BayBG – Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH

How is funding provided? Equity capital in the form of silent participations, open participations, venture capital or private equity.

Who can receive funding? Applicable to most programmes: commercial enterprises that satisfy the SME status of the EU.

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What is funded? Customised, transparent offers on equity capital financing via the ERP Start-up Fund, among others.

Who can receive funding? Start-ups, technology-oriented enterprises and established small and medium-sized businesses

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Business Angels

Business Angels play an increasingly important role for young, innovative start-ups in the capital markets. Private investors do not only provide capital but also solid support with their expertise, experience and networks. Many Business Angels have successfully set up their own company or established several other businesses.

For start-ups, it is relatively difficult to identify and address suitable Business Angels. For this reason, BayStartUP puts them in direct contact with the financing network. The Bavarian financing network, in Germany, is one of the largest of its kind with about 200 Business Angels and approximately 100 institutional investors. By means of direct matching and events, start-ups and suitable investors are brought into contact.