Important addresses for company founders in Bavaria

Besides a solid business idea, contacts who can help you move forward are the key to the long-term success of your business. The right places will help you when you reach the limits of your own capabilities and knowledge – and can unlock new doors that are essential for making headway.

In Gründerland Bayern there is a large start-up ecosystem with a densely interconnected structure of initiatives, networks and institutions that can offer you specific support in your region.

A number of these places may be an option for you, depending on the kind of assistance you need and the specific circumstances of your start-up. Such places include:

  • the Bavarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHKs) and the Bavarian Chambers of Crafts (HWKs) are the first point of call for those who wish to start their own business
  • the start-up centres, which offer support in the form of infrastructure, free services and advice to entrepreneurs and people starting businesses in all regions of Bavaria
  • the networks funded by the state of Bavaria, which give you access to knowledge and useful contacts
  • the universities and their entrepreneurship centres, with special advisory and support services for university students and employees
  • the advisory services of the liberal professions and the bodies representing the interests of the associations
  • Finance partners, who join forces with you to support your plans financially
  • the business development centres and regional organisations with specific regional services
  • the Gründerlotse Bayern (The Founder's Guide Bavaria)

No matter what stage you are currently at with starting your business, what type of business you are setting up or what kind of assistance you need, Gründerland Bayern has details of all the useful addresses and how they may be able to help you.

Start-up centres

There are around 60 start-up centres in Bavaria – in every region and with distinct areas of focus. Young companies are given specific support here – in the form of reasonably priced leased premises and commercial properties, for example, as well as business expertise, coaching and advisory services and assistance with raising capital. Many start-up centres will actively put you in touch with other start-ups, institutions or experts. Find out more about the start-up centres in Bavaria and how they can support you or explore them directly on the map.



Networks provide a platform on which people who are starting businesses can talk to like-minded people, share valuable contacts or gain access to specific knowledge. Several state or state-aided players have set up special networks for people who are starting businesses, via which they have created organisations, platforms and services.

Find out more about the networks in the Gründerland here.


Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHKs), Chambers of Crafts (HWKs) and Organisations for the liberal professions, Associations

The Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHKs) (External link) and the Chambers of Crafts (HWKs) (External link) perform a public function. Among other things, they represent the interests of businesses in a particular region, organise vocational education and provide services for their member companies. One key area of focus is the considerable support they offer start-ups. Contact the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) or Chamber of Crafts (HWK) in your region if you would like to start your own business. Here you will receive support with various matters related to starting a business. The IHKs and HWKs can also give you advice if your company gets into difficulty, if you wish to invest and are seeking the right finance or if your business will soon be transitioning to the next generation.  


Organisations for the liberal professions

Due to the specific nature of the demands made on the liberal professions, their contacts also differ in the industries organised within the IHK and HWK. The Institut für Freie Berufe (IFB) (External link) at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg plays a key role as a central advisory establishment for the liberal professions. In addition to its central office in Nuremburg, the IFB also regularly provides its advisory services at events in other cities.


Companies and institutions voluntarily band together in an association. While companies from one economic sector often organise themselves within one industry association (e.g. DEHOGA, the German Retail Federation), there are also associations with a cross-industry focus (e.g. Vereinigung der Bayerischen Wirtschaft (vbw) ‘Association of the Bavarian Industry’, Bund der Selbständigen ’Association of the Self-Employed’). Besides representing the interests of their members, associations also offer them support and advice tailored to their specific needs and concerns. Company founders and young businesses can thus benefit from the expert knowledge of the relevant association.


Business development

Would you like to find out more about the state funding and finance programmes run by the state of Bavaria (External link) , Germany (External link) and the EU (External link) for start-ups? In Bavaria, the business departments of the district governments (Wirtschaftsabteilungen der Bezirksregierungen) and the LfA Förderbank Bayern (External link) should be your first ports of call for information and advice.

Also make enquiries at your local business development office (e.g. in larger communities, district-free cities or districts) to establish whether they run their own start-up programmes or initiatives that may help you in addition to the state programmes. 


Finance partners

You can find out here which finance and funding options are available to you. In Gründerland Bayern there are several central finance partners: they all provide comprehensive advice and have expertise in their portfolios for each specific area – from access to external funds and private equity to advice on technology funding programmes.


Universities and entrepreneurship centres

Many universities in Gründerland Bayern have their own start-up advisory services. They also hold specific events for (prospective) company founders or provide support for students who are entering start-up competitions. There is often also a special research focus in the area of company formation and entrepreneurship or relevant study options. The HOCHSPRUNG (External link) programme offers advice and training to students who have already completed their studies and now want to get their business idea off the ground. Entrepreneurship centres, which have been set up by some universities, can also be an interesting option for students and research assistants. You will find more specific details of what is on offer by visiting your university’s website.


Regional organisations

Bavaria’s strength lies in its diversity. This diversity is also reflected in the Gründerland’s various players. Many (regional) initiatives, associations and organisations provide support and services for start-ups – mostly on a voluntary basis and always with a great deal of commitment. Find the right people to speak to in your region here.

The Gründerlotse Bayern

The Gründerlotse Bayern (External link) , located at Bayern Innovativ, supports aspiring entrepreneurs from all sectors and in every phase of the start-up process - whether you just have your initial business idea, you're already working on your business plan, or you're looking for investors and funding opportunities. It guides you to the best opportunities for your project in the areas of financing and funding, consulting and coaching, and networks and infrastructure. 

You can also learn more about important contact points for know-how and networks in the following video: