Funding Programmes for University Spin-offs

The EXIST programmes provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy offer start-up funding for spin-offs from the university. Two programmes are available for the funding of different projects with attractive grants. The "starting business" foundation service provides support to founders from Leibniz Universität in the application and implementation of their projects.

For information on the application procedure, also click here

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EXIST Start-up Grant

The EXIST Start-up Grant provides support to students, graduates, and research staff members wishing to turn their start-up idea into a business plan.

The programme is intended for innovative, technology-oriented or knowledge-based foundation projects with good economic potential and a recognisable scalability. The EXIST Start-up Grant constitutes the necessary starting capital in the form of a non-reimbursable grant. It is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and by the European Social Fund.

Target Groups

  • Students
  • Research staff
  • Graduates (no longer than five years after graduation)
  • Teams of a maximum of three persons
    • One team member with qualified technical vocational training possible
    • One team member with graduation dating back to more than five years possible

EXIST Research Transfer

The funding programme EXIST Research Transfer is aimed at transferring research results, by means of two funding phases, into application. The funds provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the European Social Fund serve to ensure the economic basis for a growth-oriented foundation.

Funding Phase I: Execution of development work in proof of technological feasibility, elimination of uncertainties, prototype development, preparation of the business plan, and establishment of the company.

Funding Phase II: Further development work up to marketability and start of business operations, as well as creation of conditions for external follow-up financing.

Target Groups

  • Research teams
  • Scientists
  • Engineers
  • Lab technicians
  • One person with business skills per team