Gründungsbonus – The guide to Berlin startup funding

Two men happy about the Gründungsbonus Berlin Startup Funding
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Welcome to our guide to startup funding Berlin, focusing on the Berlin startup funding program called Gründungsbonus. As we all know, bureaucracy can be challenging, especially if you’re new to Germany and haven’t mastered the language yet. Processes can be confusing, not even to start with german websites, which try to help you with complicated words.

That’s why we are here for you, to give you an easy-to-read guide, take you by the hand, and get your startup funding started, covering up to 50.000€ of your first two years of expenses.

Who is this Gründungsbonus guide for?

Let’s not waste any more time and get right into the topic. Which circumstances do you need to be able to get the startup funding program?

First of all, the Gründungsbonus is a Berlin startup funding program, existing to support founders of particularly innovative, creative, or sustainable startup projects in Berlin.

Legally independent, profit-orientated start-ups, micro-enterprises and freelancers based in Berlin

 According to the official site of the berlin-based Gründungsbonus institution.

To state the obvious first: No matter what kind of support you get, the institution supporting you has to see potential in you and your startup endeavor. To specify this a bit more, the IBB has made the following points quite clear.

  • Startups that apply must not be older than 12 months at the time of application
  • Founders must hold the majority of shares in the company
  • The business model has to be digital, technological, creative, or sustainable
  • The startup project must be convincing and have sufficient growth potential.
  • Important: The headquarters and the company facilities that are supported through the grant have to remain in Berlin for at least three years after the financing has been completed.

———————— To summarize in one sentence ————————

If you are a Berlin-based startup, or you’re thinking about founding a startup in Berlin and remaining there for the next three to five years, and you convincingly believe in your growth potential based on facts, Gründungsbonus might be just perfect for you.

What exactly does the Berlin startup funding program Gründungsbonus cover?

Now that we found out who the Gründungsbonus is for, let’s find out what it exactly covers. You might be astonished!

In general, the Gründungsbonus exists to promote the development, implementation, and market establishment of products, services, or technologies.

These include:

  • Material and investment costs
  • All types of current operating expenditure, such as rental of premises, employees, communication, and advertising costs
  • Costs for consulting, IT development, and other external services you may need
  • Costs for patent applications and similar

The Gründungsbonus even covers the founders’ and managers’ salaries up to a maximum of 2.000 Euro per month, per person. To keep the proportion of expenses in the right balance, all salary expenses (grants for founders, costs for employees) may only amount to half of the total grant.

———————— Tip ————————

Founders who need further financing may additionally apply for “IBB MikroCrowd”. This program combines micro-loan with crowd-funding to acquire additional capital.

What exactly does the Gründungsbonus not cover?

All that being said, there are “things” you can’t buy with the grant.

These include:

  • Purchasing of land, real estate, company or distribution vehicles
  • Costs for financing, interest, rent or taxes.

What do I exactly require to receive the Gründungsbonus?

After we talked about all the details around the Berlin startup funding program Gründungsbonus, let’s have a look at what exactly you need.

  • First of all, you will need the usual personal data that you would need for anything else as well, such as name, address, and contact information
  • Secondly, you will need your company’s articles of association, which provides information around your company’s constitution and guidelines
  • Lastly and most importantly, a perfectly-written effective business plan in German

While the first two points are pretty basic, things get different when it comes to writing a business plan.  Of course, you can use online templates and an official translator, but if you want to make sure to get the startup funding with up to 50.000€ in total, you might want to get some professional help from experts who’ve been through the process a thousand times already.


As a business consultancy focused on helping English speaking startups and entrepreneurs in Germany, we have helped numerous clients secure the Gründungsbonus and other funding options available in Germany. Due to the current situation in 2020, we offer a free consultation call to see if it would make sense for you and your business to apply for the Gründungsbonus program. No strings attached. We want to support the growth of valuable ideas and give something back during those tough times. If you feel like you would fit into the Berlin startup funding program, apply here for your free consultation call.

Success Stories from other Companies

We all love stories, don’t we? Especially when it comes to success! It motivates and inspires us to take action and proves all the time that things beyond our imagination are possible.

Do you think innovation has to be always deeply technological with a team of computer scientists around you? Not really. The Berlin Startup Space3000 proves that you can get funded even with relatively simple and creative ideas. The company Space3000 started in 2018 with a simple and innovative idea: To make whiteboards more user-friendly in weight, flexibility, individuality, beauty, and design.

Compared to modern digital business, an actual product-based startup has way more costs to create their MVP(=minimum viable product). So why take a loan with high-interest rates if you can get a state-funded grant of up to 50.000€ Euros? Exactly.

Due to the Gründungsbonus, the company could finally invest in the design, marketing, and production departments, focusing on getting the first models done. With all that, they could get a more professional brand image, thus compete in the fast-growing modern world.

If you want to read more about the company’s story, here is the official post in German:

https://www.gruendungsbonus.de/foerderung/erfolgsgeschichten/detail/artikel/space3000-flexible-workshop-moebel-fuer-neues-arbeiten/

Next Steps

You now know all the things around the Berlin startup funding program Gründungsbonus. Ready to get it? We want to help you out with a free consultation call. In the end, you got nothing to lose, right? But 50.000€ Euros to get!

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