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EXIST (Germany)

EXIST is a support programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

  • Funding type: Grant;
  • Geographic focus: Germany;
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Stage focus:
  • Applicant target: University;


EXIST aims at improving the entrepreneurial environment at universities and research institutes. It also aims at increasing the number and success of technology and knowledge based business start-ups.

The BMWK supports university graduates, scientists as well as students to this end in preparing their technology and knowledge based start-ups. EXIST also promotes a lively and lasting entrepreneurial culture at public and private universities.

Teams in which the majority of team members are students will only be funded in individual cases. Students that hold a degree and are still enrolled in a full-time study program receive the grant for students. Before applying, students must submit a form stating that they have earned at least 50% of their credits.

PhD students, that dedicate their full worktime to their EXIST funded business project as well as graduates that pursue an additional part time study track, receive the grant for graduates.

If a diploma is received during the time of the grant, the grant can be continued in the form of the grant for graduates as of the month after the graduation. The graduation should already be considered at the time of application. In exceptional cases it can also be applied for during the funding period. If the planned graduation is delayed, the beneficiary applies for a respective reduction of the grant amount.

Only applications in German are possible. German is the official language.

Applications are submitted through the university or research institutions, individuals cannot apply by themselves. Our scientific partner network (so called EXIST-network) gives you the first advice concerning your business idea and supports you in creating your concept paper/sketch. You can find the corresponding contact information here.

Applicants willing to get in touch with EXIST can do it by following this link

Last updated on 2023-05-11 15:56


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