Business Start-Ups and Financing

Measurement of the Euro symbol, after a blueprint by Arthur Eisenmenger from Eislingen/Stuttgart Region

Foto: Measurement of the Euro symbol, after a blueprint by Arthur Eisenmenger from Eislingen/Stuttgart Region

For new start-ups, there is a whole range of institutions and organisations in Baden-Württemberg and in the Stuttgart Region that are on hand with help and advice:

  • Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry for Finance and Business has initiated a campaign for start-up companies across Baden-Württemberg that is coordinated by Ifex Initiative für Existenzgründungen und Unternehmensnachfolge (Ifex initiative for business start-ups and corporate succession). Since April 2013 also so-called Innovation Vouchers are handed out to young creative professionals and their projects.
  • RKW Baden-Württemberg provides support to business founders and start-ups for their business plan, financing concept, discussions with the bank and their sales and marketing.
  • The software centre Software-Zentrum Böblingen/Sindelfingen provides a virtual alliance that gives software companies the opportunity to cooperate with each other and to keep their hold on their markets.
  • The film and media centre Film- und Medienzentrum in Ludwigsburg gives young start-ups the chance to rent a subsidised office.
  • Innovative companies are supported by the University of Stuttgart with its technology centre and can rent air-conditioned offices and laboratories there at reasonable prices. Individual advice as well as detailed information on funding possibilities is available from HdM-Gründerzentrum (Stuttgart Media University’s start-up centre).
  • The association Business Angels Region Stuttgart sources private investors who wish to contribute their own capital and share their management and leadership skills and network contacts with innovative young companies. Inventio, the implementation network for inventions in the Stuttgart Region, is geared toward freelance inventors, self-employed persons, scientists or small companies that need support in order to realise their ideas and exploit them commercially. Both of these are initiatives of the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation.
  • Crowdfunding platforms bring people with ideas together with potential investors who support the projects with contributions from EUR 5 upward: an initiator presents his project with videos, texts and photos on a platform in the internet. He will only get funding for his project if he can find enough microsponsors. In return, the sponsors receive premiums that differ depending on the amount contributed. If it is not possible to raise the total amount needed, the money is returned to the sponsors. The platforms are generally funded by means of a mediation fee of around 10% of the total target amount. This fee is only due for payment if the total target amount is raised.
  • In Germany, the government set up Mikrokreditfonds Deutschland at the beginning of 2010, which offers EUR 100 million to secure microcredits. The loans are managed by GLS Bank, and the direct contact persons are regional and supraregional microbanks. The founder is allocated a coach who examines and refines the project. If the concept promises to be successful, the microbank gives the go-ahead to GLS Bank.
  • Monex Mikrofinanzierung Baden-Württemberg e.V. has been operating in Baden-Württemberg since 2005. With its express microloan for the creative industries, it is possible to get upfront financing for orders non-bureaucratically and to make important investments in items such as music equipment, trade fair stands or materials quickly. On average the amounts are in the region of EUR 5,000 with an effective interest rate of 8.9%.
  • Grenke Bank in Baden-Baden also has a microfinancing model in its range of services. It involves a new approach to the provision of development loans granted via the company banks: in order to be able to cover small volumes of funding of more than EUR 5,000, the loan decision by Grenke Bank is based on a computerised scoring system that takes into account the consulting offerings subsidised by Baden-Württemberg. The effective interest amounts to approximately 4%.
  • You can find an overview of all of the products for (creative) start-ups in the Existenzgründerportal des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie (business start-up portal of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology) or in a brochure from the Initiative Kultur- & Kreativwirtschaft der Bundesregierung (the German government’s initiative for the culture and creative industries).