Help startup incubators with product development

Incubator: Capital and support for start-ups

When does an incubator invest and how much?

An incubator usually invests very early in the creation of a start-up. First of all, the focus is on the business idea, which then needs to be developed. One speaks of the seed phase, with which incubators participate earlier than classic venture capital companies and often also business angels, who often only start in the start-up phase.

The investment amount for an incubator is usually between € 100,000 and € 1 million in the first financing round, but it differs from incubator to incubator. Of course, the share of the business that a founder has to cede to the incubator is usually higher than with a mere venture capital investment. But the chances of success are also much higher thanks to the operational support of the incubator.

Most incubators no longer only invest their own capital, but are now very successfully collecting third-party funds. Classic venture capital companies, wealthy family businesses or even corporations participate in the relevant Internet incubators, as pure donors but also as co-investors. In this way, the classic venture capital companies minimize their entrepreneurial risk considerably. In this way, corporations seek proximity to the start-up scene and its innovations.

Incubators for start-ups in Germany

One of the most well-known incubators was once Rocket Internet from Berlin, an incubator of the well-known Samwer brothers, which has meanwhile become a company builder. But SpreadShirt founder Lukas Gadowski and his Europe team have also started an incubator that is also developing more and more in the direction of company builders. The Incubator Team Europe offers talented founders the opportunity to set up their own business without having their own business idea. And for the classic form of participation with the full-service infrastructure approach, the Point Nine Capital incubator, which Gadowski helped to establish, stands.

In addition, hub: raum is a well-known incubator that is operated by Deutsche Telekom and also offers an accelerator program. Commerzbank is also looking for proximity to innovative business ideas and has opened the main incubator, an incubator with a focus on FinTech. Other incubators active in Germany are:

Find the right incubator

To find the right incubator for your start-up, you should take a closer look at the following aspects of the incubators:

  • In which industries and business models does the incubator invest?
  • How much is the funding from the incubator in the first round?
  • What specific services does the incubator offer me?
  • Which team is behind the incubator and can you imagine working closely with the people?
  • Which companies do you find in the portfolio - does your start-up fit them?

You can also talk to start-ups and companies in which the incubator has already been involved about the experiences of the cooperation. Because in addition to the purely formal conditions, the personal level also determines the success or failure of the cooperation with the incubator.

Author: Für-Gründer.de editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.