EXIST Scholarship for Entrepreneurs


The EXIST Entrepreneur Scholarship is nationwide funding program, which supports innovative business formations from universities and research institutions in the early phase.

The development of the product/service idea and the creation of a business plan till the formation of the business are supported by the EXIST Entrepreneur Scholarship.

The applicant for the funding is the university. The prospective entrepeneurs develop an idea outline, in which they present their innovative business project to the university. The university names a mentor, who is required to assume the technical accompaniment. The supervision of the entrepreneurs is ensured through an entrepreneurial network. The university provides the entrepeneurs with a workplace for one year maximum.

Who is funded?

  • Researchers from public universities and research institutions
  • University graduates or former academic staff (up to five years after graduation or leave)
  • Students who have completed at least half of the their studies by the time the proposal is submitted
  • Individual entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial teams of up to three people. Teams made up primarily of students will only be funded in exceptional cases.
  • One of the up to three team members can also be funded as a technical colleague if they have qualified professional vocational training or a member's graduation can be more than five years ago.

What is funded?

  • Innovative technology oriented entrepreneurial purposes
  • Innovative knowledge-based services that touch upon scientific knowledge

How is it funded?

Assurance of personal source of livelihood through a scholarship

  • Entrepreneurs with doctoral degrees: 3,000 Euros per month
  • University graduates: 2,500 Euros per month
  • Technical employees: 2,000 Euros per month
  • Students: 1,000 Euros per month
  • Child Stipend: 100 Euros a month per child
  • Material Costs: up to 10,000 Euros for individual start ups; maximum of 30,000 Euros for teams
  • Coaching: 5,000 Euros

Maximum duration of funding is one year.

Funding Bodies

The EXIST Entrepreneur Scholarship is a funding program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and is co-financed by the European Social Fund. The project coordination is assumed by Projektträger Jülich, PTJ for short.