Here you can find an overview of suitable funding programs and current competitions for founders in the creative industries.
The one-year project grant for Film University alumni to build their own media startup with an office on the Studio Babelsberg site, mentoring and capital.
Project scholarship for alumni of the film university
The STARTBÜRO Babelsberg supports projects of alumni of the Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF with a one-year project grant. For one year, teams receive a coworking space in the "Swallow's Nest" of the Marlene Dietrich Hall on the Studio Babelsberg grounds, including basic equipment, as well as a maximum of up to 10,000 euros to implement their projects. In addition, mentors from the participating partners Studio Babelsberg, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, ILB and the Film University will accompany and advise the teams during the course of the grant.
STARTBÜRO Babelsberg supports alumni teams in two areas:
- Innovative content: Support is provided for the realization and distribution of cinematic and interactive content that is expected to have a unique selling proposition due to its specific approach.
- Innovative use of technology: Support is provided for the development and application of new processes and technologies that provide impetus for media production, distribution and reception.
Previous fellows include the production company "Sehr gute Filme", the animation studio "Monströös" and the cinema software startup "Cinuru". For 2023, the representative project offices are waiting for new residents. With the support of Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, a total of two teams can receive a scholarship.
All alumni of the film university who have graduated in the last 5 years are eligible to apply. Parallel to the submission, a consultation at the start-up service is highly recommended.
The following documents should be submitted:
- a project description: elaborated treatment (or presentation of a portfolio), exploitation approach, expectations on the mentoring, special development perspective at the Babelsberg location
- the CVs and, if applicable, company profiles of all those involved in the project
- a time and goal plan for the fellowship year as well as
- a rough calculation
Please send your documents by mail (max. 10 MB) to gruendungsservice(at)filmuniversitaet.de with the subject "Submission Start Office Babelsberg".
The selection is made by the Film University together with the partners based on the following criteria:
- Innovation of content and / or use of technology
- Realization potential of the project
- Recognizable connection to the location
- Team formation
For your orientation, here is the call for applications for the 2020 launch office. The document will be updated until the final call for applications. If further documentation is required, we will contact anyone who has previously submitted. (German Only)
More information about the funded teams and the program can be found here.
MediaTech Hub Accelerator
The Mediatech Hub Accelerator Babelsberg is the six-month program for all startups or future agencies that have already founded, are dealing with technologies and want to get to the next entrepreneurial level.
What does this have to do with Babelsberg Film University? Together with the University of Potsdam and the Hasso Plattner Institute it is the initiator of the first Accelerator Program in Brandenburg. You can apply continuously via the MTH Accelerator website at: www.mth-accelerator.de
Are you working on a technology-based business model that deals with media, virtual or mixed reality, data visualization, edutainment or gamification? Are you looking for strong partners for market entry, sales, financing and further development of your products or services? Then apply for our Accelerator in Potsdam Babelsberg! The MTH Accelerator in Babelsberg is the first comprehensive accelerator for founders in the media and technology industry. It helps young start-up teams to survive on the market in the long term. It also aims to make it easier for them to access investment and capital.
In Babelsberg, the MediaTech Hub Accelerator offers an office space, networking opportunities and prepares you for investments. After a maximum of 6 months in the Accelerator program, you will be ready to pitch to VCs, investors and business angels and to take off on the market.
But also companies - especially from the creative industries, which do not see themselves as a start-up, but as an agency - will find in the MTH Accelertor a program that provides intensive and individual support to work together on the entrepreneurial challenges that arise after the foundation.
An exciting example of this approach is BetaRoom, whose MauAR app has around 200,000 downloads in the Appstore and uses AR to tell historical stories from Berlin in a completely new way, for example for the Kultur Projekte Berlin. The MediaTech Hub Accelerator helped them to set up a solid business and supported them with plenty of network connections.
The Accelerator is supported by the Investment Bank of the State of Brandenburg (ILB), the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Energy of the State of Brandenburg, APX - the start-up investor of Axel Springer and Porsche, media:net berlinbrandenburg, the network with around 400 companies from the digital, creative and media industries and the MediaTech Hub Potsdam.
Further information on the Accelerator and the application process can be found here.
Generation-D: Contest for Social Startups
Do you want to create social value with your startup? Then apply by February 23 to GENERATION-D!
GENERATION-D promotes student projects that creatively and innovatively solve current local and global problems from Germany. The winning projects are characterized by feasibility, sustainable effectiveness and innovation, and generate social added value. By supporting the teams, Generation-D wants to play a part in tackling the difficulties in our world. Submissions in the areas of
Education, Environment, Health and Social Society
https://www.generation-d.org/ (German Only)
Scholarships aimed at film students and filmmakers
- Villa Aurora Fellowship L.A. - www.villa-aurora.org
- Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Artist Fellowship - https://www.studienstiftung.de/karl-schmidt-rottluff/
- Gerd Ruge Project grant for documentary film development - https://www.filmstiftung.de/foerderung/stipendien/gerd-ruge-stipendium/
- GWFF's support for young talent, e.g. for production students to spend time abroad. https://www.gwff.de/nachwuchsfoerderung.html
- VGF Scholarship - www.filmzentrum-bayern.de
- Künstlerinnenprogramm: Film und Video - Working grant for preliminary film projects by women through the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe - https://www.berlin.de/sen/kultur/foerderung/foerderprogramme/kuenstlerinnenfoerderung/artikel.82093.php
cast & cut: Scholarships for short filmmakers - https://www.nordmedia.de/pages/foerderung/foerderbereiche/cast___cut_-_stipendium/index.html
Getting started with the EXIST Business Start-up Grant
Students and alumni can make use of the EXIST Business Start-up Grant to finance their start-up project at the university for one year.
The EXIST Business Start-up Grant supports students, graduates and scientists from universities and non-university research institutions who want to realize their start-up idea and turn it into a business plan. The start-up projects should be innovative technology-oriented or knowledge-based projects with significant unique selling points and good prospects of economic success.
Digital Opportunity Traineeships
"Boosting digital skills on the job" - students and graduates can have their digital skills training abroad funded by the EU. This is implemented through a work stay in another EU country, on-the-job training and an additional €500 per month for living expenses for 2-12 months.
Subsidies from the Media Innovation Center Babelsberg (MIZ)
In addition to supporting innovation projects, the MIZ offers other services for anyone who wants to rethink broadcasting. The Media Innovation Center's funding programs at a glance: (German Only)
Innovationsförderung für Medienprofis
Innovationsförderung für Studierende und Start-ups
Innovationsförderung für NachwuchsjournalistInnen
Innovationsförderung für interdisziplinäre Teams
Innovationsförderung für Projektpartner
MIZ has already supported several Filmuni teams, such as Luminoise and Experimental Game.
The start-up service will be happy to assist with the submission, establish contact with the MIZ and provide information on supplementary funding opportunities: j.krug(at)filmuniversitaet.de / Room 6105 / Tel 0331 - 6202-256
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
This start-up abroad program supports a 1-6 month stay in the EU with up to € 1,100 per month. In a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) you can learn from experienced founders on site. Those interested in founding a company and self-employed persons can participate up to 3 years after founding.
Working in a European SME can bring many advantages for your own start-up.
- In a very similar company, you can learn a lot for your own market entry, but because of the distance, you are usually not dealing with a direct competitor.
- In cooperation with a potential (distribution) partner, you can develop an international strategy for your startup from the very beginning.
The Wirtschaftsförderung Ostbrandenburg (STIC) is the contact for the entire northeast of Germany. All information can be found bundled in a Flyer. (German only)
The state of Brandenburg supports start-ups and young companies with up to €25,000 in low-interest loans during the first 10 years of business. The interest rate is currently 1.77 percent (as of March 2019).
- Start-up assistance is provided by the chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of trade, and pilot services.
- Equity and collateral are not required.
- There are no fees to pay.
- The term is five years. The loan is repaid in flexible monthly installments. Early repayment (without early repayment penalty) is possible.
- Companies and natural persons, where the establishment was not more than 10 years ago, can apply for the credit.
More information on the website of Mikrokredit Brandenburg
Culture and creative pilots
On behalf of the federal government, the U-Institut has awarded 32 companies from the cultural and creative industries every year since 2010. the selected creative pilots take part in a one-year mentoring program.
- You'll receive an award from the federal government and participate in a year-long mentoring program that strengthens your idea and moves you forward.
- In workshops, you'll work with creative pilots and other experts on what it means to be an entrepreneur.
- Two mentors accompany you and you always have someone to support you.
- You'll be part of the Kreativpiloten network that collaborates across cohorts.
- You will receive nationwide media attention and tips for your press work.
All companies, self-employed persons, founders and projects from the cultural and creative industries can apply. No matter whether alone or with the entire team, whether the idea only exists on paper or is already being implemented.
Do you want to be informed about news and the upcoming application phases of the Kreativpiloten? Then sign up here for the reminder, and the organizers will remind you when it starts. (German only)
Among others, the Studio monströös was awarded in the year 2018. The team was advised and accompanied by the start-up service during their foundation.
BafA consultations for founders and companies
Following the establishment of a company or freelancer, the BafA subsidizes the development of entrepreneurial know-how. Depending on the location, up to 80% of the invoices of consultants and coaches are covered.
Eligible are consultations / coachings for small and medium-sized enterprises - which also include members of the liberal professions.
Responsible for the program "Promotion of entrepreneurial know-how" is the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), which is represented in Berlin and Brandenburg by regional partners.
The support program is aimed at companies that have already been established. Consultations before a foundation cannot be subsidized with this program. However, the federal states offer subsidies for consulting costs and/or free start-up consulting for the pre-start-up phase (e.g. via the start-up service!).
More information here
Who is supported?
The "Promotion of Entrepreneurial Know-How" is aimed at
- young companies that have been on the market for less than two years (start-ups)
- Companies from the third year after establishment (existing entrepreneurs)
- Companies in economic difficulties - irrespective of the age of the company (companies in difficulty)
Link to BafA
Regional partners include the ZAB and the chambers.
Immediately after its foundation, "Gründung Innovativ" supports innovative Brandenburg startups with a grant for the implementation of their innovations.
With the funding program "Gründung Innovativ", the state of Brandenburg supports startups with innovative business ideas as well as the takeovers of innovatively oriented companies in Brandenburg. Funding is provided to founders and takeovers of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the first three years after foundation or takeover. With an own contribution of at least 25 percent of the total eligible expenses, a grant of up to EUR 100,000 is possible.
The start-up service provides advice and support on the funding and will be happy to put you in touch with the contact persons at ZAB and ILB.
Link to the funding(German only)
Potsdam marketing and trade show support
All small businesses and micro-enterprises based in Potsdam can apply for funding for marketing (CI development) and for participation in trade fairs.
- Marketing Consulting
- Appearance of the company (corporate design redevelopment and re-design)
- Production of newly developed corporate communication tools
- company-related website (new concept or relaunch)
- Protective rights:
- Registration of a trademark, design, utility model or plant variety right
- Consultations on registration and the processing of registration by lawyers
- up to EUR 4,500 (non-repayable grant)
Trade show support
- Individual and joint participation in regional, national and international trade fairs, exhibitions and cooperation exchanges
- Up to EUR 1,500 for regional and national trade fairs, etc. (non-repayable grant)
- Up to EUR 2,500 for international trade fairs, etc. (non-repayable grant)The contact person for advice on subsidies at the Potsdam Economic Development Agency is Eike Herbst: eike.herbst(at)rathaus.potsdam.de, 0331-289-2846.
The contact person for advice on subsidies at the Potsdam Economic Development Agency is Eike Herbst: eike.herbst(at)rathaus.potsdam.de, 0331-289-2846.
Link to marketing support and trade show support. (German only)
The funding finder from Kreativ Kultur Berlin
Find your funding. A nice way to find a suitable funding program for cultural work, cultural industries and start-ups. Made for Berliners, but many hits can also be used outside of Berlin.
Competitions and funding programs of Kreatives Brandenburg
Kreatives Brandenburg - the website for networking and information for creative professionals in Brandenburg - lists, among other things, numerous cultural tenders and competitions (not only for Brandenburgers). Click here for the overview. (German only)
Contact for funding consultations:
Jörn KrugMore information: Jörn Krug Head of Startup Center & MOVE2startup
Tolga TolunMore information: Tolga Tolun Consultant & Project Manager