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EXIST – University-Based Business Start-Ups

EXIST is a support programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

This programme 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 BMWi 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.

The EXIST programme comprises three schemes:

  • EXIST Culture of Entrepreneurship supports universities in formulating and implementing a comprehensive and sustained university-wide strategy for increasing entrepreneurial culture and spirit.
  • EXIST Business Start-up Grant supports students, graduates and scientists in preparing innovative technology and knowledge based start-up projects.
  • EXIST Transfer of Research funds both the resource development necessary to prove the technical feasibility of start-up ideas based on research and the preparation necessary to launch a business.

EXIST is co-financed by funds of the European Social Fund (ESF).

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