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Course of the project

How is the project organised during the funding period? Which milestones can the entrepreneurs expect?

The entrepreneurs are given the necessary autonomy during the period of funding so they can put both technical and entrepreneurial aspects of their ideas into practise. The team, Entrepreneurial Network, university or research institute work together in close co-operation to systematically prepare a successful market entry. Below a general overview of the milestones during project funding.

0ESF questionnaire
1Coaching/materials and equipment expenses plan
3Seminar Entrepreneur Team
5Presentation of preliminary results

Business plan

Evaluation report

Projekt questionnaire

Businessplan Evaluation by the entrepreneurial network

12Project conclusion

ESF questionnaire

Questionnaire for participants regarding the European Social Fund (ESF) project

The following questionnaire collects data on the participants of the European Social Fund (ESF) project. Those in charge of the programme use your details to write reports identified by statutory requirements. Your details are also used to check if project implementation corresponds to the guidelines. Please answer the following questions carefully keeping this in mind. Your details will only be anonymously processed and will not be used for evaluating your person. You will require about 1 minute to fill out the questionnaire. Questions or parts of questions that are greyed out do not need to be filled out for this ESF-survey.

You will find the questionnaire on

Coaching/materials and equipment expenses plan

Coaching plan

This is a schedule for the EXIST Business Start-up Grant funding period with concrete information regarding milestones and measures for compiling a business plan. Training measures for the Entrepreneur Team to improve entrepreneurial approach and behaviour of individual members are also included. The list can be extended by a Gantt chart, which displays the time distribution for the period of grant funding. The aim of start-up coaching is to provide an objective and external view of the project on the basis of which the start-up and its specific potential can be developed. As far as possible, the list should show the complete consultation, training and skill building measures required. Consultation for technical matters or for product development as well as training courses for these topics belong to the content of the project and may only be paid for from the funds for materials and equipment.

Materials and equipment plan

The EXIST Business Start-up Grant funding puts up to 30,000 euro for materials and equipment at the disposal of the teams to implement their idea. It is imperative for project accountability that the use of funds be economical and cost-effective (principle of proportionality), showing concrete relevance to the project (acquisitions with a purpose). The university/ research institute is responsible for the acquisitions (General regulations for awarding work or services, maximum amount).

Seminar Entrepreneur Team

The EXIST Business Start-up Grant also includes the participation in a day long "Entrepreneurial Team" seminar so that team members have as much of an objective view as possible of their potential and entrepreneurial soft skills. You get a result, which includes an analysis of your team. Every team member is given his or her personal strength-weakness profile making targeted improvement possible. The aim of the seminar is to help you develop the qualities of your team, flesh out your business proposal as well as support you in developing your potential. It is not a selection procedure.

Further details of the Entrepreneur Team seminar can be found here.

Presentation of Preliminary Results

In order to identify challenges and create solutions to the obstacles arising, the business plan draft as well as the development status of the project is presented in front of and evaluated by the entrepreneurial network. The focus of this presentation should be the concept of the business idea und startup structure, the  target market as well as the strategy to enter the market, resulting costumer value, the unique selling points of the product or service, competition and financial strategy. The presentation is a milestone and an opportunity to discuss critical aspects with and may get support by the entrepreneurial networks related to administrative and entpreneurial challenges. The  project-management agency will be informed of project status, by sending in the pitch deck and form (‘Bewertung Zwischenstand’) to evaluate the preliminary results.

The subsequent evaluation form (‘Bewertung Zwischenstand’) may be found be found here.

Business plan

This forms the basis for further work on the business, strategic development and if necessary, the acquisition of follow-up financing. The business plan is presented in the 10th month of the grant funding period. Success or failure generally depends on the care with which the plan was prepared. It is a helpful and sensible tool particularly after the start-up period to see if the business is developing as planned or if any assumptions and strategic decisions need to be rethought. An entrepreneur does not leave his success to chance and is constantly checking, comparing and adjusting. At the same time, the business plan serves as a final project report. In addition, a final evaluation report and questionnaire on project development are required to document the progress of the project for the sponsors. You find the relevant templates under the teaser Downloads on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Details and explanations to the frequently asked questions are summarized in the FAQ section.

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