MAX!mize - the Startup Incubation Program for Max Planck Scientists

MAX!mize is the official start-up incubation program of the Max Planck Society. The program is organized by Max-Planck-Innovation and supports scientists who want to become entrepreneurs. They receive individual support for their start-up idea and learn and apply new skills to develop viable business models. At MAX!mize, we are convinced that entrepreneurship is the best way to maximize the impact of science.

How can I participate in the program and what can I expect?

After you apply through our website, each "batch" of the program begins with a three-day bootcamp. There, your startup idea will undergo an initial "stress test".

Upon successfully completing the Bootcamp, your goal is to validate that you are addressing a relevant market need, that you have defined your technology and product roadmap and built a convincing team ready to drive the idea to market. Phase 1 ends with a jury session after max. six months where you present your project and action plan for the company building Phase 2.

In MAX!mize Phase 2, you will get specific know-how support and need-based funding for a period of 18 to 30 months, depending on the individual challenges of your start-up idea. In both phases you will have regular check-in events to work on your start-up idea and to discuss it with peers and start-up experts.

Requirements for your application

A minimum of two individuals is required for a targeted incubation in MAX!mize. The team may consist of, or be supplemented by, external team members who can participate in all programme events. It is important to take into account, however, that only MPI-affiliated team members can receive funding.

After the online registration, applicants will be invited to the MAX!mize Bootcamp. After receiving a positive jury decision at the Bootcamp, the selected teams will start with phase 1 of the program. All program events are conducted in English.

MAX!mize is aimed at scientists of the Max Planck Society and is independent of science and technology.

The Mission of MAX!mize

As a scientist, you started your career on a mission to broaden the frontiers of knowledge and create an impact with your research. In MAX!mize you can pursue the very same mission yet in the role of a start-up founder. Research shows that science-based start-ups bring more innovations to the market and create more jobs. Therefore, our goal is to create the perfect environment for science-based entrepreneurship where potential founders can learn and grow in a safe as well as challenging atmosphere. Our key ingredients: start-up know-how, networking and financial support to focus on your start-up idea.

Contact person

Head of Start-up Incubation Program

Kathrin Schelbaum

Master of Arts in Business

Phone: +49 89 / 29 09 19-52