Max-Planck-Innovation is supporting the formation of spin-off companies
We support your spin-off project

Our service portfolio

We are your professional coach for spin-off projects based on a Max Planck technology. We accompany you in all phases of the company formation with our longstanding experience. We support you from the initial evaluation of your company idea via a detailed business and financing plan through to capital procurement and management searches. In doing so, we also draw on our broad network of investors and external experts. We remain available for advice during the further course of your company’s development. We are thus committed to strategic development as well as the search for partnerships for cooperations, customers or further investors. As an interdisciplinary team, we bundle the knowledge and experience of our Startup & Portfolio Management, Patent & License Management, our Legal Department and our network contacts so as to support you as optimally as possible.

Services at a glance

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Initial discussion

If you wish to pursue the idea of founding a business based on Max Planck technologies, we shall be delighted to receive your call or an email for an informal first meeting. A short, information presentation or outline of your idea is enough for the first meeting date. We explore together with you whether the concept is scientifically and economically viable in this form and help you to draw up your first design for a corporate concept. We take on the role of coach here: We can help you to optimize your concept by offering our experience and extensive contacts relating to foundation and financial issues.

From idea to business plan

The business plan is the cornerstone of your spin-off. This represents a way of outlining your business concept and planned implementation. At the same time, the business plan should convincingly illustrate why your product is needed by customers in the market and why the competition cannot offer anything like it. The business plan is your most important instrument – especially when it comes to winning over investors. It comprises up to 30 pages and provides an overview of technology, product, team, market, sales and financing etc.


Funding programs

We make sure you gain the greatest possible benefits from the funding resources available to founders from the Max Planck Institutes for the pre-seed and seed phase and choose the most suitable support instruments for your planned spin-off.

Overview of the programs

GO-Bio initial

With its new funding opportunity “GO-Bio initial” the German ministry of research and education (BMBF) supports the identification and advancement of early research ideas with recognizable potential for innovation in the life sciences. Max Planck Innovation offers specific support and advice.


EXIST Transfer of Research

EXIST Transfer of Research is a funding program that was created by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) specifically for challenging research-intensive foundation projects.



The Foundation Offensive Biotechnology is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). GO-Bio funds research work associated with risks and long timelines by science teams keen to found their own companies from the life sciences.


Validation Funding VIP+

The open-use BMBF funding measure “Validation of the technological and social innovation potential of scientific research - VIP+” closes the gap between the initial results from the basic research and a potential application.


m⁴ Award

The „m4 Award – PreSeed Competition for Medicine of the Future” supports application-oriented research projects at Bavarian research institutes and universities on their route towards company foundation.


ERC Proof of Concept Grant

European that are funded by the ERC as part of Horizon 2020 have the further option of applying for the ERC Proof of Concept Grant.


Funding Database of the Federal Government

The Funding Database of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) offers a good opportunity to search for funding measures on a European, national and regional level.



Max Planck Innovation cannot provide any seed financing itself. But thanks to the broad network of VC companies, banks and business angels, which Max Planck Innovation has established in recent years, we can extensively support founders in their financing round. We can get you in contact with potential investors whose investment strategy suits your business concept, while accompanying the further financing negotiations. We have negotiated initial and follow-up financing for numerous MPG spin-offs with many prominent financial investors, this giving us extensive expertise in this area.

Overview of our investor networks

High-Tech Gründerfonds

The High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is the most active seed investor in Germany, providing innovative high-tech startups with growth-potential start capital.


Business Angels & Family Offices

Business Angels and Family Offices invest in early phases of a company foundation. These are made up of wealthy private persons, who also provide their consulting service to young startups besides their capital.


Venture capital companies

Venture capital companies (VCs) usually invest capital in young high-tech companies that are risky yet promise major growth. In recompense, these risk capital companies receive a share in the company.


Public investors

Despite their profit orientation, public investors have a funding mandate. They can typically participate as co-investors in financing rounds.


Corporate venture partners

Strategic investors or corporate venture partners are becoming increasingly involved in growth-oriented startups in order to participate in promising state-of-the-art developments.



The innovation gap between academic research and industry is a central problem in the development of new products and services. Numerous research projects in the early phase are often uninteresting to industrial development partners and investors, as they are still too raw and risky. Even if these are extremely promising from a commercial and technical application viewpoint, companies will only invest their resources in a project of a certain degree of maturity has been reached. This allows them to better estimate their risks and opportunities. That means many interesting projects are not pursued further.
Max Planck Innovation has established various incubators in recent years. Here the spin-off projects are validated compatible with industry, thereby making them more attractive to industry and the market. At the same time, the projects can be based on both the research results of the Max Planck Institutes as well as other research institutes.
We advise scientists of the MPG about how to incubate their spin-off project and prepare the application with them.

Overview of the incubators

Life Science Inkubator

Life Science Inkubator GmbH, which has been operative in Bonn since 2009 and in Dresden since 2013, takes promising start-up projects under its wing to offer founders with bright ideas the best possible environment. Innovative research projects from the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical technology are refined into a form fit for starting a company.

IT Inkubator

IT Inkubator GmbH began operations in Saarbrücken in 2014. The company was established by Max Planck Innovation and the University of the Saarland and takes promising information technology spin-offs under its wing, which have been developed at the research institutes of Saarland universities and technical colleges as well as the Max Planck Institutes. The aim is to set up spin-offs and license technologies.

Team formation & experts

The “Expertise Meets Innovation” (EMI) program is underscored by the provision of industrial experts and interim managers, who can contribute their expertise to the spin-off project at an early stage, thereby facilitating a successful incorporation. Both the project-specific brief consultation on certain questions by industrial experts as well as the more extensive longer-term advice or support by an interim manager have proven to be an essential factor in the success of a spin-off project.

More about EMI