How Germany’s government will support startups: €150m fund for angel investors

Piggy bank
Piggy bank

It’s an election year and the German government is going to great lengths to signal its support for the country’s startup scene. Every week, it seems, there is another minister organising a press junket. But it’s not all hot air – there are some concrete figures behind the talk…


German Minister for Technology and Economics Philipp Rösler told German magazine WirtschaftsWoche the government aims to provide €150m in federal funds for business angels for the period 2013-2016 as a boost for the startup industry.

Rösler told the magazine: “To boost the scene, from 2013 to 2016, we will have a total of €150m of federal funds ready. At the moment, we are still waiting on approval from Brussels. I am however confident that in Spring 2013 we will be able to give the go-ahead to the investment grant for venture capital.”

Business angels are the target, who “buy risk-carrying shares in innovative, small and young businesses”, Rösler said. The grants will cover 20 per cent of the eligible investments. The investments must be at least €10,000 – the maximum amount is €250,000 per year.

Additional funds for investors are a welcome sign for the startup ecosystem in Germany, where the government and lawmakers have faced some criticism for not being startup-friendly. An improvement in the conditions for startups in Germany inspired the launch of the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups, a lobbying group for politics and laws affecting startups. The group opposed the so-called “Anti-Angel” law, a proposed legislative change that would have increased taxes for investors with small shareholdings in companies.

Rösler’s discussion on the additional funding follows Chancellor Merkel’s address to the startup industry last week, in which she described startups as the “yeast” building up the German economy.

Image credit: flickr user 401(K) 2013

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