German start-up fund gets an encore
Bonn – Germany’s federal government is prolonging one of its most successful measures to date for stimulating the establishment of high-tech companies – the High-Tech-Gründerfonds (HTGF). The HTGF was launched in 2005 with €272m in public and private money, and since then it has helped finance more than 250 companies in the country, creating 2,300 jobs along the way. More than a quarter of the funding ended up in life sciences companies.
With €288.5m, the second fund is even larger than the first. Germany’s federal government is chipping in €220m, while €28.5m came from industry – companies that included German giants like Altana, BASF, Daimler and Deutsche Telekom. The state-owned bank KfW invested a40m. And for the first time, life sciences companies like Qiagen and B.Braun also made a commitment. Most of the start-ups financed so far have originated at universities, research facilities, as spin-offs from industry or were “garage” businesses developed independently. State Secretary Ernst Burgbacher praised the important bridging function the fund plays: “The work done by HTGF management is of enormous value for Germany as a place for science and technology. The fund’s seed capital will provide long-term support to start-ups, and help promote technology.”