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Application FAQs

Application Process

Timeline Applications

Step 1: After sending us your application, our jury will review and evaluate all applications.

Step 2: After a first selection, we will set up 15 minute calls with you in order to review the formal criteria and address your specific questions

Step 3: If your idea is selected, you will be invited for interviews to the Selection Day. If you are successfull -> Welcome to the Startup Harbour program!!!


Who can apply?

1. This local funding program supported by the ESF and Senate Department of Economics Berlin is open to all founders based and registered in Berlin.

2. If you or one of the team members have previously received public funding like EXIST, the "Gründerbonus", the "Gründerzuschuss der Arbeitsagentur" or the Berlin Startup Stipend itself, those persons cannot participate in the program.

3. If your team has already participated in a program designed to support the founding of a company in another "Bundesland" or you are already experienced in founding a company as you have founded before, this might lead to an exclusion from our program.

4. To be eligible, your startup must not yet be commercially active. This means that your registration at the “Gewerbeamt” (the date of your “Gewerbeschein”) must not date back more than 3 months prior to your application.

5. All team members joining the program must be fully committed and work full time (at least 143 hours per month) on the startup venture for the duration of the program. Secondary employment is generally permitted if you can guarantee to work the required hours per month.

5. Your startup must not have received more than 200,000 Euros in public funding over the last 3 years (De-minimis rule).

How do I apply?

If you meet the requirements, you can apply via this link.

Applications must be submitted by August 31, 2022.

After a pre-selection and a possible short call, you might receive an invitation for one of the selection days. If you convince the jury at the selection day, you will receive an acceptance.

Do I need to have founded a company already?

No, you can also take part in the program without actually having founded your company yet. However, you should have the intention to do so during or directly after the program.

Do I have to register my company in Berlin?

Yes, if you register a company during the program, you have to register the company in Berlin.

If you have already founded your company somewhere else but Berlin, you would need to move the headquarter to Berlin.

How mature does my idea have to be?

  • 1. Your idea must be an innovative, technology focused and/or science-based solution, which brings clear benefit to your target group.
  • 2. You should bring initial considerations of your target market and groups as well as potential competitors and show at least the beginnings of a prototype or concept.
  • 3. It is beneficial, if your idea meets one of the defined focus areas.
  • 4. You are allowed to have already received some smaller investments as long as you still hold the majority in your startups, in terms of shares and say.

Can I apply for this program on my own?

Our program places great emphasis on teamwork and the people behind the idea. We look for great, balanced teams who have a full range of skills. Funding is provided to teams between 2 and 4 members.

Single founders cannot join the program.

Is there a limit on team size?

The program supports teams of between 2 and a maximum of 4 people. If you happen to have a larger team, regrettably only 4 team members will be able to receive the funding.

Do I have to be a resident of Berlin?

Yes, you must – and this applies to all your team members who want to join the program as well. Only people officially registered as residents in Berlin can receive financial support.

How does the program work?

The incubation program runs for 6 months. In the first 5 months, we will run monthly Bootcamp sessions that focus on all the important areas to build a sustainable venture. During the first month, for example, all teams go through a process of validating their business idea. At the same time, you work with our coaches to identify your individual coaching needs. Together, we will tailor a coaching plan to give you the support that you need. The plan is supplemented by regular individual Deep Dive Sessions and meetings with mentors.

Where will we work for the duration of the program / Do I have to be on site with Bosch the whole time?

You will be granted access to the Bosch IoT Campus in Berlin for the duration of the program. You are not required to work from the campus, but we strongly recommend that you make use of the site. The campus offers valuable facilities, and you are close to your mentors.

All modules, coaching sessions and similar events take place on site. For these, your attendance is required.

Please note: Due to Corona restrictions, currently some program elements are organized in digital formats.

How much funding do I get and do I need to tax it?

Each founder /team member (2-4 members) will receive a monthly funding of 1,800 € per person for the duration of 6 months. An extension is not possible.

Since we do not establish an employment relationship with you, you need to take care of your own insurances, eg. health insurance, during the funding period.

As there is no official guideline, your local tax office (Finanzamt) will determine whether the scholarship is subject to income tax. You need to declare your scholarship in your annual tax declaration.

Do I have to stay in Berlin once the program ends?

You need to be registered in Berlin throughout the program. Afterwards, you can move wherever you want to.

Does my idea belong to Bosch afterwards or does Bosch take shares in my startup?

Bosch has no desire to “steal” ideas from you or use them purely for its own advantage. Bosch also does not take any share in your startup.

The incubation program is designed to put you in contact with the people you need to take your idea to the next level. It remains entirely up to you how closely you want to work with Bosch.

Upcoming Batch

Good news! The application for the upcoming Batch 7 (November 2022 - April 2023) is open now!

This project is supported and funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and the Senate of Berlin.

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  3. Senat logo
  4. Startup Harbour Logo
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  6. Steinbeis (SMT)