Fraunhofer HHI Start-up Program

Fraunhofer HHI is convinced that innovative technology start-ups who work based on research results, among other things, can achieve high benefits for the founders, the investors, the Institute, and its employees, not to forget for the wider society.

For this reason, Fraunhofer HHI supports start-ups within the framework of a new program. The companies founded in this context receive intensive support and are accompanied by the idea of investor readiness over up to two years. This prospect includes:

  • Support in validating the business idea 
  • Assistance in gathering the founding team 
  • Payment of the founders and first employees according to TVöD for up to two years 
  • Provision of premises, IT equipment, and expertise of Fraunhofer HHI
  • Licensing of Fraunhofer HHI rights and patents to the start-up without royalty payments through shareholding in the start-up
  • Extensive mentoring and coaching
  • Networking with companies, investors, and other start-ups.

For Fraunhofer HHI researchers

Fraunhofer HHI employees can reach out to the Institute's start-up contact at any time with an innovative idea.

Jointly with a coach, the business model is analyzed, developing an initial pitch deck. If necessary, the start-up team can be supplemented by other entrepreneurs. After a successful pitch to the Investment Committee of Fraunhofer HHI, a term sheet is agreed upon, the start-up is founded and contracts are signed. Subsequently, the work on investor readiness begins. The goal is to have financing rounds with an investor after a maximum of two years. 

For entrepreneurs

Fraunhofer HHI has technologically skilled researchers who use their expertise to drive the technical development of start-ups. If you are a commercial- and sales-oriented entrepreneur with start-up experience, interested in working as an entrepreneur in residence with technologically innovative teams, and are motivated to join a team as a founder, we look forward to receiving your email application, including your CV.

For start-ups outside of Fraunhofer HHI

The Start-up Program is also open to start-up teams from outside the Institute, demonstrating involvement in the core research topics of Fraunhofer HHI:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Vision & Imaging Technologies, e.g., Virtual Reality
  • Wireless communication and networks, e.g., 5G/6G
  • Video communication and applications
  • Photonic networks, systems, and components as well as sensors

It is crucial for the Institute to make a technological contribution to each start-up. Applications are welcome at any time. Please send us a pitch deck by email.