AHEAD - Empowering Hightech Ventures


Fraunhofer Venture acts through AHEAD as the central platform between the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the national and international entrepreneurship ecosystems. As one of Europe’s premier technology transfer programs, we invest our passion for science into a new generation of deep tech entrepreneurs.


You can work with us as...

...a researcher from Fraunhofer or one of our partner research institutions,  

in order to leverage your technologies into new ventures. A tailored and deep tech proof process achieves clarity on your business potential and turns your idea into a viable spin-off – in just 2 months or max. 2 years.

...an entrepreneur, startup, entrepreneurial corporate or any other player from the startup ecosystem,

you benefit from a one-stop-shop for an enormous source of deep tech ventures and at the same time will find the technological competence for your deep tech need.


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Be part of AHEAD - our target groups

We are the central platform for technology transfer between Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the entrepreneurship ecosystem. For...

... researchers

  • Join the entrepreneurial fast track toward your spin-off or licensing deal
  • Found your own company supported by the AHEAD program
  • Or let true entrepreneurs build the founding team and support the spin-off from within Fraunhofer with your expertise

... entrepreneurs and startups

AHEAD enables external startups and founders to benefit from Fraunhofer technology and bring innovative high-tech products to market.

... corporates

  • Be part of a sustainable and growing network
  • Be able to work with technologies and motivated teams from all of our 72 institutes and get access to the next cutting edge high-tech start-ups
  • Support our teams via industry specific workshops, network events, mentoring and/or access to resources of industry partner

... investors

Invest in the outcome of our early-stage incubation program: our spin-offs and participations

AHEAD gets the right experts at your side


  • A curated network of experts with a variety of backgrounds from product designers, investors, IP lawyers to psychologists or startup CTOs or CFOs
  • In-depth experience in deep tech and B2B contexts
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and hands-on interaction with our teams from individual coachings sessions to in-depth workshops


  • Become a mentor of one of our high-tech start-ups
  • Share your knowledge and experience as a mentor and be involved with personal and direct interaction before, during and after the foundation
  • Become part of Europe's unique deep tech network


  • Hightech-proof experts from various fields and backgrounds help us select the most promising ventures and entrepreneurial teams
  • Provides guidance, expertise and network

Partnering Research Institutions

  • Learn from the best and each other
  • Benefit through strong research partners
  • Dense environment of hightech ventures

How does AHEAD work?

Ahead will support you by...




on the right problem at the right time.

AHEAD helps you identify the most critical questions for your venture at any given point in time and integrate those into your everyday work life.



...making sure you have the right


at your side to build your venture.

AHEAD provides you with access to the right experts for all aspects of the venture creation (team, market, product, institute) at the right time.




you to our network for faster market entry.

AHEAD is connected to corporate partners, co-founders and local ecosystems to accelerate you on your way to market.

  • 4-day bootcamp is the critical entry gate
  • Assess your venture readiness levels with experts from industry, entrepreneurship as well as team, market and product development coaches
  • Create your tailored roadmap with their feedback

  • Max. 6 months + standardized funding of 50,000€ to show us that you are addressing a deep customer problem, clearly define the IP you need, and build a convincing team
  • Sign a term sheet with Fraunhofer that makes the final deal predictable + work out a market entry strategy
  • AHEAD support: networking events, workshops, coaching, co-working, access to Fraunhofer laboratories, whatever else is needed
  • You will meet in Munich every 3 weeks to check-in with your team + coaches.

  • Apply to Phase 2 based on the term sheet and your go-to-market strategy
  • Get a flexible amount of funding and ongoing support for a further maximum of 18 months
  • There is one single objective: bringing technology to market.

You want to be part of our next batch in January 2021?

Please contact Florian Ascherl!

Want to take off with us?


Your Promoters

Having questions about starting your own business and want to talk to someone face to face? Or are you interested in learning more about the current innovation management offers at your institute?


Your contact

Have an idea and want to talk about it directly with your contact at Fraunhofer Venture? Or do you need more information on our offers? Get in touch!


Exciting events

Want to experience entrepreneurship live?

Join our network and attend our events! Our events include the Munich Investment Forum, innovation forums and start-up days!


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