FFM - Fraunhofer Fosters Management

Aim of the development program

Sophisticated technology, a good business model, and a strong as well as convincing team of founders are the three most important factors for winning investors and, thus, for establishing a high-tech start-up on the market. In particular during the very critical start-up phase of a company, an experienced director can make the decisive difference between success and failure. This is where the funding program “Fraunhofer Fosters Management” starts.

In particular in the venture capital market, a professional and convincing team of founders in combination with sophisticated Fraunhofer technologies is a powerful argument. In the early post-formation phase, FFM completes the entrepreneurial skills of the team with important management competences. The support is tailored to the individual needs of each start-up and may include coaching measures for the existing team of founders or even additional team members, e.g. an initial manager. Up to €100,000 are provided to the spin-off in the scope of the program.

This initiative is an uncomplicated and flexible possibility for Fraunhofer spin-offs to raise financial means to be well prepared for the way to successful first-round financing. Due to a sophisticated system consisting of antidilution and revenue preference, there are neither adverse effects on the balance sheet nor on the company’s liquidity. This makes the FFM measure attractive for spin-offs, but still, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft receives corresponding consideration in case of a positive development.


Important facts


  • All spin-offs Fraunhofer invests in may apply for FFM funding.
  • The subsidy amount is paid directly to the spin-off in several tranches with a maximum of €25k per tranche.
  • The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft provides advance payment to not impede the spin-off’s liquidity.
  • Interests for the subsidy amount become due only 12 months after payment of the subsidies. There is no due date for repaying the interest nor the amount received.
  • Corresponding consideration is only due to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft after a successful financing round in the form of antidilution or by means of a revenue/liquidation preference.
  • With jointly defined milestones and short contractual relationships, funding may be adapted systematically and without delays.
  • The existing team of founders should be supported by external experts (e.g. strategy, sales, internationalization) or services (e.g. marketing, SEO).
  • The spin-off is the direct contractual partner of the coach/manager/director and free to choose this person together with the Fraunhofer Venture partner.