Elaborations by Kuang Dai, ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg GmbH

3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem:

According to the Isenberg model (2011), the State of Brandenburg has a well-balanced and well-functioning entrepreneurship ecosystem. Among the factors policy, finance, culture, markets, human capital and supports the strength of Brandenburg lies in the human capital and supports. More than 50 universities and research institutes in the German capital region provide enough young talents for the start-ups in Brandenburg. Due to an established founder support network, the local start-ups can obtain comprehensive services from intercultural coaching to financing advising, from pre-formation phase to expansion period.

Regional Hubs

  • Potsdam City (ICT / media / creative industries)
  • Potsdam-Golm (life sciences and healthcare)
  • Hennigsdorf (life sciences and healthcare)

Other university locations in Brandenburg, e.g. Frankfurt/O and Cottbus.

Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem

There are nine clusters in the State of Brandenburg, namely: energy, food industry, life sciences, and healthcare, ICT/media/creative industries, plastics and chemistry, metal, photonics, transport/mobility/logistics as well as tourism.

Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs

In cooperation with the Brandenburg Economic Development Board (ZAB), the State Bank of Brandenburg (ILB) offers various innovation financial programs to support start-ups and their new technologies. The program “Gründung innovative” provides the start-ups with a public grant in the amount of €25,000 to €100,000 for their investment in tangible fixed assets, personnel costs (new jobs) and external consultancy services. During the seed and start-up phase, the small enterprises in Brandenburg can choose an equity financing up to 1.2 Mio. Euros that is invested by the “Brandenburg Frühphasenfonds”. You can find more information about the grants, loans and equity financing possibilities in Brandenburg here.

Presence and Industrial Focus of Established Industries

The Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI) at the University of Potsdam is worldwide one of the leading research institutes for computer sciences and internet technologies. Under the roof of HPI, there are D-School (design thinking for innovation), E-School (entrepreneurship education) and Hasso-Plattner-Venture (VC) that work very closely with the largest European software company SAP.

The start-ups related with the nine clusters in Brandenburg would be integrated into the cluster network.

Presence of Incubators/Accelerators

There are 18 technology and founder support centers in the whole State of Brandenburg. For more Information on this topic: www.tgbev.de.

Presence of Research Institutes and Universities

Brandenburg Universities

  • University of Potsdam (business, ICT and nature sciences)
  • Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (energy and transport/mobility/logistics)
  • European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder (business)
  • Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF (media / creative industries)

Brandenburg Universities of Applied Sciences

  • Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences
  • Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development
  • University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP)
  • Technical University of Applied Sciences (TH Wildau)


  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering – Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses branch in Potsdam-Golm


  • Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
  • Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology
  • Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)

Herman von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

  • Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht/Teltow (HZG) Institute of Biomaterial Research / Teltow
  • Alfred Wegener Institute Research Centre in Potsdam

Noticeable Events

Kuang Dai