Invest in the fund

Gain impact to drive your business success

We have been investing in early-stage tech start-ups for 16 years now. This has enabled us to build up a wide range of expertise in the evaluation of technologies and business models as well as to establish a large international network. Our highly qualified investment team has a wealth of experience in science, engineering, economics, law and humanities. We act as a sparring partner for both our portfolio companies and our fund investors. 

A partner for industry and SMEs

We see ourselves as a platform that promotes a dialogue between start-ups, investors, industry and SMEs in Germany and Europe. We want to help safeguard Germany industry’s competitiveness and capacity for innovation in the long term. Right from the very start, leading enterprises have been among HTGF’s fund investors. In addition to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and KfW Capital, the investors in our fourth fund include many companies from a wide range of industries. Medium-sized companies in particular are strongly represented, along with many large corporations and family offices (Start of the investment phase in fall 2022).

Added value for your business

Our offer to fund investors to help strengthen their innovative capacity:

Cooperation with start-ups

  • Close cooperation in research & development, sales, production, and building customer–supplier relationships, including with later stage companies from previous fund generations (over 200 collaborations between fund investors and portfolio companies).
  • Valuable impetus and insights to help drive cultural change, digitalization and strategic development of the core business.

Co-investments and M&A opportunities

  • Our fund investors decide on investments and gain access to investment and acquisition opportunities (11 exits to fund investors completed so far).
  • From seed phase to exit, our fund investors directly invest in the HTGF portfolio (more than € 150 million to date).
  • Maintain close ties to start-ups with easy and direct access to curated deal flow & our active portfolio, including later stage companies from previous funds generations.

Knowledge transfer

  • Best practices and key learnings from successful and failed portfolio start-ups.
  • Our portfolio companies and our team share their know-how on topics such as digitalization, technologies and the development of venturing activities, thus helping you to implement your strategies.
  • Building VC know-how on topics such as deal sourcing, portfolio management and investment controlling.
  • Access to our extensive network, which has developed over 16 years, with more than 60,000 contacts from start-ups, industry, funding programs, investors and the scientific community.

Inspiration

  • An outside-the-box approach provides your business with direct impetus (e.g. through access to deal flow).
  • Identification of market-related, international trends in advance.
  • Fresh impetus on topics such as digitalization, innovation management, sustainability and pivotability.
  • Inspiration provided by sharing experiences in the start-up ecosystem, for example at our events. We offer a platform for cross-industry dialog and direct access to innovative technologies and teams.

Strengthen innovative capacity

  • Innovative impulses through close ties with start-ups.
  • Cooperation helps to accelerate change in your own company.
  • Investments enable targeted and sustainable development of your core business through access to technologies and know-how.
  • The diverse range of technological topics enables a broad perspective on technology trends and innovative business models.
  • The cross-industry exchange between start-ups, SMEs and corporations promotes synergy effects.

Avoid misinvestment

  • Sparring partner for optimal cooperation with start-ups and for your own investment decisions.
  • Important lessons learned from more than 190 failed companies.

Stay close to the start-up scene with a visible commitment

  • Strengthen image and visibility as an innovative and sustainable company (including among the political sphere and society).
  • Active positioning and participation at our events.
  • 1:1 sessions with founders, e.g. at HTGF events.
  • Support in finding the optimal addition to your management team and matchmaking with the right experts as well as access to our start-up job portal.

Support of spin-offs

  • Potential investment participation by HTGF and access to investors.
  • Access to know-how in areas such as success factors, IP transfer, VC readiness and milestones.
  • Direct contact with incubators & accelerators (e.g. xdeck or German Accelerator).

Contact us

  • Our team will be happy to advise and consult with you on how we can meet your individual requirements.

A clear focus on the technologies of tomorrow 

A crucial benefit for our fund investors is the wide range of technology start-ups that we invest in – industrial tech, digital tech, life sciences, chemicals and other adjacent sectors. By working with HTGF, companies can expand their knowledge of developments in their own industry while also gaining an “outside industry” perspective.  HTGF has so far invested in 670 technology enterprises. Each year, roughly 2,500 start-ups submit their pitch decks. We share our knowledge and also provide an insight into our deal flow and crucial technologies of the future.

Impact on corporate success 

Working together with young companies offers a way for our fund investors to help shape transition within their own company, to further develop their core business and to also obtain new business approaches and fresh impetus. This also applies to the aspect of sustainability, which HTGF will place a greater focus on in its analysis and selection methods in future. The HTGF network provides various opportunities to collaborate with young companies from the most diverse range of innovative fields. Commercial enterprises also play an important role in helping entrepreneurs to implement their ideas and to strengthen Germany’s long-term standing as an innovation hub.

Blog
18. May 2022

GWA Hygiene and Dräger: From collaboration to investment

How does a company specialized in medical and safety technology with a more than 130-year history end up getting together with a six-year-old start-up? Common goals, collaboration on an equal footing and good partners are key aspects in this regard. That is at least according to Jens Altmann, President Business Unit Data Business at Dräger, and Tobias Gebhardt, CEO at GWA Hygiene. Dräger, a global corporation, recently invested in High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) portfolio company GWA Hygien
 
Blog
5. May 2022

A strong call for entrepreneurship

Think about your business from the perspective of the customer. Make sure you do not become arrogant. These two key tips to scaling companies come from someone who knows what he’s talking about. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hermann Simon is one of the most experienced economic experts and advisers in Germany. He is also a professor emeritus who has taught at some of the most prestigious universities. In 1985, he founded the consultancy firm Simon-Kucher & Partners. Prof. Simon is the autho
 
Blog
4. November 2021

The added value of collaborations

How can established companies and start-ups develop side by side? The secret is cooperation, to which HTGF attaches particular importance. Alex von Frankenberg, Managing Director of HTGF, picks up on a number of successful examples from the roughly 200 collaborations between portfolio companies and fund investors to show why in some cases one plus one equals three. Alex von Frankenberg, what would you say are HTGF’s main tasks?  HTGF is a seed investor. And as this description s
 
Blog
31. August 2021

What HTGF can offer its fund investors (besides investments) 

 Ever since it was established 16 years ago as a public-private partnership, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) has always worked closely with companies. The third fund alone secured over 30 fund investors, and a fourth fund generation has already been announced. HTGF sees itself as a platform that offers added value for private and public fund investors, portfolio companies and the start-up ecosystem. In this interview, Alex von Frankenberg, the seed investor’s Managing Director, outline
 
Blog
6. July 2021

From backpack start-up to platform: The success story of HTGF fund investor FOND OF

To some, FOND OF is simply known as the backpack start-up, but the Cologne company sees itself as a platform for development, unleashing potential and personal growth. So what does that mean exactly? To find out, we asked Dr. Oliver Steinki, founder and Managing Director of the start-up, which is currently one of High-Tech Gründerfonds fund investors. We spoke to him about finding the right work environments, navigating the path to creating the perfect school bag – and why you shouldn’t
 
Blog
29. June 2021

Accelerator activities at SAP.iO: “Creating a win-win-win situation”

Alexa Gorman is considered one of the world’s leading experts on start-ups. She began setting up a start-up program at SAP in 2017, and since May this year has been responsible for the software company’s global activities in this area in her role as Senior Vice President and Global Head SAP.iO Foundries and Intrapeneurship. In this interview, she talks about developments in the international start-up scene and SAP’s collaboration with young companies – and also reveals why the compan
 
Press
22. June 2021

Expansion of a successful public–private partnership: seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds to launch its next fund generation

After three successful funds and over 600 seed investments, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is to launch its next fund generation, HTGF IV.Structuring of the fund has already begun. The seed fund HTGF IV will complement the ‘Zukunftsfonds’ (Future Fund) modules with investment focused on the areas of digital tech, industrial tech, chemistry and life sciences.“Confidence in HTGF is very high. It has been investing in young tech companies in Germany since 2005. We are delighted
 
Blog
18. December 2020

How passion and expertise led to a billion-euro exit

As a High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) partner, Dr. Bernd Goergen has just signed the most successful exit in HTGF history. US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences is set to acquire German biotech start-up MYR for roughly EUR 1.15 billion. In this interview, he speaks about the fight against Hepatitis D, drug development and his own personal successes. Bernd, congratulations are in order! In 2011, HTGF took up a stake in MYR. And now you’re about to close a billion-eur
 
Blog
25. March 2021

Start-up meets corporate – an interview discussing the successful collaboration between Userlane and B. Braun

You could say that Alexander Katzung and Hartmut Hahn met by chance – and you’d be right, but it was in an organised setting. And it’s this idea that underpins the networking activities of High-Tech Gründerfonds when it brings together fund investors and portfolio companies. The portfolio company in this instance is Userlane, which offers software that explains other software to users as part of a step-by-step process that is easy to understand. HTGF invested in the company in 2016, a
 
Blog
26. February 2021

Why pivoting is a radically good move and fundamentally important

After more than 600 seed investments, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) has conducted a study to see how founders can perform a successful pivot. Managing Director Alex von Frankenberg presents the results together with his colleague and Senior Investment Manager Gregor Haidl. In addition, the two experts explain why pivoting is also important for experienced companies – and why they believe “we all make mistakes”. Alex, your credo is: “We all make mistakes.” What do you mean b
 
Blog
15. September 2020

“HTGF plays a valuable role that goes beyond seed financing”

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is celebrating its 15-year anniversary. Professor Dieter Jahn, who spent many years heading up BASF Group’s Science Relations and Innovation Management competence centre, was one of the initiators and driving forces behind the seed-stage investor back in 2005. Since day one, Jahn has been at HTGF’s side as a member of its advisory board. In an interview, he talks about how it all began, underlines HTGF’s importance as a driver of innovation, and explains
 
 

HTGF Blog

Get inspired We think nothing is more exciting than the start-up and venture capital scene. Experts share their knowledge with you and start-ups reveal how they have successfully overcome challenges. Here you will find valuable input for your work and will find illuminating insights into our portfolio companies. There also will be plenty of fun and entertainment along the way! As we said, nothing is more exciting than start-ups.
 

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