The L-Bank is the state bank of Baden-Württemberg. It provides tailored subsidy programs and financing concepts to support start-ups and corporate takeovers, and is closely linked to the Guarantee Bank of Baden-Württemberg, the Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft, the KfW Bank for medium-sized businesses on a federal level, and local banks. It implements a wide range of financial instruments such as low-interest loans, subordinated loans, guarantees and investment capital.
The MBG Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg is a publicly-funded investment company. It invests in newly-founded or existing companies by means of silent or active partnerships. This enables growth and innovation. It also strengthens the equity base of the companies and improves their financing structure. Chambers of commerce, trade associations and the banking industry are partners in the MBG.
Many innovative business ideas are never put into practice because the founders are experiencing a lack of necessary funds, particularly in the early founding phase. The State of Baden-Wuerttemberg wants to change this situation. In close cooperation with selected partners the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Housing started a new program regarding early-stage financing in July: Start-up BW Pre-Seed.
Innovative founders are supported in a mission-critical phase which is characterized by the reluctancy of private investors and Venture Capital Companies (VC) to invest due to the risks. This promotional instrument shall contribute noticeably in the preparation of promising start-ups for institutional investors to be ready for finance respectively for VC. Experienced managers of accelerators, incubators and start-up initiatives ensure the professional support and contribute 20 % of the financing. This offer of early-stage financing completes the financing chain for start-ups in Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Due to the corona pandemic, founders and start-ups are struggling with missing financing rounds leading to liquidity bottlenecks. To ensure that innovative and promising start-up projects and start-ups are not lost due to the corona crisis, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Baden-Württemberg is expanding the early-stage funding program Start-up BW Pre-Seed and starts "Start-up BW Pro-Tect". The funding program aims to bridge short-term liquidity bottlenecks. Start-ups that have been affected negatively by the corona pandemic and have already successfully completed a first round of financing can apply for a repayable grant of up to 200,000 Euro. The start-ups are supported in the application process by the selected program partners and continue to receive support from them after the grant has been approved.
The Seed Fund BW provides financing, together with the federal high-tech start-up fund, to a maximum of 100,000 Euro per financing round, if the high-tech start-up fund also pledges 500,000 Euro. The financing is funded by a combination of active partnership and subordinate loans. The investors for the Seed Fund BW are the State of Baden-Württemberg (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Baden-Württemberg), the L-Bank, the LBBW Venture and the MBG.
The VC Fund Baden-Württemberg provides venture capital for young, innovative businesses in Baden-Württemberg – from the seeding phase right through to start-up. Capital from the VC Fund Baden-Württemberg, and from the MBG Baden-Württemberg as parallel investor, helps to convert innovative ideas into products and services for the future. Private insurance companies are also investment partners in the VC Fund Baden-Württemberg, alongside the state (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Baden-Württemberg).
The state fund for innovative technological start-ups in their early growth phase, initiated in July 2017, is an important component in the Start-up BW campaign. Led by the Ministry for Economic Affairs, it was conceived by the L-Bank as a venture capital fund with a target volume of 50 million Euro. The L-Bank is the anchor investor. Capital has also been gathered in the private sector. LEA Venturepartner is managed by the LEA Partners GmbH fund management company. LEA Partners GmbH also manages the LEA Mittelstandspartner fund, which has been supporting companies with equity financing after their early growth phase since 2016, based on the same technology focus. The volume of the Mittelstandspartner fund is currently around 200 million Euro.
Startbase is the first digital platform with the objective of centrally mapping the entire German start-up ecosystem and making it more transparent. The clear vision is to play an active role in shaping the ecosystem and helping its members to achieve further growth by making networking easier. Over 750 enterprises are taking part at the start, including more than 600 start-up companies. A profile on Startbase enables start-ups to be found more quickly by investors and customers. Investors, medium-sized enterprises and corporate groups can also create a profile on the platform. Startbase is project presented by the Start-up BW Partners Boerse Stuttgart Group and Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V., the German Startups Association.