VentureZphere takes the skills of the stock exchange to the “outside world” and is the public relations portal for innovative, technophile start-ups, investors and mature and old SMEs. The objective of Zphere is the creation of a platform to help strategic partners find suitable investors, exchange information, agree on cooperation, and provide support with advertising, PR etc. if required. VentureZphere at Boerse Stuttgart was initiated by the start-up BW Partner Stuttgart Financial with the Boerse Stuttgart group, and is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Baden-Württemberg. No charge is levied for using VentureZphere at Boerse Stuttgart.
The VC networks and companies in Baden-Württemberg already make a massive contribution to the start-up scene in Baden-Württemberg with numerous events, online platforms and competitions. Industry-specific and regional focus mean that it is difficult to get a broad overview of start-ups suitable for VC, or of the activities across the whole VC scene in Baden-Württemberg. This is where "VC-BW – Network for Investment Capital” comes into play, presenting an overview of the activities to ensure that investors from outside Baden-Württemberg get all the information about the VC scene there at a glance. Selected young businesses also have a chance to introduce themselves at the annual VC event hosted by VC-BW. The VC pitch presents the “Best of Baden-Württemberg” to the investors. VC-BW was initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Baden-Württemberg together with Stuttgart Financial. Other Start-up BW partners and VC companies are included in the activities of VC-BW.
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.
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.