The big country survey part III: These Corona aids are available from the countries

Many federal states have special support programmes for start-ups. In the third part of our series, we highlight the measures in NRW, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia. Click here for Part I of the survey with the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin and Brandenburg. Click here for Part II of the survey with the states of Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony.

The federal government has made around two billion euros available to support start-ups affected by the corona crisis. It is passing on part of this to the state development institutes via its development bank KfW. The aim of this "Pillar II" is to support start-ups and small SMEs with mezzanine (i.e. a mixture of equity and debt) or equity financing. How start-ups actually get aid money therefore varies from federal state to federal state. Our overview shows what founders can count on in which federal state and how much money has already flowed.

North Rhine-Westphalia

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the state's own development bank, NRW.Bank, has launched a program specifically for start-ups. This runs under the name "NRW-Start-up akut

" and, according to the state, had given around 21 million euros to start-ups by mid-January. Wall loans of a maximum of 200,000 euros are handed out for this purpose.

112 commitments could give the development bank of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia until mid-January, also in the future the local Ministry of Economics expects a continuing high demand.


The state of Rhineland-Palatinate has launched the "Corona Venture Capital

" investment fund for start-ups. The Investment and Structure Bank of Rhineland-Palatinate (ISB) extends silent participations or open participations of up to 500,000 euros through its fund company WFT. 47 start-ups have been funded by the state with a total amount of 20.4 million euros until mid-January.

In addition, start-ups, like all other companies, can apply for help from the state's own "Future Fund". Those with up to ten employees can hope for an immediate loan of 10,000 euros, and those with up to 30 employees can even hope for 30,000 euros and a state subsidy of 30 percent of the loan amount. The already existing "Rhineland-Palatinate Innovation Fund II

", which is aimed at technology-oriented start-ups, has also been increased by the state by ten million euros. Start-ups from Rhineland-Palatinate can also apply for aid there.


Neither the Ministry of Finance nor a spokesperson for the Saarland Ministry of Economics have responded to the Starbase editorial team's inquiry. On the website of the Saarländische Investitionskreditbank there is only an undated announcement that they are working at full speed on the details of a funding programme for start-ups. Accordingly, there should be an offer by the end of the third quarter of 2020.


The Free State of Saxony has launched its own "Corona Start-up Assistance Fund

" (CSH), which is currently managed from the financial resources of the Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen (MBG).

86 requests have been received by MBG from start-ups by mid-January, of which it has provided 38 with capital to ensure their liquidity during the pandemic. 32 other applications for silent participation were still being processed at that time. Experts had rejected 16 cases by then.

MBG has invested a total of 17.2 million euros. In the future, the sum should still increase significantly, one assumes in Saxony. In the course of the second Corona wave, demand has recently increased significantly again, which is why Saxony has extended the offer of assistance via the fund until the end of June 2021 for the time being.


In Saxony-Anhalt, the path for start-ups leads to the ibg Beteiligungsgesellschaft

Sachsen-Anhalt. It provides assistance specifically for start-ups, the company is financed from a venture capital fund.

Three applications were received by mid-January - and the IBG also gave positive decisions to three of them. 1.2 million euros have been invested by the state.


Even in the far north they are trying to get their start-ups through the crisis. For this purpose, the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein has set up the "Schleswig-Holstein Special Participation Program

", which the state provided with a total of 15 million euros at the beginning. Due to the high demand, Schleswig-Holstein has added another ten million euros, bringing the fund size to 25 million euros.

Participants in the program are the federal government, the state of Schleswig-Holstein and the "Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft"(MBG), which enter into silent and open participations or issue subordinated and convertible loans. 49 applications were received by mid-January, 26 were approved, twelve were rejected by the decision-makers. The total amount disbursed to date is 7.86 million euros, and the state expects that in the future it will be much more.


In Thuringia, start-ups have to share their funding with other companies. Specifically, "beteiligungsmanagement Thüringen GmbH

", which acts on behalf of the state, has set up two funds to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. They invest in start-ups as well as other companies. Specifically, these are the "Thuringian Future Fund," which is fed by state funds, and the "Thuringian Future Fund II," which is fed by KfW funds.

Meanwhile, the conditions to qualify for funding are very much tailored to start-ups. Companies must not be listed on the stock exchange, have fewer than 50 employees and total assets of less than ten million euros. In addition, registration in the commercial register must not have taken place more than five years ago.

The two funds have already invested in start-ups. By mid-January, for example, 7.4 million had flowed from the first Thuringian Future Fund and 3.8 million euros from the Thuringian Future Fund II.

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