The Berlin Founders Fund

Equity-free capital, local support and a global network for early stage founders

0

equity taken

2000

euros per month

15

founders per year

12

month residency

Meet our BFFs 

A network of Europe’s top founders and investors

We’ve gathered a qualified group of friends and partners to support early-stage founders. Our BFF founders get to meet 1-on-1 with world-class advisors, but all are welcome to join our public events and gain access to founders of companies like EyeEm, SoundCloud, Skype, WeTransfer, WestTech Ventures, Project A Ventures, Techstars, Prezi, AngelList, Positive and more.

We’ve got everything you need to launch and grow your business

Living space

The Silicon Allee Campus has 14 beautifully-furnished apartments to rent to entrepreneurs who are new to Berlin. They’re available on a first come, first served basis.

Work space

Our campus hosts some of Berlin’s most notable VCs, startups and tech companies. Take advantage of workspaces or we’ll get you a deal to work from one of our partner’s co-working spaces around the city.

Workshops

Join and listen to renowned Berlin founders who have faced the same struggles you’re facing. We host regular workshops and organize 1-on-1 sessions with portfolio companies.

Events

From large-scale fireside chats with industry titans to more intimate private dinners, we bring value to our funded founders and encourage them to make the right connections. We have a proven track record of hosting exceptional events for almost a decade.

Free legal help

As an early stage founder you need guidance when it comes to incorporating, shareholder structure, IP and other topics to make your startup investment ready. We offer free legal support and the right contacts to get you sorted here in Berlin.

Soft landing

Berlin has become one of the most renowned startup hubs in the world. It’s increasingly difficult to get grounded here and to plug into the right network. We’ve set up incredible resources and a team to ensure you have a soft landing.

Welcome to the neighborhood

Silicon Allee has been supporting Berlin’s founders since 2011

On stage at our BFF Pitch Up event
Summer Block Party 2019
Designer details at the Silicon Allee apartments

Frequently Asked Questions

Investment

What exactly does equity-free investment mean?

It means we provide funding but do not take any equity in exchange. We provide founders 2,000€ per month for up to one year.

Sounds interesting. How do I apply?

We try to keep the application process short and sweet. Apply here. Be sure to include a pitch deck. We encourage you to submit your application in English, as many of our reviewers, mentors and community only speak English.

I have a co-founder. Can we both apply for funding?

Yes. It’s possible for us to fund up to three co-founders through BFF, but reserve the right to choose only one founder. Please only submit one application per team.

Who is your ideal candidate? What are you looking for?

We’re looking for early-stage founders who are not funded but might be already speaking to potential angel investors. They likely have an early MVP and need financial support to focus on their idea full time. Founders should be looking to grow their business internationally but be based in Berlin.

What is the selection process?

Our team reviews each application individually and will follow-up with any potential questions or feedback. We like to invite short-listed candidates for a 1-on-1 meeting to try and understand a bit more about the founder and their startup.

I’m very interested. Do you have any tips for applying?

Be present. We host lots of open events related to BFF and additional activities on campus. The best way to let the team know you’re a great candidate is to be more involved in our day to day operations here on site. Our monthly meetup is a great place to start, for example.

What is the time commitment?

As entrepreneurs ourselves, we know you don’t need a babysitter. Each month, we bring in world-class speakers for you to hear from and connect with. We do organize additional social and educational activities that may be valuable for you, but allow you to decide if you would like to join or not. The funding lasts for up to one year, and we expect you to remain in Berlin for an additional two years after this.

I am not from Europe, can I apply for funding?

Yes, this isn’t a problem. The main requirement however is that you move to Berlin, but our team can support you with this should you be selected.

I’ve raised a financing round for my startup, can I still apply?

It depends. Be sure to clarify why you need this funding to support your living costs in addition to the financing that you have raised. Our goal is to support founders who cannot work full time on their ideas.

I’m currently fully employed and working on my idea as a side project. Can I still apply?

You can apply, but you must quit your job if you are accepted. Founders who receive funding must be focused full-time on building their startup.

Does BFF provide support with Visas?

Yes. Our team will work closely with you to get a work visa should you be accepted.

About BFF

Who is behind this?

We are the team behind Silicon Allee. Our founders are experienced entrepreneurs who have been supporting the Berlin and European startup ecosystem for over a decade. The rest of our team has a depth of experience in community and event management and are here to ensure that your setup in Berlin is smooth and hassle free and you make the right connections to hone your business.

How is BFF financed?

The Berlin Founders Fund is financed through the European Social Fund and the State of Berlin. These are our first “LPs”. We launched BFF in this constellation to bring more jobs to Berlin and support the foundation of more startups.

Where is BFF based?

BFF is based in the Silicon Allee Campus, at the heart of the Berlin tech scene. You can often find us downstairs in our coffee shop R/D.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Feel free to contact bff@siliconallee.com should you have any additional questions.

 

They say finding a VC is like getting married. With us it’s not that complicated, just get in touch.

Have an idea and want to launch it in Berlin?

BFF is funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and the State of Berlin.