The Berlin Founders Fund #healthtech

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 experts from companies like EyeEm, Twitter, Pitch, AirBNB, Earlybird Ventures, Target Global, Techstars, Spotify, Snapchat, Wired, Microsoft, Ebay 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.

Specific Advice

We leverage our global network to provide you the right advice at the right time. Especially when it comes to complicated fields like health, hardware or public sector procurement, we have a track record of finding founders the best person to answer questions and open doors for them.

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, video, microsite, etc). We encourage you to submit your application in English, as many of our reviewers, mentors and community only speak English.

What are the other funds, that, if founders have received, excludes them from getting BFF funds?

XIST and any previous BSS supported funds. Here’s a list of other BSS programs

Does the company have to be registered in Berlin or is it ok in Brandenburg?

Berlin

I am applying with a business idea that's already incorporated as a company. Am I still eligible to receive BFF funding?

Yes, if a) the company hasn’t been registered or b) is registered for less than 3months at the date of submitting the application to BFF. (Exceptions are possible if companies are not yet fully and sustainably active, but must be approved separately)

🚨NOTE: Incorporation and Registration (Gewerbeanmeldung) are two different things.

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

Yes. It’s possible for us to fund up to three co-founders or first hires through BFF, but we 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 based in Berlin.

What is the selection process?

Our review committee consists of the BFF core team, experienced founders, VCs and experts from our network. We review each application individually and 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 and virtually. The best way to let the team know you’re a great candidate is to get involved in our day to day operations. Our monthly meetup is a great place to start, for example.

I am not a health tech startup, can I still apply?

We are currently only looking for early-stage startups working across health technology. However, we are accepting applications for other verticals, but it will take a bit more time to process your application as our current focus is on Health.  Also, when we cannot fund you directly we do try and connect you to our wider network for other opportunities, so it’s always a great idea to pitch us.

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 the duration.

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.

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, as well as online and (when permitted) we’re often making pit stops around Europe at other startup hubs.

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.

*We are currently only looking for early-stage startups working across health technology. However, we are accepting applications for other verticals, but it will take a bit more time to process your application as our current focus is on Health.  Also, when we cannot fund you directly we do try and connect you to our wider network for other opportunities, so it’s always a great idea to apply early and update us often. If you’ve reached new milestones, pivoted or brought on another co-founder since your application, send all your updates to bff@siliconallee.com.

BFF is funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and the State of Berlin.
The BFF for Health project is funded by the European Union as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Das Vorhaben wird aus Mitteln der Europäischen Union als Teil der Reaktion auf die Covid-19 Pandemie gefördert