Impressions MakeItMatter 2022 To the video
>SMART> GREEN Startup Night 2022 To the article
Green-Tech expertise in program form: ACCELERATE To the program


Zwei Männer im Beratungsgespräch zur Startup-Finanzierung Pre-Seed im Kreativpark Lokhalle Freiburg

With the pre-seed funding, we pursue the goal of securing initial financing for innovative startups with a focus on impact, developing a clear financing strategy for the next few years and laying the groundwork for follow-up financing at an early stage. The focus is on the attractive early stage financing offered by the state of Baden-Württemberg (BW) within the framework of “Start-up BW Pre-Seed”.

Through our network, we bring you together with business angels who know us and our program very well and can act as possible co-investors. In addition, you will learn the basics and mechanisms of financing rounds and better understand what investors look for. We work together with renowned investors and VCs with whom you can set milestones for future investments at an early stage and get a clear picture of your financial future. In 1:1 consulting sessions, we and the investors work together with you on your individual financing architecture. In addition to the Start-up BW Pre-Seed application, we offer an efficient mix of workshops with a focus on experts, investors and peer feedback, time and resource-saving online sessions and individual working sprints.

More information about Pre-Seed can be found directly below. Please also have a look at the FAQs.


Many innovative business ideas are never realized because many founders lack the necessary financing, especially in the early startup phase. For this reason, the funding instrument “Start-up BW Pre-Seed” was created. Start-up BW Pre-Seed is a funding instrument that starts at an early stage. In this phase, institutional investors are reluctant to invest because of the increased risk and the uncertain prospects for the success of the startup project. In order to support promising startup projects on their way to financing maturity, the state of Baden-Württemberg provides funding for the Start-up BW Pre-Seed program.

The >SMART> GREEN ACCELERATOR is a Start-up BW Pre-Seed supporting partner accredited by the state of Baden-Württemberg and thus the contact person for interested start-ups. These can receive ongoing start-up funding via the state of Baden-Württemberg and Start-up BW. The financing program supports innovative startups in the seed phase with a favorable loan with a conversion option. In addition to the financial support from the state of Baden-Württemberg, the start-ups funded by Start-up BW Pre-Seed are supported by >SMART> GREEN as they work on their business model and build up their companies.

The application amount is usually between 50.000€ and 200.000€. The financing instrument consists of at least 20% risk sharing by a co-investor and 80% funding by the state of Baden-Württemberg. For 200.000€, this would be 40.000€ co-investment and 160.000€ from the L-Bank. The co-investor can also increase his share to the same amount from L-Bank.

Startups from Baden-Württemberg can apply to us for pre-seed funding on an ongoing basis.

Pre-Seed Funding FAQ Start-up BW Website Apply Now!

Our investment partners

Still have questions? Please have a look at the FAQs first. If you still have any questions, please feel free to contact Julia: / +49 (0) 761 769 911 59

PRE-SEED consulting services

You can take advantage of various services and advisory offers from us if you want to apply for Start-up BW Pre-Seed with us as your support partner.

Business model check-up (mandatory)

In a remote call, we would like to understand your business model in detail and check whether pre-seed is suitable for you based on your degree of innovation, the framework conditions and the timing.

Info Session Financing Tracks and Scenarios

Based on various scenarios, we present possible startup financing tracks and, in the course of this, also address the “Start-up BW Pre-Seed” funding.

Info Session Pre-Seed en Detail

We go through the relevant application documents for Pre-Seed and show you what is important.

Consultation on financing strategy and story

We give you advisory on your financing strategy and work together on your financing story (for Pre-Seed).

Pre-Seed Jury Pitch training

You have probably already pitched (a few times) and know what content belongs in a deck. However, we will work with you on the structure for potential investors as well as the state of Baden-Württemberg and the L-Bank. We will prepare you for your pitch in front of the Pre-Seed jury.

Investor call with our partner VCs

What criteria do BonVenture and HTGF use to invest, for example, and what really matters? These questions are best answered by the VC themselves. You have the opportunity to ask questions about your startup and your financing strategy.

Business Angels Pitch Event

You will have the opportunity to pitch to the Black Forest Business Angels and get valuable feedback.

>SMART> GREEN Startup Night

This is not about Pre-Seed, but our event highlight: Let’s review an accelerator year in our brilliant and warm-hearted smartgreen community, bring impact on stage and celebrate successes together. Many representatives of the green tech industry and the startup support ecosystem will be there. In addition, the winners of the #MakeItMatter Award will be announced!

Investment example with Start-up BW Pre-Seed


Startups must meet the following criteria to be able to apply for Pre-Seed:

  • High degree of innovation and growth orientation of the startup
  • The startup must be founded or be in the process of being founded. However, the startup may not be more than three years old.
  • No equity financing by third parties on a larger scale yet (the total financing amount of Pre-Seed must be higher than the previous equity funding by third parties)
  • Co-investment must cover at least 20% of the total amount (if required, we will be happy to help with the search)
  • The regulations are available for download from L-Bank