For start-ups

Game changers need capital – often more than planned until they reach market entry and initial sales. Together with our partners we offer financing for innovative start-ups from seed to later stage. In addition to finances, our network organizes a platform for knowledge transfer and cooperation between start-ups and medium-sized companies, direct contact to industry experts, and much more.

Seed Fonds III for the region Aachen & Mönchengladbach

Seed Fonds III for Aachen & Mönchengladbach (SFA&MG III) invests equity and more in innovative start-ups from the Aachen, Mönchengladbach, Rhineland (Lower Rhine) and surrounding regions. As a regional fund, we finance innovative industries and technology sectors, preferably with a B2B focus. We are not limited to specific sectors.

Our fund portfolio ranges from medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to industrial software and mobility services as well as logistics solutions and fintech. As a seed fund, we provide start-ups in our region with up to €3 million in equity capital in the seed phase and beyond (more with co-investors) to develop and market innovative business models and technologies.

Quick facts about our current range of funds:

  • €22 million fund volume in 3rd Fund
  • Early-stage start-ups – up to approx. 18 months from registration or operational launch
  • Head office or place of business in our investment region
  • Maximum €3 million investment per start-up, €1 million in the first round
  • Mostly co-investment – higher investment therefore possible

The Seed Fonds Initiative was launched by NRW.Bank in 2007. Besides Aachen there are also seed funds in Wuppertal and Paderborn. Measured by capital invested and investments made, the Seed Fonds Aachen is the largest and most successful overall.

Our first seed fund was launched with the Seed Fonds Initiative in 2007 which had a volume of €8 million. The first Seed Fonds Aachen has been fully invested for some time.

Generation Seed Fonds II has a volume of around €15 million. Its portfolio currently includes some very successful companies which are developing over the next few years until exit. (->current portfolio)

The SFA&MG III is our third and largest fund generation to date. The fund has a volume of over €20 million and was officially launched in April 2018. Our investors are NRW.Bank, DSA Invest II GmbH and the Sparkassen Aachen, Heinsberg and Mönchengladbach. (->our investors)

In the first round we invest up to €1 million in companies in the seed phase. These companies should not be older than 18 months or have been operational for longer. Many of our investments are made with co-investors or business angels. This allows for financing rounds of more than €1 million, and we can contribute industry-specific know-how, a valuable network and lots of experience. The SFA&MG III’s maximum financing volume across all rounds is €3 million.


Interested? Looking for capital? Talk to us!

This is the information we need from you:

Team

Most important of all – why and how are you working with each other, who's doing what?

Pitch deck

Put together all the information about your business model. Also have a look at the Knowledge Base.

Capital needs

Explain clearly how much money you want, where it should come from, and what exactly you want to do with it.

Unicorn?

Or a flash in the pan? What makes you unique and why should we invest in you?


What happens next? Our process:

1. Initial contact
There are many ways to contact us. Meet us at events, call us or use our contact form. As a first step we have a look at your pitch deck to determine whether an investment is suitable for us. In most cases the pitch deck already raises questions, which we can clarify direct with you.
2. Evaluation
If we are happy after examining the initial documents, we proceed by presenting a new project internally within the team and obtain assessments, experience or industry know-how. Often, additional research is required. All results, open questions, etc. will then be communicated to you.
3. Meeting(s) in person
After reviewing the documents and internal discussions, we arrange a personal meeting with you where we clarify any questions and get to know each other. The most important thing is that we develop a common understanding and we are clear about the direction we want to take.
4. Term Sheet
If everything is right on a personal level and regarding the subject matter, our common understanding is summarized in the term sheet. This is signed by all investors and founders. The term sheet typically covers: evaluation, investment amount, use of funds and rules for cooperation.
5. DD and board decision
After signing the term sheet, we start the due diligence (DD) process. Depending on the case, the DD will cover market, technology, legal, financial and other issues. The DD auditors are independent experts in their field. The final decision is then made at our board meeting.
6. Contracts and notary
Following a positive decision by the board, the investment contracts are drawn up. For this we select an experienced law firm from our network which is familiar with the world of start-ups. We then take the final contracts to the notary who notarises them. Welcome to our portfolio!

Knowledge base

With our knowledge base we want to equip you with some technical vocabulary and perhaps answer a few questions before they arise. It is important for us to communicate with our partners at eye level in all matters. In order to achieve this, common understanding is indispensable.

Start-up

Not every new business is a start-up and not every business model fits a VC investor. Here you will learn about the differences and features.

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Equity & debt capital

Statistically, start-ups entail a significantly higher risk than established companies. Therefore, special investors are needed to finance them.

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Valuation

Company valuation is a key factor in negotiating an investment. However, it is extremely difficult to establish in the case of start-ups, as historical data is usually not available.

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Investment and exit

VC companies invest capital and know-how in promising start-ups. It is a temporary partnership that should result in a profitable exit.

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Investor reporting

Investors want to know how companies in the portfolio are developing. For this purpose, certain key business figures are collected and reported. Our reporting is concise.

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Fund duration

A VC fund invests money in promising early-stage start-ups. This puts the fund at full risk and only provides a return if and when the value of the company increases.

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Due diligence

In due diligence (DD) audits, investors learn everything important about the start-up. Typical areas include management, commercial, financial and legal.

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Pitch deck

The pitch deck provides a concise summary of all relevant information an investor, for example, needs for an initial assessment. The pitch deck has largely

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Venture capital fund

A venture capital (VC) fund invests money, its network and other resources in young companies that are in the early stages of business development.

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Smart Money

In addition to equity financing, we also offer targeted assistance, coaching or discussions with experts. Debt capital is also available if required. Feel free to contact us about these possibilities.

Patent Strategy

Patent Strategy

Patent applications, portfolio diversification, continuous analyses and internationalization are activities that are of particular importance in know-how intensive projects.

Reporting & Management

Make or Buy Decisions

The structure of appropriate and straightforward reporting is easy to handle during ongoing operations if set up professionally. We provide support in maintaining the necessary documentation and recommend tax advisors or suitable management templates.

Geography and Regulatory Affairs

Geography and Regulatory Affairs

Going to the US, China, India: international market entry requires knowledge of national customs and guidelines. Establishing an entity and its governance, for example in the USA, requires a cooperation network, which can be financed by the Starter Kit.

Market Entry Strategy

Market Entry Strategy

Market entry and the associated marketing opportunities, sales channels and industry-specific strategies are critical for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs can use the Starter Kit to receive advice if required or have experienced business individuals accompany them through the market entry process.

Finance Strategy

Structure of Internal Organization

Structure of Internal Organization

As a company grows, its internal structures also grow. The core task of management is to keep an overview of all the processes. With the Starter Kit, we offer young entrepreneurs support in this core area by teaching management methods and personal coaching.

HR & Recruiting

HR & Recruiting

Attract people and keep them motivated over the long-term for the common cause: the Starter Kit supports the development of a professional web presence and corporate philosophy, and simplifies access to various HR consultants and expert networks.

Resource Management

Resource Management

Liquidity planning is particularly important for start-ups whose business requires expensive hardware, and can be addressed by various measures such as factoring. We establish the right connections to service providers who support such resource management.

Make or Buy Decisions

Make or Buy Decisions

A flexible structure in the value chain is key to start-ups that have limited liquidity but want to become visible in the market early with the first version of their product. The Starter Kit supports the financing of consulting, development and production partners for scale-up.

Good to go? Prepared your pitch deck? Or you have some more questions?

Contact our staff direct: