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Fraunhofer Venture is the name of the spin-off division of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The new Ahead program has been set up there to provides startups with easier access to the technical developments and employees in the research network of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. For the first time, Fraunhofer Venture is therefore opening its doors to experts and young entrepreneurs from outside.

An initial four-day boot camp has already been held at the end of February: 30 teams developed business concepts on topics such as artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, digital medicine, energy storage systems and new materials. The teams that pass this first test receive funding of EUR 50,000 each over six months for market evaluation. If it emerges in this period that the concept of the new company requires more time and capital, additional funding can be made available through the technology transfer fund of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and its venture capital partners.

The aim of Ahead is to support technology transfer from Fraunhofer research to sustainable businesses and thus to increase the number of new companies in the high-tech sector. The program is intended to support the startups from initial development of the concept to market launch.