Venture capital: finding the right partners

Venture capital investments in North Rhine-Westphalia are growing. This makes financing options for start-ups more diverse.

Technology and knowledge-based start-ups often have increased capital requirements in the start-up and growth phase. In addition to traditional loan financing, the acquisition of additional equity is a key success factor for these companies. In addition to just financing, such venture capital investments often also offer access to the investor's network and industry-specific know-how. This makes venture capitalists important partners for young companies with great development potential.

Despite loan financing remaining a dominant factor, there are noticeably more venture capital companies and business angels in this country.

The state's goal is to make North Rhine-Westphalia an even greater hotspot for venture capital and thus a top location for technology and knowledge-based start-ups. Every year, NRW.BANK provides equity finance to numerous companies.

win NRW.BANK Business Angels Initiative

The win Business Angels Initiative of NRW.BANK (information in German only) takes care of bringing business angels and innovative growth companies together in order to broker private investments.

NRW.BANK Seed Fund Initiative

Through the Seed Fund Initiative (information in German only) NRW.BANK is currently supporting the early phase of technology-oriented companies through eleven regional seed funds.

Companies that are no older than 18 months are eligible for funding. The investment volume per company is usually up to 500,000 euros in the first step and up to 1.5 million euros over several financing rounds.


With NRW.SeedCap (information in German only), financing from business angels is doubled. NRW.BANK participates with up to 200,000 euros – under the same conditions as the business angel offers.

Regional entrepreneur fund

Venture capital commitment at regional level is also crucial. For example, the Gründerfonds Ruhr. (information in German only) offers support in this respect. These regional structures also make it possible to establish networks and bring business angels, venture capitalists and business founders together.

NRW.BANK Venture Fund

From NRW.BANK Venture Fund (information in German only), 250,000 euros and 6 million euros is made available to young, innovative companies to strengthen their equity and create a solid basis for growth. The aim here is to enable expansion for existing companies that have already gone through initial financing rounds.

In addition, there is currently:

NRW.Start-up akut

The NRW.Start-up akut programme (information in German only) is aimed at technology oriented corporations in the seed or start-up phase that are affected by the effects of the coronavirus crisis. NRW.BANK supports these companies with up to 200,000 euros of state funds to bridge financial bottlenecks.