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The Program

MAX!mize is the official start-up incubation program for the Max Planck Society by Max-Planck-Innovation. The program supports scientists planning to become entrepreneurs. They receive individual assistance with their start-up idea and learn to apply new skills in finding viable business models. In MAX!mize we believe that entrepreneurship is the best way to maximize the impact of science.

Program elements include workshops, coachings, networking activities with start-up and industry experts, investors and fellow entrepreneurs. The two-phase program offers access to dedicated funds and experienced experts to guide scientists along their entrepreneurial journey.


Kick off your 
journey now 

After applying online, the program starts with a three-day Bootcamp which puts your start-up idea to a first stress test.

Phase 1: Explore and validate your start-up idea

After successfully completing the Bootcamp, your goal is to validate that you are addressing a relevant market need, that you have defined your technology and product roadmap and built a convincing team ready to drive the idea to market. Phase 1 ends with a jury session after max. six months where you present your project and action plan for the company building.

Phase 2: Build your venture and achieve investor readiness

In MAX!mize Phase 2, you will get specific know-how support and need-based funding for a period of 18 to 30 months, depending on the individual challenges of your start-up idea. In both phases you will have regular check-in events to work on your start-up idea and to discuss it with peers and start-up experts.

Our Services

Meet your coaches, join our Max Planck community, and access funding to build your start-up project.


Mission: Expanding the impact of research on a larger scale

As a scientist, you started your career on a mission to broaden the frontiers of knowledge and create an impact with your research. In MAX!mize you can pursue the very same mission yet in the role of a start-up founder. Research shows that science-based start-ups bring more innovations to the market and create more jobs. Therefore, our goal is to create the perfect environment for science-based entrepreneurship where potential founders can learn and grow in a safe as well as challenging atmosphere. Our key ingredients: start-up know-how, networking and financial support to focus on your start-up idea.

Red logo of Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH

Max Planck Innovation

The start-up incubation program MAX!mize is organised by Max Planck Innovation. Max Planck Innovation is responsible for technology transfer from the research institutes of the Max Planck Society. Max Planck Innovation GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Max Planck Society.

Application details for Batch #5

5th of August

Application window opens

until Dezember 2024

Selection process

18th of November 2024

Deadline Applications

18th to 20th of February 2025

MAX!mize Bootcamp

Questions? Do not hesitate to contact us!

Thank you for your message! We will get back to you soon.

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