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 and 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 mentors to guide scientists along their entrepreneurial journey.
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.
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.
Putting the impact of research on a larger scale
As a scientist, you started your career on a mission to expand the frontiers of knowledge and create an impact with your research. In MAX!mize you can pursue the very same mission in the role of a start-up founder. Research shows that science based startups 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, network and financial support to focus on your start-up idea.
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.
Our six key offerings of the Start-up
1. Focus on science-based entrepreneurship
2. You can look forward to a structured program curriculum, exclusive and individual workshops with experts and access to experienced mentors who will enable you to transform your science to a start-up.
3. Upon successful completion of the Bootcamp, you can receive up to 50,000 € to cover personal and travel costs for max. six months to validate your start-up project in phase 1.
4. Once admitted to phase 2 by a positive jury decision, you will have access to a more flexible need-based funding for an additional max. 18 months to enter the market and incorporate the start-up.
5. If your start-up project requires additional funds and time to achieve investor or market readiness, MAX!mize will help you to apply for external grant funding, with the further possibility of funding additional costs for your project if required and if not covered by such a grant.
6. At the beginning of MAX!mize Phase 2, you will have the opportunity to present your start-up project at our Demo Day and gain valuable insights from potential investors and industry partners.
Requirements for your application
A minimum of two individuals is required for incubation in MAX!mize. The team may consist of, or be supplemented by, external team members who can participate in all program events. It is important to take into account, however, that only MPI-affiliated team members can receive funding.
The participation of the MAX!mize start-up incubation program requires a Technology Readiness Level of 3 which means a Proof of Principle/Proof of Concept.
After registering online, promising applicants will be invited to the MAX!mize Bootcamp. Upon receipt of a positive jury decision at the bootcamp, selected teams will start with Phase 1 of the program. All program events are conducted in English.
The application window for the next Batch is open. Apply now and submit your application form by December 4th 2022.
Supporting entrepreneurship in diverse
domains of science
You are working on innovative solutions to social, cultural and environmental problems that you want to drive to the market, irrespective of the underlying technological basis.
You are working on innovative solutions involving new technologies you want to drive to the market.
Application details for Batch #2 2022/2023
29th August 2022
Application window opens
4th December 2022
22nd til 24th February 2023
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.