UFI Prototyping Grants

Our mission is to make prototyping easy and affordable for early-stage start-ups and student teams that have not yet secured financial backing.

These grants give you the freedom to refine your entrepreneurial idea and form your company.

Applications are open three times a year. Start-up teams and student initiatives can be funded up to two times.

Apply now for Prototyping Grants

Funding Amount

We support you with up to EUR 5,000 per grant.

We fund

  • prototyping material

  • hardware/software development

  • patent registration

We do not fund

  • Marketing and PR

  • outsourced product development

  • third-party services

UFI teams

Check out our already funded teams


Get your personal reminder for the next application phase




  • We primarily focus on early-stage B2B deeptech startups across industries that are part of the Technical Univarsity of Munich, TUM Venture Labs, MakerSpace and UnternehmerTUM ecosystem. You can find an overview of our industry focus on our website [here], but please note that you may still apply even if your industry is not specifically listed. It's important for us that the startup is led by at least two team members and develops a scalable product or service.

  • No, incorporation is not a requirement for applying. The program is specifically designed for startups that are in the very early stages of development.

  • Yes, international startups are welcome to apply as long as your startup is related to the ecosystem of the Technical University of Munich, TUM Venture Labs, MakerSpace or UnternehmerTUM. A connection to the ecosystems exists if e.g. a founder studies at TUM, you took part in a UnternehmerTUM program such as XPlore or can show track of similar activities linking you to the ecosystems. Your nationality does not matter, we look forward to receiving applications from around the world with diverse founding teams.

Application Process

  • You can apply for the "Funding for Innovators” grant program by accessing the application linkApply now for Prototyping Grants” available on our website. The program accepts applications in three batches per year: at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. The exact dates will be shared on the website. If you would like to sign up for a reminder for the next application batch, you can do so here.

  • For the application, you will need to provide the following required documents: a pitch deck, your company's logo, and general information about your startup and team (e.g. study background, project name and description, industry, legal form, website link, use of funding, funding estimate, fund raising plans, customers, UnternehmerTUM program participation, information about team members such as name, phone number, nationality and degree). If applicable, you may also opt to include a letter of intent, a letter of recommendation or a reference letter you want to share with the jury.

  • Yes, you can apply for the grant even if you have already received funding from other sources. The purpose of this grant is to support the development of your prototype, so it's acceptable to apply as long as you are building your prototype.

  • We thoroughly assess each application, so it typically takes around 5 weeks after the application deadline to receive a response. Please refrain from asking about an earlier response. We provide all teams with a response simultaneously. In case your application was successful, the Prototyping Grant will be paid out within 4 weeks.

  • You can apply for the grant as many times as you like, but the disbursement is limited to a maximum of two times.

  • Slides (12-15):

    1. Cover Slide
      1. Action Title: E.g., Accelerating the X industry through technology Y
      2. Engagement: Make it cool and compelling; the first impression is important!
      3. Branding: Your logo must be on this slide.
    2. Summary Slide
    3. Team
      1. Placement: The team can alternatively be presented at the end.
      2. Why is your team the right team?
      3. Funding & Support: Include details here.
        1. E.g., UnternehmerTUM Funding for Innovators (logo)
        2. EXIST
        3. Cap table and founder ownership stakes
      4. Advisors: List them here
    4. Problem
      • Action Title: Add an action title.
      • Detail: Explain trends and identify bottlenecks.
      • Specificity: Avoid being too general or having more than one problem slide.
    5. Solution:
      1. Example for the Title: "We address CO2e emissions in industry X through steps 1-4 with our breakthrough technology."
      2. Visuals: Include images of your technology.
    6. Technology
      • Secret Sauce: Explain what sets your technology apart.
        • Expertise
        • First-Mover Advantage
        • Example: Accompanying AI tech
      • Explain how it works.
    7. Competition
      • Differentiation: Explain why your young startup can already compete with established competitors.
      • Comparison: Compare your product to competitors on relevant metrics. Make it easy to understand.
    8. Market (1) Customers
      • Target Audience: Define your beachhead customers (with logos).
      • Validation: State customer validation/insights.
      • Market Cap: Optionally, state the market cap of these customers.
    9. Market (2) Long-Shot Market
      • Scope: Show the size of the beachhead market and how the long-shot market differs.
      • Realism: Be realistic about market size; consider a bottom-up calculation.
    10. (Go-to-Market)
      1. Sales Strategy
    11. Business Model
      • Revenue Streams: Explain how you intend to generate revenue. Will you sell software, hardware, or both?
      • (ARR: How will you generate Annual Recurring Revenue?)
      • CLV: What is the Customer Lifetime Value?
      • Traction: Explain your go-to-market strategy and current traction.
    12. Financing
      • Funding Sources: Detail your main funding sources.
        • Cumulative Grant Component
          • Source of grants
        • Cumulative Equity Component
          • Breakdown by EU, VCs (lead and follow), and Business Angels (BAs) (Only if applicable. It is totally fine if you do not have funding yet!)
      • Funding Needs: State how much funding you require and its intended use.
    13. Roadmap: Financing, technical, and commercial aspects.
    14. Ending Slide: Your logo, email, phone, LinkedIn, key quote, etc.
    15. Backup Slides: Additional technical details.

Funding details

Support Services

  • While the prototyping grant does not directly include additional support or resources, as a recipient, your startup becomes part of the UnternehmerTUM ecosystem. This affiliation provides access to various programs tailored for specific stages and industries of startups. Additionally, we provide up to 500 AWS credits for free to each team. More information about the opportunities, offerings, and programs can be found on the UnternehmerTUM website.


Best practices for a successful application

  • Make sure you are part of the local ecosystem of Munich. Engageing in programs like Manage and More, XPRENEURS, XPLORE and TechFounders can be beneficial to gain insights and connections.

  • Ensure you have a team with two or more members that is balanced regarding academic background, diversity and experience. Highlight the strengths and experiences of your team members.

  • Define your target and beachhead market clearly. Estimate the market sizes of TAM, SAM, and SOM ideally with a bottom-up calculation. Explain your approach to successfully scale your business in the future.

  • Develop a strategy for leveraging public funds to support growth. Develop a clear sales and customer acquisition strategy.

  • Explain how the technology works and show your technology roadmap. Emphasize the deep tech aspect of your solution. We focus on high tech teams with meaningful cutting-edge solutions.

  • Clearly depict what differentiates you from competitors and understand the competitive landscape. Ensure your intellectual property is protected or protectable (especially for hardware teams).

  • It is always benfificial to show that your business hypotheses is validated by obtaining Letters of Intent (LOIs) from potential customers. Insights into your completed pilot projects can also be very interesting. Target and secure initial customers to validate market demand.

  • Elaborate on the progress of your idea since your last application.