The Start-Up Scale program supports high-potential start-ups within the Digital Hub Initiative network.
Over the course of three months, the founders receive personalized and flexible guidance and support for key phases of growth. The fourth batch supports migrant founders.
What is Scale
What is Scale
Every measure of the Scale program is specifically designed to meet the needs of the start-ups: from a political roundtable to address their needs directly with political decision-makers, to interactive workshops, to pitch training and presentation opportunities. The focus is always on the teams' current goals and needs.
The program combines the forces of politics, industry and science. Up to ten start-ups from the initiative’s twelve Digital Hubs are selected for the upcoming round.
What is Scale
References from our alumni
Beyond the interaction with experts, the program reveals just how important the interaction among the participants themselves is.
“The program’s support has allowed us to get well prepared for our new round of funding. We’ve also switched to a completely new financial model.”
Gesche Weger – Co-Founder & CEO, pack:wise
“Our outsourcing project was greatly influenced by the analysis you provided and the support we received during our decision-making process. Thank you very much!”
Carlo Ulbrich – Co-Founder & CSO, Nect
“We revised our sales strategy based on the insights the expert gave us.”
Marco Riccardi – Founder & CEO, QuoIntelligence
“I really enjoyed the conversation I had with Max Viessmann. What he said was really insightful and eye opening!”
Michaela Wachtel – Co-Founder & COO, watttron
“The expert seminar inspired us to undergo a full rebranding of our entire brand structure. We started with the implementation right away.”
Victoria Engelhardt – Co-Founder & CEO, Keleya
“I hired two new employees so that I could scale up our sales operations. The expert helped me figure out which tasks I should keep and which I should hand off.”
Katharina Schmidt – Co-Founder & CEO,
Recommendation rate
Overall satisfaction with the program
Satisfaction with the event’s structure
Program conformity with individual needs
Satisfaction with the individual support during the program
Next Batch - Migrant Founders
The future is diverse.
Peter Grouev & Dean Hastie
Tushaar Bhatt
Tolga Ermis & Elias Kardel
Burak Acilan
Denis Stogl
Stogl Robotics
Muhammad Sukmana & Nils Karn
Selection process
​​This batch focuses on migrant founders. We believe in the power of diverse perspectives and want to support and amplify the voices of those with unique experiences. The program delivers relevant value to teams and supports them on the path to exponential growth.
Startups participating in our program are nominated from the twelve hubs of the Digital Hub Initiative or received a wild card for the program based on their particular potential. The final selection of participants was made in close cooperation with experts from the hubs.
The selection process considers criteria such as the feasibility of the product, the composition of the founding teams, technological depth, and general market potential. This year, we are focusing on founders with migrant backgrounds. This year's batch is designed to last three months and started on March 30th 2023.
The selection of the fourth batch is completed.
Experts and mentors 2021
A unique benefit of the Start-up Scale program is the targeted linking of start-ups with suitable experts from fields relevant to them.
Anna Fedulow
Strategy Consultant / Business Coach / Investor
Founder and Managing Director of the female business angel group Croton Capital. Previously part of the leadership team of Rising Tide Europe and Corporate Strategy Consultant at BCG.
Annahita Esmailzadeh
Innovation / Technology
Head of Innovation at SAP Labs in Munich focusing on new technologies and business models. Formerly a consultant for business processes and project management in the automotive sector.
Dr. Lea Siering
Legal / Compliance / Information Security
Chief Risk and Chief Legal Officer at finleap connect. Focusing on compliance, information security, legal, data protection, money laundering and public affairs. Author of a number of publications.
Frauke Heistermann
Industrie / Handel / Logistik
Co-founder of AXIT AG. Focus on digitalization, IT, cloud, IoT, big data, supply chain management, logistics and more. Board member at various companies, formerly CDO at Siemens Logistics.
Gloria Biberger
Organisational Design / Service Design
Freelance designer and organisational consultant. Focusing on strategic development of innovative and user-centric product and service ecosystems. Previously a Manager Design at PWC.
Tanja Kufner
Venture Capital / Start-up Landscape
Head of Ventures and Start-ups at Nemetschek Group. Focusing on start-up and venture capital industry. Advisor to the European Innovation Committee (EIC).
Constanze Buchheim
Leadership / Transformation / Innovation
Managing Partner and founder of i-potentials. Focusing on digital economy, growth and leadership. Also a business angel, author, speaker and advisor for German politics.
Dirk Müller-Dornieden
Business und Financial Modeling / Business Intelligence
Founder & Managing Director at Cambrian. Focusing on start-up coaching in financial modeling, business modeling and financial planning.
Mischa Smeljanskij
Digital Marketing / Communication
Communications & Marketing Consultant. Focusing on digital channels and activating target groups. Also Communication Director Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg.
At our Scale Seminars and Expert Events, the experts are there to support the start-ups and act as mentors. They are sparring partners and advisors, providing assistance in solving problems. The result is an exchange of ideas and concrete results.
Our experts are selected on the basis of the needs identified by the start-ups. This is where we make use of the Digital Hub Initiative's comprehensive ecosystem of business, research and politics.
Program Process
Phase 1: Kick-Off and Joint Events
Phase 2: Pitch Training and networking
Phase 3: Political Roundtable and Closing
In phase one, relevant topics are addressed interactively in target group-specific workshops. The needs of the teams are analyzed and regularly evaluated over the program period.
The founders receive exclusive pitch training and learn how to present their business models and succeed on stage confidently. They then pitch in front of a relevant audience at a networking event.
At the Political Roundtable with political representatives, questions can be asked in an exclusive exchange, thus creating an open discourse. After the program, the team becomes part of the alumni community.
The program has three phases.