The Start-Up Scale program supports high-potential start-ups within the Digital Hub Initiative network.
Over the course of three months, founders can receive personalized and flexible guidance and support for key phases of growth.
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 mentoring opportunities by industry experts. The focus is always on the teams' current goals and needs.
The program combines the forces of politics, industry and science. Up to six start-ups from the initiative’s twelve Digital Hubs are selected for each 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
Last batch
Victoria Engelhardt
Anna Bojic
Miss Moneypenny Technologies
Maraja Fistanic & Pia Michel
Gesche Weger
Female founders that are shaping the future.
Katharina Schmidt
Selection process
​​Start-ups that take part in our program are nominated from the twelve Hubs of the Digital Hub Initiative. The first step is to connect your start-up with a Hub that suits your business.
The final shortlist of participants is drawn up in close cooperation with the experts from each Hub.
In the selection process, criteria like feasibility of the product, structure of the founding team, technological depth as well as the general market potential are all taken into account. This batch two external Start-ups in were able to join the programme through two wild cards.
Add your Start-up to our Start-up finder or contact the hubs directly.
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: Identifying needs
Phase 2: Customized program
Phase 3: Implementation of the program
In phase one, the individual needs and challenges of the founding teams are identified during a workshop.
Depending on the previously identified needs, a custom program plan is developed for each start-up during phase two. This involves identifying specific challenges and contacting the appropriate experts.
Finally, phase three begins with the implementation of the events. The start-ups benefit from targeted content and networking with, for instance, political representatives.
Political Roundtable
The Political Roundtable with Thomas Jarzombek (Commissioner for Digital Economy and Start-ups, BMWi) and the representatives of the Digital Hub Initiative provides the opportunity to voice any wishes, concerns and market insights.
Expert Events
Within the framework of the Expert Events, start-ups are offered a thematic deep dive as well as the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with experts in the field. The format aims to inspire and help locate starting points for various challenges.
Scale Seminars
The purpose of the personalized Scale Seminars is to provide founders with concrete opportunities as a launch pad for their further development. The workshops cover a wide range of topics, from brand development to organizational design and financial modeling.
The program has three phases.