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Germany pledges to unlock €30bn financial boost for its startups

The government wants to make Germany a “founding republic” by boosting financing for startups and reforming taxation of employee stock options

By Zosia Wanat

Germany has pledged to mobilise €30bn of additional funding by 2030 to foster its startup scene, according to the country’s first comprehensive policy roadmap for startups.

The 32-page document, approved by the federal cabinet on Wednesday, details how the country’s coalition government wants to improve the startup ecosystem of Europe’s largest economy. The 10-point plan includes boosting financing for startups, reforming taxation of employee stock options, facilitating spinouts at universities and strengthening diversity.  

“I want to make Germany a founding republic,” finance minister Christian Lindner said in a statement. 

“The startup strategy now presented serves this purpose. There is no lack of private capital for innovations. However, there is often a lack of the right framework conditions for investments in startups to be successful. As the federal minister of finance, I want to improve the financing options.”

According to the strategy, the startup sector is supposed to be a driver of the country’s economic growth. In 2020, the sector employed 415k people — by 2030, this number is expected to increase to 974k. In 2021, a record €15bn was invested in the country’s startups. 

To achieve this goal, the government wants to facilitate investment by insurance companies and pension funds in venture capital funds.

The plan also foresees creating special funds for deeptech and climate tech, and a separate pool of money just for female founders and social entrepreneurs. 

Christian Miele, the CEO of the German startup association, said in a statement that the document is “a good working basis for the coming years”. “But one thing is also clear: a strategy is only as good as its implementation,” he added. “In order to make Germany the world market leader for startups, we need more courage and determination”.

Miele added that policymakers should go even further with its actions that would improve the conditions of hiring talent, referring to even more adjustments to the stock exchange scheme and changing the immigration law. 

The government indicated that the new laws will be implemented by autumn 2025.

Zosia Wanat is Sifted’s central and eastern Europe reporter, soon to be based in Warsaw but currently in Brussels. She tweets from @zosiawanat

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