INVEST is twofold: On the one hand, it supports young innovative companies in the search for an investor. Second, it motivates private investors - in particular business angels - to provide venture capital for young companies.
Individuals (private investors) who purchase shares in innovative start-ups will be promoted with an acquisition grant. The investment must be at least 10,000 euros per company. Each investor can apply for acquisition grants for share purchases up to 500,000 euros per year. Shares having a value up to 3 million euros per calendar year may be subsidized per company. The amount of the subsidy is 20% of the acquisition costs (incl. Agio).
Additionally, since 2017 capital gains can be granted with an exit grant to compensate the taxes paid on the profit on the sales of the shares whose purchase was promoted with the acquisition grant (natural persons only). The exit grant amounts to 25% of the profit. The shares must be sold within ten years and the total amount of exit grants must not exceed 80% of the acquisition costs of the acquired shares.
The acquisition grant is awarded to private investors (business angels), who acquire business shares in young innovative companies and hold the investment for at least three years.
The acquisition grant is 20 per cent of the investment sum on share purchase. The investor must provide the company at least € 10,000. If the payment is linked to the fact that the company reaches certain milestones, each individual payment must be at least EUR 10,000. Each investor can receive grants for participations of up to EUR 500,000 per calendar year.
BAFA (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle) / Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control
It must be a small, innovative and independent company (less than 50 employees and max. € 10 million annual turnover or annual balance sheet total), which is less than seven years.
The company must be innovative, for example by belonging to an innovative sector. The company is also considered innovative if it either is the owner of an up to 15-year-old patent, which is directly related to the business purpose, or has received public support for a research or innovation project, in the two years preceding the application. The innovation of the company can also be proved by an expert opinion of an independent assessor listed on the website of BAFA.
Since 2013, the programme has had over 3.600 applications both from startups and investors and granted benefits of 42.9 Million Euro (update: January 31, 2017)
In 2016, the programme has been evaluated and been altered with the beginning of 2017.