Funding for Berlin - The history of the IBB Business Team

We have been the State of Berlin's funding body for more than 20 years and have been steadily improving the range of schemes and projects ever since our inception.

Today, IBB Business Team has grown to over 50 employees and runs ten different schemes to fund the Berlin economy and make its buildings more energy efficient.

Our beginnings as the Technologie Coaching Center (TCC)

We began our work back in 1997 as the Technologie Coaching Center (TCC). It was the Deutsche Ausgleichsbank (DTA) and Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) that brought the funding project to life, helping small and medium-sized enterprises grow through business seminars and coaching on a number of different topics.

The result of this project was TCC GmbH, the predecessor to today's IBB Business Team GmbH. The Kreativ Coaching Center (KCC), which created special consulting services for the creative industries, was initiated soon after launch. This programme funded creative and technology-driven business ideas, in particular. At this time, the Investitionsbank Berlin is the sole shareholder of TCC GmbH.

The Transfer BONUS funding scheme has been run by IBT since 2011. The programme, which is still very successful today, is intended to fund cooperations between science and research institutions and businesses. The aim is to strengthen the innovativeness of the Berlin economy or establish innovative business ideas.

New responsibilities for supporting the economy

In 2012, TCC GmbH is renamed IBB Business Team GmbH (IBT). IBT is now tasked with running more and more funding tools that are no longer focused solely on programmes and coaching.

One of these new tools is the Businessplan-Wettbewerb Berlin-Brandenburg. This project awards more than €50,000 in prize money to the best concepts over three phases. Founders also receive professional support to help them establish their business concept and can enjoy free seminars, workshops, consulting services and networking opportunities.

Another new responsibility involves organising and hosting Germany's largest start-up and entrepreneur expo, the Deutsche Gründer- und Unternehmertage deGUT. This two-day event offers young entrepreneurs and founders reliable knowledge and advice on all areas of running their own business and being self-employed, as well as a comprehensive programme of seminars and workshops.

Also in 2012, the Technologie Coaching Center and Kreativ Coaching Center funding projects are amalgamated under the Coaching BONUS scheme. This scheme is currently focused on funding start-ups that are looking to the future and building structures. In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises are guided through how to set up effective corporate structures with subsidised coaching under the motto "Helping you help yourself", empowering them to act independently.

2013 marks the start of the ENEO (Energy Advice for Consulting and Optimisation) funding project. It supports property owners and others by providing grants for energy surveys which highlight renovations that will make buildings more energy efficient. As well as promoting purely the economy, IBT is now also tasked with promoting property and real estate.

Digitisation in Berlin, 2015-present

Digitisation is one of the key issues of our time, not just for companies but also for public administration and other public bodies. In order to streamline the process of collecting, reviewing and processing funding applications, IBT launched the capital's first electronic funding application system in 2015. The application process is now entirely digital, allowing funding applications to be processed efficiently.

In 2015, the Coaching BONUS funding scheme is expanded to include two new funding streams focused on Internationalisation and Company Succession.

In 2016, IBT acquires IBB's telephone switchboard and expands its portfolio to include services. Postal and reception services are added the following year.

With its Benzin-Hybrid-Taxis programme, conducted between 2017 and 2019, IBT offers a funding tool aimed at e-mobility for the first time ever. The State of Berlin's aim with this funding scheme is to drive the energy revolution in the city. Berlin taxi companies can purchase brand new, subsidised petrol-hybrid vehicles provided they stop using outdated diesel vehicles at the same time.

E-mobility funding is expanded in 2018 by the Wirtschaftsnahe Elektromobilität (WELMO) funding scheme for commercial e-mobility. The purpose of this scheme is to electrify Berlin's commercial traffic and to incentivise all commercial operators in Berlin to transition to low-emission drive systems.

Launched successfully in 2018, the GründungsBONUS funding scheme is aimed specifically at start-ups and founders. Newly founded companies or companies in the process of getting established which offer applications, products and services that are novel or not yet on the market are supported with subsidies for initial costs.

Property funding expands in 2019 with addition of PLUS-Gruppe

In 2019, the State of Berlin launches an offensive in the areas of housing and environment. The three funding schemes GründachPLUS, HeiztauschPLUS and EnergiespeicherPLUS are intended to contribute to an improved urban climate, reduce CO₂ emissions, expand renewable energies and encourage energy-efficiency renovations in buildings, making Berlin a better place to live. All three funding tools are managed and run by IBT:

Anyone who wants to help limit the negative impacts of climate change on the city through roof greening can apply for funding as part of the GründachPLUS scheme. Particularly innovative and effective concepts that can act as beacons for future projects receive up to 100% funding.

Old heating systems are often highly inefficient. With its HeiztauschPLUS scheme, the City of Berlin is incentivising people to reduce CO₂ emissions by replacing old systems. Funding is provided in the form of subsidies for purchasing and installing new systems, plus tailored advice on individual building renovations.

With EnergiespeicherPLUS, property owners have the opportunity to get grants for energy storage systems provided these systems store energy from the newly built photovoltaic systems and feed it back into the central grid. The aims of this scheme are to increase the share of solar power and to decentralise the city's energy supply.

Funding for sustainable mobility and digitisation added to portfolio in 2020

In March 2020, funds for the successful Wirtschaftsnahe Elektromobilität (WELMO) scheme for commercial e-mobility runs out and applications are temporarily closed. In October 2020, the scheme relaunches with new funds and new guidelines: cars are no longer eligible. The focus is now on light commercial vehicles and electric small and light vehicles.

In November, the federally funded Digitalprämie Berlin funding scheme is added to the range of funding available for Berlin companies. Organisations can apply for financial support with the digital transformation of work, production and management processes, introducing and improving corporate IT security, and digital advice and qualification.

The Abbiegeassistent Berlin funding scheme, aimed at improving road safety within commercial traffic, launches on 10 December. Up to 20 turn assistance systems, subsidised with up to €1,500 per system, will make it easier for HGVs operating in Berlin to voluntarily retrofit systems and provide better protection for cyclists and pedestrians, and HGV drivers themselves.

LastenradPLUS, the first funding scheme to be exhausted in just three hours, launches on 10 May 2021. Currently, the parties involved are in discussions to increase funds in order to continue the scheme and enable more Berlin organisations, associations and freelancers to get funding for cargo bikes and trailers.

Investment funding in the portfolio from 2022

On 7 April 2022, the Berlin Investment Bonus (BIB) funding programme of the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Enterprises was launched. It is primarily aimed at the gastronomy, tourism and stationary retail sectors, as well as service and craft enterprises, which have been particularly affected by the pandemic. SMEs and freelancers can apply for subsidies of up to 30 per cent for investments in establishment, expansion, transformation and diversification, for example. For projects that meet special sustainability criteria, the programme grants a further 5 percent subsidy.


Image credits: bluejayphoto from iStock // djrandco from shutterstock // Jurga Jot from iStock


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[Translate to English:] Erfolgsgeschichten der IBB Business Team GmbH

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