HPI Venture Builder – The Incubator for Digital Engineers

The twelve-week incubation program for digital engineers without costs and equity charge. The industry-agnostic incubator is designed for every tech entrepreneur who strives to solve global challenges and create sustainable impact. During this program, our team provides you with guidance, resources and an outstanding community allowing you to focus on developing and growing your business idea into a successful startup.  


Program Overview of the HPI Venture Builder


Application Period 01.08.22 - 11.09.22 (11:59pm)
Interview Process 15.08.22 - 16.09.22
Announcement Participants 26.09.22 - 30.09.22
Informal Events (Co-Founder Matching, etc.) 24.10.22 - 04.11.22
Kick-off Week 07.11.22 - 11.11.22
Demo-Day (Intermediate Presentation) 15.12.22
Christmas Break 17.12.22 - 01.01.23
Investors-Day 09.02.23
Support and Founder Community Member ongoing



Venturing is a radically proactive approach to build, establish and grow startups while consistently applying a clear roadmap during the entire development and growth process. In other words, it is about iterative ideation and validation of a business idea, ultimately leading to a real startup

The Incubator for Digital Engineers is designed to structure and support the creation of your business model at a very early stage, so that your promising business idea can be developed and turned into in a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).  

Our program consists of twelve weeks of customized workshops, input sessions from experts, and mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs. Each week we will focus on a specific entrepreneurial topic. In parallel, you will further refine your business model and start to build your venture. Thereby, we provide guidance and focus on your individual needs, challenges and financing opportunities to build a successful startup.  

The incubation program is divided into two parts. It begins with a Kick-off event at an off-site location where you can meet the other participants and the support team.

After the first six weeks, you will pitch in front of potential investors. The first presentation ("Demo Day") will be on December 15, 2022, where you also get the opportunity to connect with investors. You will receive hands-on feedback including questions that need be answered prior to actual fundraising.   

After part one, we will take a two-week "Christmas break" during which you will have time to reflect on the past six weeks and afterwards redesign your business model, value proposition and go-to-market strategy.   

The incubator ends with the final "Investors Day" on February 09, 2023, when each team will present their venture idea again and get another opportunity to connect with venture capitalists and business angels for potential follow-on investments. We are aiming to get you and your startup to a level where you are ready to convince first customers and receive funding. 

After the 12 weeks, we will close the batch and individually support your team on possible next steps in the upcoming week. Nevertheless, the support never stops. You will become a lifelong member of our founder's community with regular alumni networking events and free advisory appointments at the School of Entrepreneurship. 

It does not matter what academic background you have. Everyone can be a (tech) entrepreneur. We will guide you on your way without taking away the whole experience of starting a venture from scratch. With our incubation program, you can take your business idea to the next level. 


Twelve-week incubation process with a clear structure and enough space for creativity 


Application period: 01.08.22 - 11.09.22 (11:59pm) 

Interview period: 15.08.22 - 16.09.22

Application Requirements

Application Instructions

Selection Process




Unique funding opportunity 

HPI Venture Builder - The Incubator for Digital Engineers offers through the HPI Seed and further investors the unique opportunity to obtain initial funding in an uncomplicated manner during the pre-seed phase to reach important milestones on the way to further funding rounds.  

Strong brand 

HPI is one of the leading institutes for IT in Germany. We have a strong brand and are trusted by many tech entrepreneurs. We have gained credibility over the years and our existing network of experts makes us a "Go-to Partner" for the development of new startups and enables further collaborations with companies, universities and venture capitalists. 

Outstanding community 

We already have a strong founders’ community, an existing entrepreneurship club with 80+ members and many successful portfolio startups working in our co-working spaces. The exciting combination between the entrepreneurial university ecosystem and investment opportunities connects well-educated talents, provides an infrastructure for an innovative environment and makes financial resources available.  




Co-Founder Matching: 

You are a perfect candidate or team for our program but you are looking for further co-founders? No problem! After screening all applications, we will have informal events where you can meet potential co-founders before the program starts. 

Investment on “Investors-Day”: 

HPI Seed will be the leading investor during “Investors-Day”. They are one of the few funds investing in such early-stage startups. If your team is ready, the HPI Seed will commit to investing 50.000€ in a pre-seed round.  

There is also the opportunity to connect with other leading Business Angels and VCs throughout the entire program for further investments.  

Funding Opportunities: 

Not ready for an investment but need money to continue working on the idea after the program? We will guide you to follow-up scholarships and programs you can apply for.  





Do I need a business idea before the incubation program starts?

What means having a validated business idea?

What happens if I don’t find a team as an individual before the Kick-off?

What if we already incorporated the idea and have a registered company?

We already have a scholarship or state funding, is that a problem?


Program Structure

Do I have to be in Potsdam during the twelve-week program?

What means full-time commitment? Are input sessions during the program mandatory?

How does the HPI Founder Scholarship work?

How does the team budget work?

Why is the incubation program without ECTS?


Data Rights

How do you handle confidentiality about information gained by me?

How do you deal with intellectual property?



Do I have to be vaccinated?

What if there is a lock-down during Kick-off or the rest of the incubation program?

Further Questions? Don't hesitate to contact us!


Program Manager

Franz Breu: franz.breu(at)hpi.de


Program Manager

Leonard Petter: leonard.petter(at)hpi.de

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