After a successful start of the certificate "Food Startup Gründung" in June 2021 with a total of 12 participants, the Food Startup Incubator Weihenstephan (FSIWS) is already in the starting blocks again for the next round of the certificate starting in March 2022. From then on, interested founders can again go through a twelve-month program at the end of which a university certificate, the foundation of a food startup or the chance to receive an EXIST founder scholarship of up to 140,000 €. As of now, it is also possible to apply for a full scholarship for the fee-based certificate course. In particular, mothers interested in founding a company will again be considered when the scholarships are awarded.
In June 2021, FSIWS successfully opened the doors for the first time by offering a "Food Startup Creation Certificate" to anyone who has ever toyed with the idea of creating a food startup. "Getting the chance to develop our idea under professional supervision at all is very unique and has helped us a lot," reported one certificate participant enthusiastically.
This professional supervision is one of the unique selling points of the certificate. Participants receive individual coaching every two weeks to discuss the progress of the project. After all, the goal of the twelve-month support is to develop a food idea to market maturity - and to found a food startup with the certificate in hand.
Special support is also offered to founders who want to apply for an EXIST-Gründerstipendium with a funding amount of up to € 140,000.
Within the funding period of 12 months, the founders are given the necessary freedom to realize their ideas both technically and entrepreneurially. In close cooperation between the team, start-up network, university or research institution, the successful market entry or the application for a start-up grant is to be prepared in a targeted manner.
In the first round of the certificate, FSIWS succeeded in motivating two mothers with its own scholarship to further develop their food idea with the support of the certificate's experts. Nadine and Esther, the two young mothers in the certificate program, particularly appreciate the flexibility of the certificate between online/offline events.
Due to this flexibility, part-time participation is also possible. The only prerequisite for participation is a university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur, but also master craftsmen with work experience and comparable qualifications). The application is deliberately kept simple: With just a few details about yourself and your start-up idea, you can apply for one of the certificate places.
In addition, those interested can also apply for several full scholarships for the paid certificate.
The certificate is designed to be very practice-oriented, as the FSIWS would like to address above all the crafts, agriculture and gastronomy. This means that the knowledge imparted from the numerous workshops can be applied directly to one's own project.
The workshops and webinars offered include all the relevant information of food startup creation - from product development to food manufacturing, basics of marketing and sales to financial planning, funding opportunities and business startup.
A special highlight of the certificate are also the monthly joint product development appointments at the university's Food Startup Incubator with its diverse pilot facilities and laboratories for food development and production. There, participants develop their ideas together and conduct mutual tastings. All facilities of the can be used by the participants free of charge for the entire 12 months of the certificate.
Particularly noteworthy is the networking that is possible within the certificate but also with already established startups and network partners of the FSIWS. This is also highly appreciated by the current participants:
"The startup spirit at the incubator is incredibly motivating. The collaborative work at the incubator and the exchange with other startups is also very helpful."- Sebastian Merk
"The FSIWS network to different partners is very valuable as a young founder. And also the exchange to the other certificate participants is super helpful." - Alina Demke
Those who wish to start in March 2022 can apply online no later than Jan. 16, 2022. Further information on the certificate and the application documents are available at