Our Incubation Program

Batch #9 is coming soon!

The application for our next batch is closed. Stay tuned to find the latests news by end of 2023!

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About the program

Proven concepts, structured guidance and tailored to early-stage startups.

The HHL DIGITAL SPACE provides a 12-week incubation program for early-stage founders. It includes structure where it is needed while at the same time offering enough room for creativity. It requires concentrated analytical and empirical work and contains many feedback loops from external and internal experts, focus groups, or customers.

Problem-solution fit

Make the best of your idea.

How the program can help you

Many startups develop great products or services. They put a lot of heart, soul, and energy into building structures, and manage to convince investors. Given the many challenges that a young company faces, it is important to invest enough time in the basis of every business model: the problem-solution fit.

Therefore, our focus during the 12-weeks program is as simple as complex: find and evaluate a suitable problem-solution fit and develop a prototype.

We believe that this is the strong foundation on which to build start-ups sustainably.


... and grow your startup!

Do you have a digital startup idea?

You want to grow as a first-time founder?

Joining the vibrant startup ecosystem in Leipzig excites you?

If it sounds like a match, get started and send us your idea deck describing your idea and team background. After reviewing your application, we will get in touch with you for the next steps on your entrepreneurial journey.

Get ready to start your journey with us in 5 steps

Step 1
Idea Slide Deck
What to include
  1. Information about you and your team (Team size, competencies, motivation, current situation, availability.)
  2. Information about your start-up idea (What, why, how, for whom? Current state/phase?)
Step 2
Apply on our website

Fill in the application form below and upload your idea slide deck (as PDF).

Make it as brief or detailed as you like, but make sure to convince us.

Step 3
Get to know each other
The most promising teams will get an invitation to the interview round - get prepared to pitch your idea and team.
Step 4
After a round of recalls we'll make the final decision if the program is the right fit for you.
Step 5
Off we go

Receive the final admission and get prepared for your take-off with us.

Our focus? Entrepreneurs!

The HHL DIGITAL SPACE is your place to grow as an early-stage entrepreneur. We support ventures from a wide range of innovative industries. Everyone can apply with an idea for a digital solution to solve a problem in a scalable manner in both, the B2B or B2C sector. 

When selecting participants for our program, we don’t focus on the industry you try to disrupt, but on the entrepreneurial fit of your team, the degree of innovation of your idea, and your strategies to cope with a 12-week full-time program. We’re looking for curious entrepreneurial minds who are passionate about learning and growing a lot over 12 weeks and beyond. Ideally, you‘re interested in applying for the EXIST scholarship as well.

We match if you are...

  1. A first-time founder.
  2. In the idea phase of your startup.
  3. A team of at least two people or willing to form your team soon.
  4. Willing to come to Leipzig for our most important events.


Most frequent questions and answers

The more the better. The program is designed as a full-time program. However, if you are a team and able to structure your time well, it is possible to have other obligations. But keep in mind that the program requires a lot of time, if you want to make the best out of it.

You can attend the program remote through digital conferences and more, however we have fixed dates, that we need you to come to Leipzig, for instance our highlight event Launch Day.

We need to know the problem you want to solve and the solution you want to work on. We also need information on the team and their background.
Some startups have evaluated more than others, so it’s up to you to decide how many slides you need to include to convince us…