The AHEAD Program

AHEAD is the central platform between the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the national and international entrepreneurship ecosystems. As one of Europe's premier technology transfer programs, we invest our passion for science into a new generation of deeptech entrepreneurs.

The 3 phases of AHEAD - Bootcamp, Phase 1 & Phase 2

The 4-day Bootcamp is the critical entry gate. During the Bootcamp, you will assess your venture readiness levels with experts from industry, entrepreneurship as well as team, market and product development coaches. As a result, you will create a tailored roadmap with their feedback.

In Phase 1 you will receive max. 6 months of time plus standardized funding of 50.000 € to show us that you are addressing a deep customer problem, clearly define the IP you need, and build a convincing team.

Sign a term sheet with Fraunhofer that makes the final deal predictable and work out a market entry strategy.

AHEAD supports you with networking events, workshops, coaching, co-working, access to Fraunhofer laboratories and everything else you needed.

After succesfully finishing Phase 1, apply for Phase 2 based on the term sheet and your go-to-market strategy. During this Phase, you will get a flexible amount of funding and ongoing support for a further maximum of 18 months.
There is one single objective: bringing technology to market!


You want to be part of our next batch?

Benefits that come with AHEAD


A curated network of experts with a variety of backgrounds from product designers, investors and IP lawyers to psychologists or startup CTOs or CFOs. They demonstrate in-depth experience in deeptech and B2B contexts.


We at AHEAD strongly believe, that each project and team needs to find teir individual way to the market. To successfully embark this path, we connect our teams with experienced entrepreneurs that help them as a mentor.


Hightech-proof experts from various fields and backgrounds help us select the most promising ventures and entrepreneurial teams. The Jury provides guidance, expertise and network.



As a Promotor you accompany transfer teams, inititate innovation projects and test new business models at the institute. Motivate colleagues and act as a role model to think and act entrepreneurially, by initiating changes in tech transfer.

Our special Tracks


SDG Track

AHEAD's SDG Track, short for Sustainable Development Goals, is for any spin-off or licensing projects at Fraunhofer, that seek to solve global, social or environmental challenges in an entrepreneurial way.


Life Science Track

The Life Science Track of AHEAD is a special subprogram for tech transfer projects in the fields of medtech (hardware) and drug development.

SDG Track

Here you have an overview of the timeline during the SDG Track. The first touchpoint will be the Bootcamp, followed by a jury session, which will evaluate your sustainability, according to the SDGs. After getting accepted for Phase 1 and SDG Track, you will have Check-ins in Munich or online every 3 weeks. In addition to regular program contents you will be able to get access to special workshops, coaching sessions, networking opportunities and more.

SDG Track partners

Impact Hub München

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Impact Hub München

The Impact Hub network is a global community of entrepreneurs and organizations that see entrepreneurship as a tool to help shape society in an impact-oriented way. At Impact Hub we are connecting and enabling entrepreneurs, change makers and forward-thinking organizations to accelerate the transition to a green and inclusive economy. We develop frameworks, structures and methods for an understanding of future-proof entrepreneurship and pass it on to our startups.


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Sharkbite Innovation supports organizations at the intersection of technology, innovation and sustainability. The goal is to master the challenge of a sustainable business transformation. The Sharks are guided by the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN: translating them into the private sector, transforming sustainability challenges into new business opportunities and connecting companies with innovators worldwide.

Life Science Track

Here you have an overview of the timeline during the Life Science Track. Teams who apply for the Track, will attend the Bootcamp and Sprint, which take place together with all the other AHEAD teams. After that, there will be 3 Check-ins, that are specifically thought-out for your needs. We run this track together with Helmholtz Munich and Life Science Factory Göttingen, which means that the Check-ins will take place physically in Göttingen.

Take part in the AHEAD Program

Quick Check - Possible commercialization paths

You don't know how you want to commercialize your idea/technology? Test it with our online tool!

Find your Fraunhofer Tech

For founders who want to integrate Fraunhofer technology into their products, the Fraunhofer CoLab offers a MatchMaking service to determine the right Fraunhofer Institute.

For Entrepreneurs

If you are an entrepreneur or founder and want to bring the next Fraunhofer spin-off to the market or use Fraunhofer technology, AHEAD is the right adress.

For Corporate Partners

At AHEAD we believe that innovation only works with strong partners. We offer you the opportunity to partner up with our program and receive access to innovative high-tech teams.