Start-up: Games-Entrepreneurs

Melanie Fussenegger
An educational program aimed at games students and developers for founding indie studios in Berlin and Brandenburg.

“Start-up: Games-Entrepreneurs” was launched in 2022 as a pilot project with the aim of providing creatives from the games sector with practical knowledge for their own founding process with the help of industry experts. Having successfully established itself as a contact point for founders of indie studios in Berlin and Brandenburg in recent years, the program is now set to become even more attractive to a broader target group by being held in English.

The free educational program is aimed at founders from the games industry and is specially tailored to their needs. The program consists of three pillars:

  1. workshops on founding a successful game studio and publishing the first game,
  2. mentoring of the individual teams by industry experts,
  3. networking with other indie developers and within the games industry in general.

The individual workshops take place on working days for a full or half day on site at the Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur or regionally based game studios and institutions in Berlin and Brandenburg. Occasionally, workshops can also take place online.

Workshop Content

Here is a preliminary overview of the topics covered in the workshops.

What you need to know about founding a company
Company vision, legal questions about founding, taxes.


How to secure your financing
Forms of financing, business plan, funding opportunities.


What you need to consider when publishing your game
Self-publishing, publishers, pitching, networking.

How to reach your target group
Press relations, social media marketing, community management.


How to lead your team and company successfully
Leadership, team building, project management.


What moves you
We keep this part open for topics that are also important to you.


The mentoring program is available to participants from July to December 2024. Selected mentors who support the program can be contacted directly by the teams to arrange appointments. Each team has a fixed number of hours available.

Here is an initial overview of our confirmed mentors for this year’s program. The list will be updated on an ongoing basis.


After the kick-off workshops in July, the workshop program will take a summer break in consideration of gamescom. The main part of the program will take place between mid-September and mid-December. The individual dates will be announced as the program progresses.

There will be a joint conclusion to the program in January 2025.


Start of the Application Phase

Interested parties can submit their documents via the online form at the bottom of this page until June 24, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.


Jury Meeting

A jury of representatives from the German games industry will review the application documents received and decide on the teams’ participation in the program.


Notification of the Applicants

Applicants will receive feedback on the jury’s decision the day after the jury meeting.


Kick-off Workshops - Day 1

The official launch of the program will take place on the premises of the Digital Games Culture Foundation and will offer participants the opportunity to get to know each other in addition to initial content.


Kick-off Workshops - Day 2

On the second day, the focus will be on content. In the evening, an informal meeting with the alumni will round off the kick-off.


Start of gamescom

The gamescom in Cologne starts. In cooperation with game – The German Games Industry Association, the teams will receive free trade visitor tickets for gamescom (valid from August 21 to 23).

gamescom Logo

Start of Games Ground

The Games Ground in Berlin starts. As part of the program, participants will receive festival tickets for Games Ground (valid from 14 to 16 November). A pitch event is also being planned as part of Games Ground.

Games Ground Logo


These start-up teams have already successfully participated in our program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost to participate in the program?

Participation is free of charge for the selected teams.

Who can apply?

  • Individuals and teams with the intention of founding a company.
  • Companies that have already been founded but have not yet published a commercially relevant game.
  • Applicants can belong to all age groups. From students and graduates to career changers, everyone is welcome.
  • Applications from diverse teams will be given special consideration.

What are the application criteria?

  • Teams have a maximum size of 5 people.
  • The team members are or the company is located in Berlin and/or Brandenburg.
  • All team members should be able to attend the workshop dates.

Which projects are included in the program?

  • The project must be a digital game.

A product idea or an initial prototype should be available. Apart from that, the project can be in any phase of development.

Application Information

Only complete applications received within the application deadline (by June 24, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.) will be considered. A complete application consists of

  • the online application form,
  • a pitch deck (presentation in PDF format) and
  • a one-pager with an overview of the team and the project (document in PDF format).

The PDF files should be submitted via email to and should contain the following information:

  • brief description of the project including key facts (e.g. genre, platform),
  • unique selling points of the project,
  • list of all team members with position and experience,
  • the current status of the project and the next steps,
  • the target group for the project and details of the planned publication and marketing.

The content in both files may overlap. The document should be used to formulate information about the team and project and the pitch deck should be used for a visually appealing presentation.

Preferably use graphics and images you have created yourself to design the files and present the project. Images not created by the applicant or created with AI generators must be marked accordingly.

For better comparability, the application process will be conducted exclusively in English.

Funded by

Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg Logo

In Cooperation with

game Logo
Games Ground Logo