SAF for Startups

Start your Prototyping Experience!

Welcome Startups!

You are the heart of Start-A-Factory. Together, we will develop your hardware idea into a tangible prototype.

Start-A-Factory opened its doors in 2017. Since then, we work hard on optimizing the SAF space so startups find everything they need: we keep improving the working containers, IT infrastructure and also extended our tool & equipment portfolio.

We have currently three startups that work on their hardware projects with us and helped us immensely to push Start-A-Factory from a great idea to a working concept.



  • Start-A-Factory especially addresses hardware startups and small companies with equivalent technological focus. The loose rule: if you have a product idea that includes an optical, chemical or electrical signal - it is pretty sure we can help you!

  • Neither / Nor! We do not seek company shares and also do not offer any general business coaching , "slide polishing" or agile management courses - we take your idea and will make the most of it. All our energy goes in supporting your product idea and its hardware realization. We want to make you ready for large-scale production.

  • With SAF, Fraunhofer IZM opens the doors for startups to get access to band-new prototyping tools on industrial level. If we work together, all that needs to be considered is the man-power needed to support you and to maintain SAF. Here, your needed funding depends on the support you need - the more you can do on your own, the less it costs. Berlin has a wide range of funding sources for start-ups, especially when cooperating with a research institute. We can give you advice on available and most suitable funding sources.


  • First of all, get in contact and shortly explain your idea/plan. In further  communication we will find out, if Start-A-Factory is the right place for you.

    A next big step would be a mission workshop: we will discuss your product’s development status and elaborate a possible roadmap – confidential and without commitment.

    If then SAF is still the best for you - Fraunhofer IZM will identify the most suitable staff to support you and provide an effort estimation individually tailored to your startups' idea/situation.

    The clarification of this and the funding possibilities will take some time from experience but then your time in Start-a-Factory can start: move in one of our working containers and start developing with our help. We will help you to bring you from the first idea to a tangible prototype and help you get ready for industrial manufacturing in short time.

    The prototype production is done on flexible facilities and can be done within days. A following test & permission phase in dedicated labs will get your prototype qualified.

    In the end, you are ready for manufacturing: you will receive a comprehensive set of your production documentation.

  • No. Our scientific and technical staff speak english as well. Of course, a little german is always helpful.

  • Any IP stays with you. Our work in SAF will also be framed by a Non Disclosure Agreement.