Until the early 2000s, there were not proper seed investors operating in the early stage of the start-up life cycle in Germany. Therefore, there was the perception of a severe funding gap in the early development stage of high-tech start-ups. Such gap was even more pronounced in university spin-offs because of their higher riskiness in comparison to other entrepreneurial initiatives.
HTGF was created as a public-private partnership in 2005 in order to address the funding gap and foster the growth of high-tech start-ups in Germany. Investors include the Federal Ministry Economic Affairs and Energy, the KWF Banking group (owned by the federal government), and large private German corporations, such as ALTANA, BASF, Braun, Bosch, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, and Deutsche Telekom. The initial objective was to realize at least 40 investments per year. HTGF1 was the first fund created for such objective. Its size was of 272 million Euros with an expected duration of 11 years (it is now in its closing stage). In 2011, a second fund - HTGF2 - was launched, endowed with 304 million Euros. Currently, fund raising is ongoing for the creation of HTGF3.