Providing capital to early-phase innovators – and staying with them as they grow! BORN2GROW is a venture capital fund focusing on start-ups in the tech industry.

Initial Investments: € 0,5 – 1 Mio.

Follow-On Investments up to € 2 Mio.

Investment Strategy

BORN2GROW invests in start-ups that offer truly innovative ideas, and a management team with the skills and grit to achieve sustainable growth. We partner with companies at an early stage, but our private funding allows us to form long-term relationships that may involve our parent company, Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn (ZFHN). 

By investing in a range of industries, we can partake in a variety of growth opportunities, and manage risk. Our start-up partners are at work in fields from biotechnology to software, and from medical technology to industry & automation.

Do you want to hear more about how we work together with young companies? Please see Need Capital.

Our Investment Partners

BORN2GROW is committed to maintaining a diverse portfolio, including early-stage start-ups working in a range of industries throughout Germany, and as far away as Israel. 

Amid that diversity, all of our companies have one important thing in common: the founders and their teams have relied on technological innovation to create a product that has a well-defined market!

See Our Portfolio


Inspekto’s collaboration with B2G & ZFHN has been invaluable from the get-go: by providing direct top-level access to key market players, intimate knowledge of major market dynamics, and meticulous planning across the broad array of strategic and tactical considerations that play a key role in the effective market entry of a successful startup.”

Read more about Inspekto

Yonatan Hyatt, CTO

Our Network

BORN2GROW participates in an extensive network of people and institutions that are committed to supporting young companies, and can provide entrepreneurial expertise and industry-specific knowhow. Many network members are based near BORN2GROW at start-ups, medium-to-large-sized companies, and in educational and medical institutions in the dynamic Heilbronn region. 

As network members with more than 10 years of venture-capital experience, BORN2GROW and its parent company, ZFHN, can provide in-house support on questions of strategy and business development. We can help you deal with sales and marketing, financing, production processes, and development of staff and management. If you need qualified administrative board members, we can assist you with that, too.


Günter Steffen
CEO and Founder

Günter Steffen has founded nearly 50 companies, in addition to TDS, or tele-daten-service GmbH, an IT services company at which he was head of the management board until the year 2000. After that, he served on TDS’ supervisory board in various functions. From 1998 until 2005, Günter Steffen was president of the regional chamber of trade and commerce, the IHK Heilbronn-Franken, and in 2006 he was named honorary president of that organization.

Mr. Steffen founded BORN2GROW in 2012. Since then, he has taken the lead in making a number of investments, and helped a number of investment partners reach their goals. 

Thomas R. Villinger
Supervisory Board

Thomas R. Villinger has more than 25 years of experience in the venture capital sector. Before he became Co-Founder and CEO of ZFHN Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn in 2006, he held numerous management positions both in Germany and abroad. His work focused on M&A and VC/PE financing for high-growth companies in Europe, the Gulf states and the USA. Villinger sits on numerous supervisory boards of early-stage investments and is an internationally respected expert in the financing of tech-oriented start-ups. He most recently oversaw the corporate development of Innovationsfabrik Heilbronn GmbH, one of the biggest business incubation centres, as Founder and CEO. Villinger has been active for many years as an investor in international tech start-ups.
He studied economics and geography at Goethe University Frankfurt. In addition, he holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Schiller International University (USA & France).
Since it’s founding in 2012 Villinger is also part of the supervisory board of Born2Grow.


Alexander Hofer
Investment Director, Authorized Officer

Alexander Hofer studied business administration at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Mannheim. Before arriving at the company, Hofer worked for various firms in Germany and abroad – predominantly in the field of corporate finance. Hofer boasts many years of experience in the financing of start-ups and has supported companies along the life cycle of the venture capital model – from seed funding to successful exit – on multiple occasions. He also successfully served as Interim Manager numerous times.


Manuel Böhringer
Investment Manager

Manuel Böhringer acquired his knowledge of the theoretical foundations of corporate finance through his banking studies at the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart. After completing internships in a range of areas in the financial industry in 2016, Mr. Böhringer began working as an investment manager at BORN2GROW. He is responsible for investment acquisition in the fields of Industry, Life Sciences, and IT.


Andrea Muth
Business Development Manager

Andrea Muth focuses on the Due Diligence and the support of Start-Ups. Muth previously worked for several years in the department of investment controlling and was able to gain considerable experience. Prior to her time at the ZFHN/BORN2GROW she worked as a scientific researcher and lecturer in the field of strategy and controlling at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences.



Ildiko Maurer
Executive Assistant to the CEO