The Prototype Fund is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Individuals and small teams can apply for funding to test their ideas and develop open source tools and applications in the fields of civic tech, data literacy, data security and more. The application process aims to be as unbureaucratic as possible and is adjusted to the needs of software developers, civic hackers, and creatives.

In short: the Prototype Fund brings iterative software development and government funding together.

Applications are open to individuals and small teams who live in Germany. They will run in eight rounds from 2016 through 2020. Each round, we can support up to 25 innovative open source projects. Each project is funded with up to 47,500€.

The current application periodis opend since August 1st and will run throughout September 30th, 2018.

You can reach us at info-at-prototypefund-dot-de.

Who is the team behind the project?
Julia Kloiber

Julia Kloiber

Julia Kloiber, Co-Founder, Director of Partnerships

Julia founded the Prototype Fund and is responsible for the further development of the program and the development of the partner network.
She is currently a Senior Fellow at Mozilla, where she focuses on new technologies and their impact on society.
Julia likes to find creative solutions to tricky problems and to talk about them at conferences. Other topics of interest: Design, Utopias and Feminism.

Elisa Lindinger

Elisa Lindinger

Director, Head of Research and Technology

Elisa is directing the Prototype Fund. Apart from administrating the program, she focuses on the scientific evalution of the project. As a prehistorian by training, she worked at the intersection of cultural sciences and technology for several years, involving 3d scanning, machine learning and databases/GIS. She is @elizab0t on twitter.

Katharina Meyer

Katharina Meyer

Katharina Meyer - Head of Outreach
Katharina is responsible for communication, outreach and the further development of the program at the Prototype Fund. She is a historian of technology, conducts research on social development environments and curates knowledge and (art) objects for museums, projects or conferences.
In 2016 Katharina co-founded the project Polynocular Tech Lab, which investigates and promotes transdisciplinary approaches in hardware, software or process development and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies with this project.

Fiona Krakenbürger

Fiona Krakenbürger

Fiona Krakenbürger, Lead Program Manager

Fiona coordinates and supports the projects and accompanies and advises the teams during the funding period. In the past she has built up the Open Knowledge Labs as a Community Organizer in the Code for Germany project. She is a sociologist of technology, digital literacy activist and is committed to more diversity in tech development, especially in the framework of the feminist hacker space Heart of Code.

Adriana Groh

Adriana Groh

Adriana Groh, Program Management

Adriana is in close contact with the Prototype Fund's projects, supports their project progress and currently establishes an alumni network. She studied Public Policy and Democratic Innovation and researched participation opportunities in the EU. After her studies, she was a Social Impact Lab Fellow and co-founded the Wepublic project, launching an app for the 2017 federal elections. She is interested in Civic Tech and the future of democracy.

Who finances the Prototype Fund?

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Where does the idea of ​​Prototype Fund come from?

We were inspired by the work of the Knight Foundation in the USA and adapted the program to Germany accordingly.


betterplace lab

Katja Jäger (scientific evaluation)


zero360 Innovation

Simon Höher & Friederike Korte (user-centered design coaching and communication)


Simply Secure

Ame Elliott (User Experience Design Coaching)


Rainbow Unicorn

Website & Design


Camera Libre


Who is the press contact?

Jessica Binsch coordinates media inquiries.


Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller-Birn

Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller-Birn

Head of Research Group on Human-Centered Computing (HCC) an der Freien Universität Berlin

Photo: © Frank Woelffing

Zara Rahman

Zara Rahman

Research Lead bei The Engine Room

Photo: © Butcher Walsh

Jan Lehnardt

Jan Lehnardt

Unternehmer, Entwickler und der Gründer von CouchDB und

Daniel Mack

Daniel Mack

Soft- und Hardwareentwickler

Hannes Mehnert

Hannes Mehnert

Entwickler von MirageOS, Forscher am Computer Laboratory der Universität Cambridge, Barista

Stefanie Schirmer

Stefanie Schirmer

Softwareentwicklerin bei Etsy und Alumna der Hacker School in New York

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