IAB/ZEW Start-up Panel

Data Types and Keywords

  • Data type 1: individual business data
  • Data type 2: individual business data, Scientific Use Files: factually anonymized data
  • Keywords: Germany, start-ups, annual panel study


The IAB/ZEW Start-up Panel is a representative survey of start-up businesses conducted by ZEW in cooperation with the credit reference agency Creditreform and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg (during the early stages of the panel up until 2013, the KfW was also a partner). The aim of the panel is to observe new firms not just over the course of a year but continually over a period of many years. With the help of computerised telephone interviews, the survey gathers information on 5,000–6,000 start-ups every year. The sample of the IAB/ZEW Start-up Panel encompasses business start-ups in all sectors of the economy except for agriculture, mining and the public sector. Half of the companies surveyed are classified as high-tech companies (involving cutting-edge technology, high-quality technology, technology-based services, and software), while the other half are based in other sectors within the manufacturing, service and construction industries.

The gross sample of the panel (i.e. the sum total of all companies contacted for the survey) covers two groups of firms. The first group comprises companies that have participated in the IAB/ZEW Start-up Panel at least once before. The second consists of a random sample of start-ups that are no more than three years old. Firms that have taken part in one or more of these surveys remain in the gross sample in subsequent years, however, no longer than until they turn seven years old.

Between 2008 and 2016 interviews were conducted with a total of around 21,000 firms founded between the years 2005 and 2015 (for more information visit http://www.gruendungspanel.de/en/).