MAN Impact Accelerator has opened for applications for the third batch of European, African and Brazilian mobility and logistics social business startups.
The accelerator is accepting for startups from Europe, Brazil, South Africa as well as Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania that have a strong logistics, transport or mobility focus with a prototype and preferably early revenues.
Startups must have a strong purpose and create both tangible and measurable impact beyond financial returns. The categories include IoT, Drones and Aerospace industries, Data Analytics, Sensors, Wearables, Agriculture, Digital Health and MedTech, Education, Last-mile connection and distribution. Other key areas of interest include Big Data and Smart Data, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Chatbots and Automation Platforms.
The selected startups will receive an indirect grant and support of up to 50,000 USD for each startup (no equity or cash), access to more than 300 mentors, visit sites of social entrepreneurs and access to the MAN innovation networks. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by MAN Truck & Bus.
The 8 month multi-location accelerator aims to create a community of change-makers that are disrupting the mobility and logistics sector and bringing scalable social impact to the world.
To be selected, a startup has to be based or have a significant presence in either Europe, Brazil, South Africa (and PAN Africa), be able to create a tangible impact and is solving pressing social issues via its mobility or logistics component.
The MAN Impact Accelerator program offers startups a world tour to 4 mobility hotspots: Munich, Lisbon, Johannesburg & Sao Paolo and exposure to over 300 leading industry experts from companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Uber, Google, Maersk and many more.
The accelerator program, launched by MAN and Yunus Social Business have completed the second round of the MAN Impact Accelerator program which saw entrepreneurs sharpen their vision for their company, to make their organizational structure sustainable, and to take the next steps in growing their business.
“During the Accelerator program, four of the startups were able to convince key investors of their company and their vision, generating additional funding of more than 2 million U.S. dollars. Moreover, our entrepreneurs now employ around 70% more people and, after completing the program, have more than doubled their customer base, growing it by 135%. This result exceeded our expectations – and we’re proud of it,” rejoices Joachim Drees, initiator of the MAN Impact Accelerator.
In 2017, South Africa’s Mellowcabs & Gettruck were selected into the inuagural MAN Impact Accelerator.
The startups were taken through Corporate Strategy, Production, Sales, HR, or Development among others. The most promising transportation and logistics startups were selected from around 270 applications to join the second round of the mentoring program, which was implemented with the support of Yunus Social Business – an initiative founded by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus.
The startups managed to boost their sales revenue by over 40%, with their business ideas reaching almost two and a half times as many people compared to before the start of the program.
“We take our social responsibility very seriously and want to share our years of experience in the field of transportation and logistics with those it can benefit the most. This is why we are delighted to be able to support a new group of startups on their journey to more social impact with batch #3 of the program come fall,” said Drees.
Social business startups in mobility, transportation, and logistics can apply to take part in the next round from August 2019.
Below are the social business startups that took part in batch #2 of the MAN Impact Accelerator
- Boxwise is a startup from Berlin that has created an app for quickly distributing donated goods such as food, clothing, or hygiene products to people who need them in refugee camps.
- Breeze Technologies offers an environmental intelligence platform that uses internal and external sensors to provide air quality and climate data for inner-city areas or inside buildings.
- Frontier Markets has set itself the goal of creating an “Easy Life” for customers in rural India by giving them access to clean and efficient energy solutions. The products (for instance solar panels for private households) are distributed using a network of more than 2,000 female entrepreneurs.
- K-Ryole, a French startup based in Paris, develops and distributes intelligent electric bicycle trailers that enable cyclists to transport cargo of up to 250 kilograms without breaking a sweat. In doing so, the company makes zero-emission last-mile transportation of goods in the cities a reality. Its biggest customers include postal services, logistics companies, and food delivery services.
- Loop, an Indian startup, makes it possible for smallholder farmers in remote rural regions to sell their produce at urban markets. The company offers a combined transportation service for collecting the farmers’ harvest, bringing it to market, and selling it there on their behalf. The farmers then get paid via their cell phones – nice and simple.
- Shopit, a startup based in Cape Town, improves the sale of affordable food items and health products to customers in the townships of major South African cities whose population cannot afford the food being sold in local supermarkets most of the time. Shop owners in townships can use the mobile app to compare wholesaler prices near them, order their stock, and sell the products on to end customers at a significantly lower price.
- Mobile Schools Health offers preventive health care services (optometry, dental, and primary health care) to primary school children in South Africa. The company builds mobile clinics (on buses) and employs doctors and nurses to support children across the whole country, especially those living in poor and rural regions.
- • Via Global Health has developed a platform for buying health products that works together with a network of medical distributors and makes a supply chain possible in parts of Africa that would have otherwise been difficult to access, namely rural or crisis-ridden regions.