MAN Impact Accelerator calls on startups to apply for next cohort

Featured image: MAN Impact Accelerator (Facebook)

The MAN Impact Accelerator has opened applications for its third cohort.

The accelerator — which works with startups in the field of mobility, transport and logistics to tackle social and environmental challenges — is an initiative of German’s MAN Truck and Bus and non-profit Yunus Social Business.

MAN Truck and Bus digital innovation manager Florian Stehbeck told Ventureburn in an email on Monday (19 August) that the accelerator will now source applications from Europe, South Africa and Brazil.

Applications for the third cohort of the MAN Impact Accelerator will close on 1 October

Previous cohorts were sourced from Europe, South Africa and India.

In addition, Stehbeck said the accelerator will now include stops in Munich, São Paulo, Johannesburg and Lisbon.

Participants from the accelerator’s previous cohorts travelled to Bangalore, Cape Town and San Francisco.

Stehbeck said the changes to the programme were enacted to give startups from “other interesting and emerging ecosystems” the chance to take part in the accelerator.

“MAN is highly represented in the Brazilian market with its sister company Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus –another reason for us to stop in São Paulo.

“Furthermore, our social impact footprint can be much more tangible on the South American market — also one of the Brazil India China South Africa (Brics) states — than on just the European or US market,” said Stehbeck.

He pointed out that Lisbon also represents another important startup ecosystem on the European market, as the company has its MAN Digital Hub there.

“We’ve been to Cape Town with the MAN Impact Accelerator twice already. Now it’s time to move on to the vibrant city of Johannesburg,” he added.

Applications for the third cohort of the MAN Impact Accelerator will close on 1 October. The programme is set to kick off in November.

Application criteria

Although the accelerator primarily sources applications from South Africa on the continent, startups from Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania can also apply.

To be considered for the programme, startups must have a strong logistics, transport or mobility focus with a prototype and preferably early revenues.

In addition, they must also have a have a strong purpose and create both tangible and measurable impact beyond financial returns.

The accelerator has a number of key focus areas, these include:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Sensors
  • Digital health and medtech
  • Big data and smart data
  • Chatbots
  • Drones and aerospace
  • Wearables
  • Education
  • Blockchain
  • Internet automation
  • Data analytics
  • Agriculture
  • Last-mile connection and distribution
  • Cybersecurity
  • Platforms

The programme’s curriculum is conducted in several locations around the world.

Participants of the programme will be in Munich between 24 and 27 November for team building and purpose. Then between 19 and 22 January they will be in São Paulo for customer development and impact.

Thereafter, between 8 and 11 March the cohort will be in Lisbon, Portugal for the product development as well as marketing and communication component of the programme.

Between 27 and 30 April the programme will take participants for its growth, tech and investment component. This before it moves to Munich where it will  focus on organisation and agility in Munich between 22 and 25 March.

The cohort is set to end in June.

Access to MAN assets and services

Startups selected for the programme stand to benefit from access to MAN staff mentors with industry expertise, access to the company’s global network of partners as well as its supply and distribution networks.

Programme participants will also gain access to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, in addition to a global inpact investor community.

The second edition of the MAN Impact Accelerator had three South African startups among its cohort of eight companies. These were Last Mile for BOPMobile Schools Health and VIA Global Health (see this story).

Two other South African startups — Mellowcabs and GetTruck — took part in the the first cohort (see this story).

Read moreSecond cohort of MAN Impact Accelerator kicks off with three SA companies
Read more: SA startups Mellowcabs, GetTruck join MAN Impact Accelerator first cohort

Featured image: MAN Impact Accelerator (Facebook)

Daniel Mpala


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