The MAN Impact Accelerator supports social business startups in the field of mobility, transport and logistics to accelerate their impactful innovations.

Program Structure

The MAN Impact Accelerator brings social entrepreneurs from Europe, South Africa and India together to tackle social and environmental challenges through innovative solutions in the transport and logistics space. Join us on a journey from Munich to Wolfsburg via Mumbai and Cape Town to San Francisco.

Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, get access to a pool of more than 300 mentors from MAN Truck & Bus, Salesforce and Yunus Social Business. Among them are MAN CEO Joachim Drees and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus who has built social businesses impacting over 27 million people. Get also access to impact investors and key MAN resources.


MAN has developed this program in cooperation with Yunus Social Business to create an impact for the underprivileged while building sustainable businesses. We will leverage new technologies to create innovative solutions that have a significant impact on the society or the environment.

We will connect you with a global community of like-minded people. That is why we will take you on a journey across four continents. It prepares you to think differently and build your own network for future growth. We will aim at nothing less than transforming your life and the trajectory of your business.

About MAN & Yunus Social Business

MAN Truck & Bus is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles and has production facilities in three European countries (Germany, Austria and Poland), Russia, South Africa, India, and Turkey. Its products range from general and special purpose trucks to buses and coaches as well as to diesel and gas engines for external customer applications. MAN is intensely dedicated to purposeful innovation within the transport and logistics sector.

Yunus Social Business (YSB) is a non-profit venture fund and accelerator. It was co-founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus to solve humanity's most pressing needs through business means. YSB has worked with or invested in over 1,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide to build meaningful social businesses in agriculture, health, mobility, clean water and energy.


The MAN Impact Accelerator kicks off at the Global Social Business Summit in Wolfsburg in November 2018. The curriculum that follows will take you to cities like Munich, Mumbai, Cape Town and San Francisco. The official closing ceremony in Munich in June 2019 will mark the end of the program.

23 September 2018

Application Deadline
Last chance to get your application sent!

04 – 09 November 2018

1st Program Week in Munich & Global Social Business Summit in Wolfsburg (Germany)
Start the program off with amazing mentors around purpose, team building and industry expertise. Meet executives from MAN Truck & Bus and Yunus Social Business (incl. Prof. Yunus) as well as the global social business community.

21 – 23 January 2019

2nd Program Week in Mumbai (India)
Learn from experienced mentors in the fields of Product Development and Growth Marketing. Get to know key stakeholders and partners in the Mumbai ecosystem.

04 – 07 March 2019

3rd Program Week in Cape Town (South Africa)
Meet mentors who will help you integrate social or environmental impact into your business model and HR experts who can help you build a more resilient business. Visit exciting stakeholders in Africa’s most vibrant startup ecosystem.

29 April – 01 May 2019

4th Program Week in San Francisco (USA)
Get a sip of the Silicon Valley’s spirit and ambition to understand how you can scale your business beyond national borders. Meet tech mentors to learn about the latest technology and talk to investors who have backed the world’s leading social businesses.

17 – 20 June 2019

Final Program Week in Munich (Germany)
Learn more about how to persuasively present your business and visit Munich’s most exciting places for startup entrepreneurs. Put your newly acquired skills into action when meeting impact investors over dinner and presenting your progress at our final Closing Ceremony.
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Map of the world, showing the locations where the organisation's events will be held.
Destination #1
Munich: Finding Purpose & Customers
We start the program with a 5-day week in Munich dedicated to aligning each team and the cohort on their common purpose. Find out what motivates you and your team members. Set the coordination system for future growth. The first week also takes you through techniques like customer development, customer research, problem validation. All with key expert mentors in the field. You will understand the needs and requirements of the logistics industry from the view of the global player MAN.
Map of the world, showing the locations where the organisation's events will be held.
Destination #2
Wolfsburg: Global Social Business Summit
Meet executives from MAN Truck & Bus and Yunus Social Business (incl. Prof. Yunus) as well as the global social business community.
Map of the world, showing the locations where the organisation's events will be held.
Destination #3
Mumbai: Developing meaningful products and hacking growth
We come back together in Mumbai to focus on creating empathy with beneficiaries. We will take you on an immersive trip to understand life in rural India. You will also see some of the most inspiring social businesses in India. You will also learn how to use customer data to develop key product features and roadmaps to deliver your MVPs. Our growth mentors will help you to bring them to market in the most efficient and effective way. The process is again supported by industry and topic mentors.
Map of the world, showing the locations where the organisation's events will be held.
Destination #4
Cape Town: Managing Impact and Developing Steady Organisations
We reconvene in Cape Town to further refine your impact strategy and help you implement systems for measurement and validation. You will get insights into how to build resilient organisations and integrate lean and agile methodologies into your daily operations. The week will help you implement a culture of continuous learning about solving customer and beneficiary problems.
Map of the world, showing the locations where the organisation's events will be held.
Destination #5
San Francisco: Technology and Scale
In May 2019, you will get to spend five exciting days in San Francisco – the global center of entrepreneurship. Join the startup community and learn from leading entrepreneurs. The Google Launchpad Connect program, the Salesforce network and Singularity University give you access to vibrant networks in the valley. This experience will allow you to understand how tech leaders disrupt markets and how you can apply this thinking to your social venture. You will also be challenged by tech mentors on your infrastructure and get access to finance mentors that help you prepare for funding.
Map of the world, showing the locations where the organisation's events will be held.
Destination #6
Munich: Closing Ceremony
The program closes back in Munich with a a presentation in front of senior executives from all partners and investors. You will be prepared for this big day with pitch coaches. Tell the story of your journey towards scalable impact. YSB and its investor network will stand ready to finance the most promising deals out of the program.
Map of the world, showing the locations where the organisation's events will be held.

Selection Criteria

We accept social businesses and impactful startups from Europe, India or South Africa 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.

Is your startup located in Europe, India or South Africa?
Do you create tangible and measurable impact?
Does your business have a strong transport, logistics or mobility component?
Are you ready for a journey that will transform the way you build your social business?

We prefer founding teams with industry expertise or a track-record of successfully building businesses. Team profiles should cover various fields of expertise and should complement each other’s strengths and skills.

We are focused on early-stage social businesses. Ventures with an existing proof of concept in the market or ideally early revenues will be preferred.

We will select businesses with a solid understanding of their revenue streams and a focus on financial sustainability. The accelerator is not helpful to NGOs or other purely grant-funded organizations.

We will select social businesses with clear and measurable impact on the target communities. This may be based on projections and – wherever possible – with already tangible results.

We are looking for mindset and focus fit with the rest of the cohort. This includes mental flexibility, general team-player skills and complementary focus areas with the rest of the cohort.

Key Areas for Consideration

Drones & Aerospace
Data Analytics
Digital Health & MedTech
Last-mile connection & distribution
Big Data & Smart Data
Internet Automation


The program offers a range of benefits from various partners. The below list is by far not comprehensive and gives you an indication of how we help you grow further.

Assets & Services from MAN

  • MAN Staff Mentors with Industry Expertise
  • MAN's Global Network of Partners
  • MAN's Supply & Distribution Networks
  • Access to the Volkswagen family
  • Access to MAN’s “RIO” platform

Assets & Services from YSB

  • Access to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Yunus
  • Visiting entrepreneurs from the YSB portfolio
  • Access to social businesses by Grameen
  • Potential funding from YSB
  • Access to a global impact investor community

Assets & Services from other partners

  • Access to more than 300 mentors
  • Consulting services
  • Visits at sites of social entrepreneurs
  • Access to the Silicon Valley community
  • Software for free or at preferred rates

Financials & Costs

Travel and accommodation costs are covered by MAN Truck & Bus. The program provides an indirect grant and support of up to 50,000 USD for each startup (no equity or cash). This also includes free access to coaches and mentors as well as to software and data perks for free or at preferred rates.


Our teams work tirelessly to identify successful entrepreneurs with a strong social conscience. We partner with them to grow their social businesses, providing both financial and non-financial support.

Prabhdeep Singh

Co-Founder of StanPlus
»When we joined the accelerator, we had no toolkit available on how to make and measure impact. The teams at YSB and MAN brought us specialist mentors from around the world. These experts allowed us to question the core value-set of the founders and the company. We are more self-aware now.«

Neil Du Preez

Co-Founder of MellowCabs
»Being part of the MAN Impact Accelerator has been a tremendous help to Mellowcabs. We’ve been mentored by experts with exceptional knowledge in highly relevant fields of our business. We’ve had sessions with the quality control, sales, logistics and manufacturing experts from the MAN Group.«

David Naidoo

Co-Founder Gettruck
»Besides the phenomenal exposure to see world economies and to have interactions with prestigious mentors while also witnessing diverse cultures, the MAN Impact Accelerator gave us insights and tools to measure the health of our business.«

Alekh Sanghera

Co-Founder of FarMart Agritech
»FarMarts journey with the MAN Impact Accelerator has been one of self-reflection. It has helped us understand more about our business and the potential impact it can have on farmers.«

Charan Thota

Co-Founder of Commut
»The mentorship received from various distinguished market leaders was very comprehensive and visionary. It has been immensely helpful in sculpting our business procedures and short-term goals in a better way to attain our vision of changing the way India travels to work.«
StanPlus, India
StanPlus, India Driving the Care in Healthcare
Mellowcabs, South Africa
Mellowcabs, South Africa Electric Micro Transport Solutions


During the accelerator program, our mentors will help you obtain access to industry know-how, tech expertise and startup methodologies for rapidly validating your business and impact model. The below mentors are an excerpt of over 300 mentors you can get access to. And we are about to welcome a new cohort of experienced MAN mentors for the upcoming program who will join you on your journey to more impact.

Joachim Drees
Joachim Drees CEO, MAN Truck & Bus AG
Prof. Muhammad Yunus
Prof. Muhammad Yunus Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Saskia Bruysten
Saskia Bruysten Co-Founder and CEO, YSB
Justin Spratt
Justin Spratt Uber
Rene Overgaard Jensen
Rene Overgaard Jensen Maersk
Jiten Madia
Jiten Madia John Deere
Subhash Sumithra
Subhash Sumithra Amazon India
Yolisa Kani
Yolisa Kani Uber
Iulian Circo
Iulian Circo Proof of Impact
Mona Gandhi
Mona Gandhi AirBnB
Mugendi K. M'Rithaa
Mugendi K. M'Rithaa World Design Org, Hasso Plattner
Eduardo Ruiz
Eduardo Ruiz Uber
Rogerio Oliveira
Rogerio Oliveira Pipocao, Workganic, YSB Brazil
Danai Musandu
Danai Musandu Goodwell Investments
Ernest Darkoh-Ampem
Ernest Darkoh-Ampem Broad-Reach Healthcare
Karen Hitschke
Karen Hitschke YSB, Affectis, Apax
Deeptanshu Baranwal
Deeptanshu Baranwal Rivigo
Suresh K Krishna
Suresh K Krishna Grameen Koota, YSB India
Volkan Özkan
Volkan Özkan iyzico
Gerard Klein Essink
Gerard Klein Essink Bridge2Food
Philip Horváth
Philip Horváth Luman
Michael Hübl
Michael Hübl flinc
Friedrich Hubel
Friedrich Hubel Lendico
Piotr Drozd
Piotr Drozd SnappCar
Romain Diaz
Romain Diaz Far Ventures
Roger Norton
Roger Norton Playlogix
Chetan Yalamanchili
Chetan Yalamanchili Grofers
Vijayaraghavan Palat
Vijayaraghavan Palat Lawrencedale Agro
Ritu Soni Srivastava
Ritu Soni Srivastava Obino
Siddharth Sharma
Siddharth Sharma People Interactive
Fleur Heyns
Fleur Heyns Proof of Impact
Asif Zaidi
Asif Zaidi Delhivery
Anish Chowdhary
Anish Chowdhary Edelweiss
Antonio Bruni
Antonio Bruni Picup Technologies
Shrina Kurani
Shrina Kurani Better Ventures
Martin Kaspars
Martin Kaspars RIO Accelerator
Belinda Bowling
Belinda Bowling Naspers
Nils Körber
Nils Körber Ringier One Africa Media
Sreeraman Thiagarajan
Sreeraman Thiagarajan Agrahyah Technologies
Arjun Nohwar
Arjun Nohwar Uber for Business
Lars Renhof
Lars Renhof MAN Truck & Bus AG
Ruchit Garg
Ruchit Garg Harvesting
Khaled Naim
Khaled Naim Onfleet
Maheen Kannu
Maheen Kannu Springforth Capital Advisors
Barbara Krause
Barbara Krause Singularity University
Thabo Ncalo
Thabo Ncalo Savvy Venture Partners
Judy Stuart
Judy Stuart Future Farmers Foundation
Ryan Dolan
Ryan Dolan Six Thirty Global FinTech Seed Fund
Nikolaos Michalas
Nikolaos Michalas MAN Truck & Bus AG
Praveen Shah
Praveen Shah Mobility LLC
Arnab Chatterjee
Arnab Chatterjee Shell
Elena Erler
Elena Erler MAN Truck & Bus AG
Alon Lichtenstein
Alon Lichtenstein HANGAR49
Aarti Chandna
Aarti Chandna Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund
Thomas Homolka
Thomas Homolka MAN Truck & Bus AG
Rupert Cameron Sully
Rupert Cameron Sully SnapScan
Gideon Carstens
Gideon Carstens Barclays Africa Group Limited
Kunal Doshi
Kunal Doshi Capricorn Investment Group
Reed Mayfield
Reed Mayfield RSF Social Finance
Nick Allen
Nick Allen Savant Technology Incubator

Joachim Drees

CEO of MAN Truck & Bus AG
»We take our corporate social responsibilities very seriously and have thus seized the opportunity to pass on our expertise in transport and logistics.«

Gerard Klein Essink

»The accelerator programme is very inspiring. A diverse group of entrepreneurs with loads of potential. How often can one meet innovative entrepreneurs from India, South-Africa or Europe in one day? It was absolutely great to work with the MAN/Yunus team. The quality of what they do is fantastic!«

Elena Erler

MAN Truck & Bus
»It’s incredibly motivating to share one’s own knowledge and create sustainable added value at the same time. By working outside predefined processes and being confronted with situations that would be defined as natural at MAN, I have had the chance to review and optimize my own working methods.«

Danai Musandu

Goodwell Investments
»Entrepreneurs in these markets are setting the road ablaze with unique innovation, specific to the real needs of mass populations. The MAN Impact sessions were just another indication that we have the capacity to see solutions – even in the most unlikely places and ways!«

Fabian Heidinger

MAN Truck & Bus
»Working with the startups was extremely inspiring. Their high intrinsic motivation, coupled with relevant program content and expertise from our organization, proved to be the keys to success. And that applies both to the startups and to us as MAN.«

Mugendi K. M’Rithaa

World Design Org, Hasso Plattner
»I enjoyed the interaction with my fellow mentors and came to appreciate the value of trans- and poly-disciplinary teamwork. The MAN facilitators did an excellent job of maintaining the momentum and coordinating our collective efforts. The passion and energy of the mentees were highly contagious.«

Christoph Rimpau

MAN Truck & Bus
»It’s amazing to see how quickly the startups were able to make giant strides with their business ideas!«

Start your journey today!

Apply now
Application deadline: 23. September 2018