MAN lends a helping hand to social startups


First MAN Impact Accelerator completed successfully // MAN employees and experts from other companies coach seven startups // Second batch of the program in the pipeline

MAN Truck & Bus has successfully completed the first MAN Impact Accelerator. The main idea behind the program? MAN employees support social startups with their specialist knowledge as these develop their business models. The program aimed to identify new approaches to alleviate poverty with the help of innovative transportation and logistics solutions and to provide targeted support to these social entrepreneurs and their projects.

What were originally 80 applicants became teams of entrepreneurs working in the fields of mobility, logistics, and supply chain management in Europe, India, and South Africa. At the heart of the Accelerator initiative is the six-month mentor program run by MAN employees and developed in cooperation with Yunus Social Business. Experts from companies like Google, Salesforce, Uber, and Amazon were there to support the MAN mentors.

What all these startups have in common is their aim to use needs-driven business models to provide sustainable solutions to problems faced by society. Three entrepreneurs from India, for example, are developing a software platform with their own fleet of ambulances to make the provision of first aid a simpler and faster process in the future, while their South African counterparts are working on ultralight electric vehicles for a zero-emission service in urban areas.

Joachim Drees, Chief Executive Officer of MAN Truck & Bus AG, describes the program as a complete success: “We take our social responsibility seriously, so we want to pass on our transportation and logistics expertise to those it can benefit. By creating the MAN Impact Accelerator initiative we help selected startups in their quest to solve acute societal problems.”

The fact that the entrepreneurs managed to increase their revenue by 127% on average, raise funds of around $2.2 million in total, and double their customer base are all testament to the Accelerator’s success. The startups’ success stories show that the MAN Impact Accelerator model works. In light of this, MAN will be continuing the program in cooperation with Yunus Social Business and opening applications for the second round of the Accelerator in fall 2018.