As part of its MAN Impact Accelerator, MAN works with young companies from across the globe. These social business startups specialize in the fields of mobility, transport, and logistics receive targeted support from mentors in developing a sustainable business model. To help them along the way, MAN has joined forces with Yunus Social Business—an initiative founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus.
The mentoring program is currently already being run for the third time. This batch features startups from Europe, Africa, and South America. More than 300 candidates applied to be among the final startup cohort of Batch #3 of the Accelerator, with seven startups chosen as finalists. They are now taking part in an eight-month mentoring program, during which they are supported by more than 100 experts, both from MAN and from other companies. As part of this, each startup is guided by a lead mentor who works closely with one of the entrepreneurs throughout the entire program.
This means the candidates are reaping the benefits of their mentors’ knowledge and experiences, a wide network of experts, and access to different innovation ecosystems. In return, however, the mentors get to know new business models and develop the required skills and the right mindset for customer-centric innovation by working closely together with the founders—all thanks to the program. Not least because the future challenges within our society call for new solutions. This creates a clear win-win situation for both sides: the startups and MAN.
At the beginning of this year, the MAN Impact Accelerator visited Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus in São Paulo (Brazil) for the first time as part of a program week. Here, the startups had the opportunity to work on specific challenges in the fields of customer development and impact together with their mentors. In the video, Antonio Roberto Cortes, member of the TRATON SE Executive Board and CEO of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, explains why he fully supports this program and why it is so important for an innovative company to also pay attention to social business startups.
Antonio Roberto Cortes, member of the TRATON SE Executive Board and CEO of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus:
“We at Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus are fully supporting the MAN Impact Accelerator because we believe that companies must have a firm commitment to the society in which they are present.”
The third round of the MAN Impact Accelerator is scheduled to finish in summer 2020 with the official closing ceremony of Batch #3.
*Photos and videos taken in early 2020