In 2025, 8 billion people will populate our planet. How can cities cope with the stress arising from increasing urbanisation? How can food production and consumption become more sustainable and feed a world of 8 billion? How can digitalisation help to meet these challenges?

To help answering these questions, Munich Re and Impact Hub Munich award the Fellowship “Eight Billion Lives”. Through the Fellowship, we support entrepreneurs that seek to improve future livelihoods in the face of population growth. We aim to enable social entrepreneurs in one of the following two fields: 1) Urbanisation and 2) Food production and consumption.

The Impact Hub Fellows

p>These four teams are the elected Fellows that will enter the nine-months incubation phase. During this phase the Fellows receive valuable mentoring by the co-organizer Munich Re, significant seed funding as well as connections to peer entrepreneurs and other valuable contacts

Seeds of Hope

Seeds of Hope has developed a female empowerment approach for developing countries. They train the women in health and nutrit…

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Millions of tons of vegetables produced by farmers are either not collected from the field or simply thrown away. They are to…

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Hawa Dawa

The WHO states air pollution to be the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Hawa Dawa targets this development…

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Useley is an online platform designed for people to share electronic/household products. The application strives to establish…

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The Finalists

The following nine teams were part of the cohort phase and received our support for three months until March 2016. On April 7, the cohort phase reached its summit in the final jury panel and four of the teams were elected Impact Hub Fellows and entered the incubation phase. We thank everyone of their valuable participation and wish you all the best for the future.


The issue: The amount of electronic waste increases from year to year. Meanwhile a lot of the electronic goods we buy …

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Malnutrition remains to be a global issue, with India being its epicenter. One of the main causes for malnutrition is the low status of women, preventing them from making family choices around food, healthcare & sanitation.

The issue: Malnutrition remains to be a global issue, with India being its epicenter. One of the main causes for malnu…

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The issue: Despite public awareness about the importance of recycling, its rates remain unsatisfactory. …

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The issue: Individuals with grass-root ideas for sustainable lifestyles are a driving force for sustainable developmen…

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Flüchtlingen helfen

The issue: Our communities face complex challenges, such as integrating refugees or coping with demographic change. Po…

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Ugly Fruits

The issue: Millions of tons of vegetables and fruit produced by farmers are wasted. Vegetables that don't match t…

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The issue: In countries with developing economies, local farmers often struggle to market their goods as premium food …

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Hawa Dawa 8 Billion Lives

The issue: Hawa Dawa believe that air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk.

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Challenge 1:

Half of the world’s population – 3.5 billion people – live in cities already. Further urbanisation will likely aggravate social problems and public health concerns. On the other hand, the high population density in cities carries huge potential for efficiency gains and facilitates technological and social innovation. We are looking for products or services that strive for one of the following goals:

  • strengthening resilience of urban communities and local businesses
  • promoting healthy lifestyles and well-being of the urban population
  • inclusion of disadvantaged groups
  • conservation of natural resources and environmentally-friendly infrastructure using sharing or collaborative economy approaches

Challenge 2:
Food Production and Consumption

Today one in nine people in the world (i.e. 795 million) are undernourished. At the same time, one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted and approximately 70 per cent of all available drinking water reserves is used for irrigation. Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, but many farmers remain trapped in poverty. To make matters worse, crop diversity has decreased dramatically to just a fourth of its level in 1900. Better use of biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets and better economic perspectives for farming communities. It could also facilitate resilience and sustainability in farming. Awarded will be products or services that facilitate change in at least one of the following aspects:

  • approaches to agriculture and food production that support bio- or crop diversity and give farmers better economic perspectives
  • a more effective use of water as an input for food production
  • Improvement of food production and consumption that utilises at least one of the following concepts: Blue Economy, Green Economy, Cradle-To-Cradle, circular economy, social design or local value chain development.

The Fellowship structure

Eight Billion Lives is based on the global Impact Hub Fellowship program and structured in 3 phases: Application phase, cohort phase and incubation phase. Each phase offers support for the respective teams. Impact Hub Fellows will be selected after the cohort phase.

Phase 1: Application

During the application phase we invite everyone to benefit from an ideation workshop, where you will learn how to conceptualise your idea with a clear business approach. From all applications received, a group of candidates will be invited to a pitching workshop and later to pitch in front of a professional jury panel, where the eight finalists will be selected. The finalists will then enter the cohort.

Phase 2: Cohort

The cohort is an intensive three-month acceleration phase, targeting the development of a full-fledged business model, as well as other key competences and start-up skills. Finalists gain access to a personal coach, valuable networks and a stimulating workspace at Impact Hub Munich. At the end of this phase, four Impact Hub Fellows will be selected and will enter the incubation phase.

Phase 3: Incubation

The goal for the Fellows during the nine-month incubation phase is to build a management team, develop and test a prototype, secure additional funding as well as customer contacts and, if appropriate, found a legal entity. During this phase the Fellows receive significant seed funding as well as connections to peer entrepreneurs, coaches, and other valuable contacts. These relationships, combined with focused skill development and access to a vibrant community of change-makers in an inspiring work atmosphere, help facilitate the start-up of a thriving social business.


What's in it for our teams?

The Fellowship offers support for the teams during cohort phase and for the Fellows during incubation phase.

fellowship workspace Workspace

Impact Hub Membership: Full access to the creative space of Impact Hub Munich for three months (cohort teams) or one year (Fellows)

fellowship funding Funding

A twelve month living stipend: Per team monthly € 700 during cohort phase and € 1,200 during incubation phase (Fellows). Plus a one-time seed-funding of € 10,000 for your venture.

fellowship network Network

Access to the networks of Impact Hub Munich and Munich Re.

fellowship coaching Skill development

One year start-up support including a dedicated coach, workshops, expert support, exposure and access to talent.

The initiators

Munich Re

Munich Re is one of the world’s leading reinsurers that stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how we create value for clients, shareholders and staff. By using our extensive risk knowledge we help to make risks from many different areas of private and economic life manageable. We therewith contribute to sustainable development and offer assistance in maximising opportunities and meeting current and future challenges. The Group operates in all lines of insurance, with almost 43,000 employees throughout the world.

It is our goal to take on global challenges and use the company’s risk intelligence and creativity to generate sustainable solutions. The Fellowship “Eight Billion Lives” is closely linked to Munich Re’s approach to foster innovation, for the participating social entrepreneurs and finalists will develop innovative business models to solve society’s challenges. Furthermore, Munich Re’s employees will accompany the social entrepreneurs with their expertise and experience.

Impact Hub Fellowship

Impact Hub Fellowship is a topic focused entrepreneurial idea award and one-year incubation programme designed to attract, select and support early stage impact orientated entrepreneurs and help them realise their innovations for a more sustainable world. Each Fellowship gets implemented by the collaborative effort of key stakeholders.

The Fellows and finalists contribute towards solving key pressing social and ecological issues of our time with enterprising ideas. Support is provided throughout the Fellowship year so that they build a strong foundation for growth into scalable, innovative, impactful ventures.

Impact Hub Munich

At Impact Hub Munich we believe in positive change through the power of business. In 2013, we reconstructed a more than 800 m2 large old factory storehouse in Munich-Sendling into a stimulative working environment. Here we offer space, inspiration and networks to thrive for people and organizations that put society in the centre of their ventures. Impact Hub Munich is part of Impact Hub Global, a network of collaborators each working to make a positive impact in our world. The Impact Hub community believes that a better world evolves through the combined accomplishments of creative, committed and compassionate individuals focused on a common purpose.