Customer Case


As a practice partner, we were both the structuring unit in the design of the incubator program and responsible for its implementation. In close cooperation with the Körber-Stiftung, we supported the teams from the initial idea through to the start-up phase.

Service: The conception and implementation of an incubator program for impact startups


Method: Design thinking, Co-Creation, Lean startup method, Peer-to-Peer learning, Stakeholder engagement


Industry: Foundation


Year: 2023/2024


For impact startups, having a positive social or environmental impact is of central importance. At the same time, they must operate profitably. In the founding process, they undergo a similar process as conventional startups, but they have their own unique challenges and needs. Institutional support, funding, documentation, and measuring impact, or building a network – the balancing act between social/environmental impact and economic profitability can be a challenge for many impact start-ups.


There are countless programs specifically designed for the development, scalability, and economic success of startups. However, they fail to meet the diverse needs and challenges of impact entrepreneurs.


An incubator program should be developed that makes it easier for impact founders of the younger generation to start up and gives them visibility.

What does an incubator program look like that is specifically designed for impact founders and promotes both social/environmental impact and economic growth?


In intensive workshops with the Körber-Stiftung, we initially focused on analyzing the target audience. For this purpose, we engaged in intensive discussions with impact founders. The idea behind this was to develop a deep understanding of the fundamental motivations, needs, and pain points of impact founders in order to design a user-centered program.


The identification of levers to overcome the specific hurdles of the target group was of central importance. Additionally, we took a look into the incubator ecosystem to identify both points of connection and opportunities for supplementation. Based on the understanding of the target group and the current offering, we worked closely together to define key topics, framework conditions and basic requirements for participation.


This developed into the four-month Next.Generation Incubator with eight thematic sprints. We started the program with 10 teams and finished with 9.


The eight sprints each consisted of a physical workshop, a processing phase and a digital check-in. A hybrid format for the perfect balance of personal contact and digital work. The perfect balance of peer-to-peer learning between participants and individual advice. The perfect balance of networking and content delivery. For practical insights, the workshops were accompanied by experts from the Impact Startup ecosystem. In addition to the workshops, know-how sessions were held with founders to share insights with the teams.


With eight main topics, the teams were offered everything they need to develop their idea into a social enterprise ready for founding.


  1. Team, vision, structure
  2. Problem & idea
  3. Insights & market research
  4. PoC, prototypes and MVP
  5. Business model
  6. Finance
  7. Market entry
  8. Pitch

The first batch was carried out from October 2023 to February 2024. Click here for the incubator program. 

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