Calling all innovators, entrepreneurs, and good human beings! BCG Digital Ventures is offering support and expertise to make an impact at scale. Take your initiative to the next level - we don’t take equity, and it's free.
An initiative which addresses this year's theme
Team of at least 2 members who are committed full time
Ability to travel at own cost to be co-located in Berlin at least 1 day per week
Innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders from start-ups, corporations, and NGO’s - those who want to make a positive impact in this world, but need an extra helping hand and the resources to do so. We are looking for initiatives that already took the first steps and have already looked deeply into the domain in which they are playing.
In 2015, world leaders agreed to a framework of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to get to a better world by 2030. Following this framework, we decided to invest this year's resources to tackle the undeniable threat to our planet embodied in the following goals:
If your initiative does not tackle these goals, do not worry. Our theme will change every year. Check back for the next round!
Work closely alongside our full-time expert team of 5-15 people, ranging from design to engineering and business, for up to 3 months.
Accommodate your entire team at our office in Berlin Mitte, and get access to our infrastructure and tools.
Profit from our extensive track record of product and venture building.
Get connected with corporate partners, industry experts and investors, and gain exposure through our marketing activities.
Tell us about your social initiative with a detailed company one-pager using a template to be downloaded in the application form. But first, please read through our eligibility criteria!
The top 10 initiatives will get the chance to be reviewed in more depth and fine-tune their pitch with the support of a dedicated coach from DV.
The final 3-5 initiatives will be invited to an exclusive pitch event and be voted on by the BCGDV community in Berlin.
After the announcement of the winner, we will closely align on the desired outcome, timeline, and staffing of the program to make sure that the team can kick off within the next few weeks.
Plan A is the winner of our very first Social Ventures Program. They successfully pitched a B2B platform that measures, reduces and offsets the carbon footprint of employees whilst creating a company-wide culture of sustainability. We set up a joint team with 10 experts from BCGDV and 13 members from Plan A for 8 weeks in our Berlin office to bring their initiative to the next level. Together we launched the MVP, on-boarded their first customer, and developed a growth strategy as well as a product roadmap.
OpenSC offers a supply chain traceability and transparency technology that unlocks strategic, top-line and bottom-line benefits for businesses committed to sustainable and ethical approaches. By doing so, consumers can access information about where products come from and how they are produced to make informed purchasing decisions. A BCGDV team of 10 people turned the proof-of-concept into a scalable platform with already two large food corporations as first customers.
FliP was the result of a 12-week innovation and validation sprint with WWF, BCG and DV to identify promising digital business opportunities that drive engagement among existing supporters and win new ones. The team developed 4 concepts and deep-dived on FliP, a digital companion which assesses financial transactions to track one's ecological footprint and to provide advice on how to improve in an actionable and fun way. With the help of a digital prototype, real user feedback, and a pitch deck, WWF was ready to present the concept to investors.
Project Together wanted to validate, test, and iterate the concept of a digital marketplace for social change. For 6 weeks, BCGDV supported Project Together with a fully fledged product team, including 3 UX Designers, 1 UI Designer, 2 Product Managers, and 3 Consultants. The team came up with a sales strategy and a ready-to-build prototype which helped Project Together to raise a new round of funding.
More than 3 million children under the age of five die every year due to malnutrition. Current data generation and accuracy is inefficient. Welthungerhilfe (WHH) built a first version of their Child Growth Monitor, the game-changer app to identify malnourished children through 3D scanning. For 6 weeks, BCGDV supported the team in the form of ethnographic research onsite in India and did a detailed technology review. Based on these insights, the joint WHH, BCG, and DV team developed a +2-years stage gate process that helped the team raising additional funds.
More than 1 in 6 school children experience frequent bullying. The exposed victims have a higher risk of future mental illnesses, but only 1 out of 3 speak up. The 3 Exclamo founders (17 to 18 years old) have built a business that educates students and schools about bullying and allows victims to receive the support they need. Within 6 weeks, BCGDV helped Exclamo to evaluate a proper IT system architecture, supported finalising visual and information design, and pushed the app development over the finish line for public launch.
Nebenan.de is the largest social networking platform for local communities and neighbourhoods in Germany. Together with its founders, BCGDV ran a 2 week acceleration sprint looking at the different possibilities to evolve the company's business model, while at the same time maintaining the privacy and trust pillars it is known and cherished for.
BCG Digital Ventures is an early-stage growth platform comprised of a diverse, multidisciplinary team of innovators, entrepreneurs, engineers, creatives, growth architects and investors. Together with corporations, we rapidly invent, launch, scale, and invest in revolutionary new businesses.
DV Social Ventures is an employee-led initiative. We are looking to make as much of a positive contribution to social and environmental causes as we can by leveraging our methodology, network, and talent.
The ownership of the initiative is with the applicant. BCG Digital Ventures has no intentions to take ownership of any ideas. Be aware though that there might be other applicants or other stakeholders, including DV, with similar ideas. Also, DV is a venture builder and we may have or will build ventures which operate in the same field of your submitted ideas. If you think your idea needs specific protection, please do not submit it here but rather get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to clarify.
You certainly can! Feel free to submit multiple initiatives. But make sure that your application forms are complete and comprehensive.
We are accepting applications from initiatives in different stages of maturity and will adjust our support package accordingly. If you only have a brilliant idea but haven’t done any research or work on it so far - it will not be sufficient unfortunately. We are looking for initiatives that already took the first step (at least) and have looked deeply into the domain in which they are playing. Ideally, you have a clear understanding of your vision, value proposition and USPs. Also more mature initiatives, that have already gained first traction, are more than welcome to apply!
Since we are an international company, the application process will be held in English. Nevertheless, we encourage you to submit your initiative, as we will support you in any way possible.
Idea fit: Innovative and scalable digital solution that helps protecting our planet. Clear opportunity to generate significant and measurable impact. Proof-of-concept within 6-12 weeks possible.
Team fit: A core team that will be fully dedicated to the venture during the work with DV (and ideally after). Relevant experience and expertise to support the idea.
BCG Digital Ventures fit: Set-up a social business or accelerate an existing one. Clear benefit from DV talent and methodology. Willingness to commit resources to work jointly with DV in Berlin in an agile way.
If you can't meet this submission deadline, there'll be another round in 6 months. But be aware that the theme of the program in next round might change as well.
We will run most of the process virtually, but are positive that we can get back in the office upon start of the collaboration. We also want to be cautious and respectful of what everyone is comfortable with, so we would take the selected team’s preference into our decision on how to collaborate. However, we would require the teams to join us in-person for selected meetings in Berlin (e.g. kick-off, dedicated workshops, team events, end presentation).