©Eight Billion Lives


In 2025, 8 billion people will populate our planet. How can cities cope with the stress arising from increasing urbanisation such as poor infrastructure and social problems? How can food production and consumption become more sustainable to 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 are launching the Fellowship “Eight Billion Lives”. We are looking for entrepreneurs with the best and most innovative solutions to improve future livelihoods in the face of population growth. The Fellowship aims to enable social entrepreneurs in one of the following two fields.

    Become an Impact Hub Fellow and receive:

  • seed funding – 10,000 €
  • scholarship – 1,200 € / month
  • skills – workshops / coaching / consulting
  • network – experts, investors, media
  • workspace – membership at Impact Hub Munich

Application deadline:
29th November 2015

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.

Selection criteria

Through the Fellowship, Munich Re and Impact Hub Munich are looking for innovative initiatives at a local and/or international level. A crucial aspect within the Fellowship are solutions that make use of the opportunities provided by digitalisation and/or seek to enable collaborations across sectors and disciplines. The Fellowship will be open to purpose-driven entrepreneurs who:

  • aim to revolutionise the status quo
  • are committed to social entrepreneurship / social business / economy for the common good. or similar approaches
  • find that collaboration is the best way to generate positive impact
  • embrace the possibilities of the digital realm and big or open data

The Fellowship

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.

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