In 2019, the Impact Factory was founded by Anthropia gGmbH together with the founding partners Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, KfW Stiftung, Beisheim Stiftung and the programme partners Der Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband NRW and WILO Foundation.
The Impact Factory supports socially and ecologically committed entrepreneurs in setting up their own businesses. It offers a physical space for collaborative work, networking and exchange. Here, aspiring impact start-ups can find advisory and qualification services, shared services, networking, events and co-working space. The Impact Factory is a contact point for all actors who meet the challenges of our society with entrepreneurial commitment, who find solutions for social issues with the help of economic and entrepreneurial competence methods and thus create new business models that are fit for the future. It is the navel cord for a new home of future makers from all over Germany and is based on the Haniel Campus in Duisburg Ruhrort.
The Impact Factory is offering a strong network of companies, welfare, universities, R&D institutions, friendly innovation labs, incubators, accelerators and other relevant players in the start-up world. Along with its network partners, it works to accelerate sustainable projects, start-ups and initiatives in the region. The Impact Factory programmes are based on the individual and current development of the start-ups:
The participating teams have a solution idea for a relevant social problem with high potential. In this entry-level programme, they develop a workable business model with intensive support that meets the critical demands of stakeholders. In the process, they gradually approach the market reality in the Impact Factory test factory and reduce the risk of failure as well as the costs for the risk capital providers.
These teams have successfully completed the first test phase and now want to launch the model on the market. In different sessions they get support from developers, designers, finance, sales and marketing professionals. Whether it is the perfect pitch deck or a landing page for the first customers - the Impact Factory and the teams are working together on an individual go-to-market strategy.
The participants of Impact Factory's advanced programme are already one step further: they have already successfully tested their business model and have a prototype.
The Impact Factory's Fellow Programme includes start-ups that are already on the market and whose business ideas are more advanced. The Fellows' business models are promising, but still need support in certain areas. In the Impact Factory, the Fellows gain access to relevant network partners and in return support the teams that are still at the beginning of their development.
- CO2-Börse (Greifswald): Digital platform for trading CO2 compensation services between owners of CO2 sinks in the European Union and consumers.
- Lele's Lounge (Bonn): Online education platform for people with Down syndrome, consisting of blended learning, peer learning, simple language and state-of-the-art technology.
- Quantum Leap (Bonn): Platform that connects users directly with solutions and providers for climate-friendly living, linked to personal progress monitoring.
- Newtrient (Duisburg): Rule- and machine learning-based solution that makes relevant meta-properties of a text (e.g. fake news content) transparent for users.
- Bridge to Nrich (Berlin): App to measure the trust of customers and employees, linked to concrete action points.
- Vitru Water (Karlsruhe): Technical solution for fair and reliable water distribution in times of water scarcity, adapted to the needs of rural regions in developing and industrialising countries.
- Mujō (Berlin): Interdisciplinary team of design and material science developing brown algae-based, biodegradable, circular packaging materials that only live as long as they are really needed.
- mymudo (Krefeld): Gaming app that enables transparent support of the music-culture scene by tapping on music charts and music-relevant events and makes it a shared experience for Generation Z.
- Get Bulk (Düsseldorf): Reusable system of stainless steel bottles, coupled with a cleaning and refilling service and a smart app for order management.
- Der Warmduscher (Hannover): Easy-to-install heat exchanger that uses the water that runs off in the shower to heat fresh water, saving a significant amount of energy.
- VBMS Schlaganfall-Begleitung (Berlin): Website with free educational offers and paid online courses on the topic of stroke and stroke prevention.
- Hack your Shack (Berlin): Inclusive peer-2-peer exchange platform for low-tech solutions, primarily aimed at poverty-stricken people in the Global South.
- Easy Care Technology UG (Paderborn): App solution for home care that makes everyday life easier for seniors and their relatives around the clock with various features such as vital data monitoring, organiser and emergency functions.
- Key2be.me (Berlin): Offers for professional orientation based on videos and workshops with students in which people give insights into their professions, coupled with user-specific mentoring.
- Kiron Digital Learning Solution GmbH (Berlin): Social software-as-a-service learning platform for digitalisation in education and learning.
- Lylu GmbH (Darmstadt): Tablet app for seniors that presents the most common internet content in a senior-friendly, standardised and clear manner.
- Urbanhive (Münster): Smart vertical indoor farming systems for homes - for more sustainable and healthier vegetables, herbs and microgreens as well as better air quality.
- meine ernte (Bonn): Hands-on solutions that make it easier for beginners and advanced learners to grow their own healthy fruit, vegetables and herbs.
- talking hands (Frankfurt am Main): talking hands transforms sign language into flipbooks and has thereby created a new learning medium for children with and without disabilities that strengthens inclusion and makes learning fun for all.
- mpct (Karft): Media and advertising agency for sustainable interaction with customers, employees, brands and resources with a social donation mission.
- SUSTAYN (Essen): Employee app to promote sustainable action and the co-creation of larger corporate actions to implement sustainability through employee engagement in companies.
- SOCIAL POINTS (Dusseldorf): Social networking and donation platform to create and maintain new communication channels between NGOs, volunteers and young donation groups throughout Germany.
- Scayan (Essen): Company health management-as-a-service with measurable impact.
- Plastic Fischer (Solingen): Low-tech solutions used in polluted rivers in Asia to prevent plastic from causing harm in the oceans.
- SiSU Health (Bayreuth): Digital platform where employees can anonymously access a wide range of preventive measures for their mental health.
- Aktion Pink Bodyguard (Frankfurt am Main): App that helps people suffering from breast cancer to support their own recovery with physical training by monitoring individual vital data and avoiding under- or over-exertion.
- Zeero (Dusseldorf): Platform for international marketing and sales for services that help companies quickly reduce climate-damaging emissions and implement climate neutrality.
- ACTitude (Hamburg): Digital prevention service consisting of app and video courses, handouts and podcasts to increase mental flexibility in difficult situations.
- Pre-Sure Tech (Frankfurt am Main): Software for predicting and preventing building damage, thus minimizing health and psychological stress for residents and conserving resources in cities.
- PhycoSystems (Dortmund): Hardware systems consisting of water reactors and LED lighting for the cost-effective, industrial cultivation of microalgae for the sustainable production of animal feed.
- Du bist hier der Chef! (Eltville am Rhein): Platform-based initiative that lets consumers vote on how specific foods should be produced and priced, and then markets the corresponding foods.
- ForTomorrow (Berlin): European climate subscriptions through which everyone can participate in carbon offsetting and tree planting, thus living in a CO2-neutral way and promoting climate protection locally.
- PLUSX (Cologne): Donation platform for activity-linked vouchers that enable financially disadvantaged people to participate in social life.
- RELEVO (Munich): Sustainable reusable solutions for the takeaway food market in urban areas, coupled with an app that coordinates the reusable process.
- BAYTI HIER (Münster): Integrative fashion label for German-Arab friendship and an open, tolerant, multicultural society.
- BETWEEN THE LINES(Solingen): App that provides young people in problem situations with information, hero stories and easy access to the support system to help them find an autonomous and self-determined way out of the crisis.
- COZERO (Berlin): End-to-end digital Carbon Action Platform (CAP) for tracking, forecasting and management of corporate emissions and digital mediation to emission-reducing market solutions.
- eevie (Düsseldorf): eevie enables companies and organisations to achieve their climate goals in a cost-efficient way. Employees, members and customers are supported in learning climate-friendly habits, for which they are rewarded with trees to collectively plant forests to sequester CO2.
- Global Changer (Berlin): Global Changer supports companies to become emission-free through knowledge and technology.
- GoLexic (Berlin): Learning app that helps children with dyslexia or dyscalculia to improve their reading and spelling skills.
- GoodMotion (Freiburg): Bicycle trailer with intelligent drive concept that turns any bicycle into a powerful cargo bike.
- Hehlerei (Cologne): Textile merchandise and sustainable fashion solutions for B2B and B2C customer segments, making exclusive use of worn and discarded clothing.
- ichó Systems (Duisburg): Smart Therapy Ball, a new form factor in technology that helps people participate more in society through better support.
- Navato (Berlin): Environmentally friendly process of material surface treatment, which creates permanent, individual structures with unique properties. No free nanoparticles in the environment, increased efficiency, no renewal.
- Nexol Photovolthermic (Heidelberg): Off-grid heat pump boilers for use with solar power. For dark days, operation with mains power or battery is also possible.
- Polycare (Cologne): Transformative building blocks and building systems for the circular economy of the future in the construction sector with a focus on affordable and sustainable housing and living spaces in Africa and Europe.
- recyclehero (Hamburg): Cargo bike pick-up service for recyclable materials that facilitates the recycling of waste paper, glass and deposits for private and commercial customers, while at the same time supporting social projects.
- Climate Farmers (Neunkirchen): Supporting farmers with access to best practices and funding to make the transition to carbon sequestering, regenerative practices.
- SPRK.global (Berlin): AI-driven distribution platform for redistributing and processing surplus food, thus eliminating food waste in the supply chain.
- trackle (Bonn): TÜV-certified sensor system that makes natural family planning feasible for every woman.
- #21DaysOf Meaning (Munich): Challenge app for the preventive promotion of mental health, which provides users with daily impulses and practical exercises for a more meaningful life and the development of potential.
- ORGANIFARMS (Konstanz): Smart farm robot for vertical farming systems as a solution for sustainable and fully automated agriculture.
- SEEDLOANS(Tübingen): Microcredits in the form of seeds for female smallholder farmers in developing countries to strengthen sustainable agriculture and food security.
- TROCKENDOC (Munich): Therapy-accompanying app that supports addicts in achieving sustained abstinence on a scientific basis and with the help of artificial intelligence.
- QUARTIERS-HELDEN (Dortmund): Digital sharing and networking platform for neighbourhood development that provides people, initiatives and founders with all the necessary resources.
- GROME (Münster): Office gardening platform that creates a sense of unity and an understanding of the value of vegetables in the workplace under the motto "Rent a patch - Success harvesting - Healthy cooking".
- 50/50 (Berlin): Platform based on future-oriented digital technologies that transparently maps the trade between producers, traders and consumers and thus sustainably increases the quality of life and work of producers and their families.
- GOODBALANCER(Freiburg im Breisgau): Digital self-service platform for more socially and ecologically sustainable business practices by companies and consumers.
- SCHÜLER*INNEN-STIMME (Düsseldorf): School newspaper platform that supports and networks the creation of online school newspapers for every type of school in order to promote the expression of young people's opinions online.
- HUMANY (Stuttgart): Blockchain-based solution through which companies, individuals and communities can express social appreciation.
- PACK&SATT (Essen): Folding box made of tear-proof material that, unlike plastic boxes, can be easily stowed in a handbag and washed.
- DEINNACHBAR (Munich): Efficient and innovative care structures for senior citizens in need of help and caring relatives, based on approaches from logistics and digital technology.
- GOOD24 (Krefeld): Scalable social fundraising through stock transfer of already existing insurance policies.
- GOODGIVE (Köln): Sustainably produced, reusable gift packaging made of fabric that makes longevity a trend.
- REFLECTA.NETWORK(Mainz): Online network for actors of a sustainable society to solve their own and social challenges faster through skill sharing, knowledge transfer and targeted networking.
All information on the teams of the last batches can be found on the German website of the Impact Factory Duisburg.
Anthropia brings people together for whom another world is possible. It creates spaces for lateral and different thinkers who want to tackle and solve today's social problems. Together with its partner organisations, Anthropia has founded the Impact Factory, the innovation hotbed for social entrepreneurs. read more
The Beisheim Foundation is dedicated to the dialogue between generations and the shaping of social change. It develops its own programmes and promotes projects that aim to encourage active participation in society. The foundation's nationwide work focuses on education, health, culture and sport. In the spirit of its founder Otto Beisheim, the foundation acts in an entrepreneurial and partnership-oriented manner. read more
Around 3,100 social organisations work under the umbrella of der Paritätische NRW. Many of them grow out of civic engagement and social movements. The association gives them start-up help, provides technical, business and organisational advice and represents their interests vis-à-vis politicians and funding agencies. The members are as colourful as society itself. But they all have one thing in common: tolerance, openness and diversity form the basis of their actions. read more
As a family-owned investment company, Haniel today manages a diversified portfolio and, as a value creator, pursues a long-term and sustainable investment strategy. Despite its international orientation, Haniel has never lost sight of what is near at hand: the city of Duisburg and the Ruhr region. Here, the holding company contributes to the promotion of education and responsibility for the location. read more
01. Image: Source: Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Author / Photographer: Jürgen Nobel
02. Image: Source: Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Author / Photographer: Jürgen Nobel
03. Image: Source: Anthropia gGmbh, Author / Photographer: Jürgen Nobel
04. Image: Source: Author / Photographer: Impact Factory
05. Image: Source: Author / Photographer: Impact Factory
06. Image: Source: Anthropia gGmbh, Author / Photographer: Tanja Pickartz, Fotoagentur-Ruhr