UNDP partners with Norrsken Foundation to support the world’s most promising impact start-ups

February 2, 2021


Stockholm - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is partnering with Norrsken Foundation in the launch of the global Impact Accelerator; a pre-seed accelerator investing in the best impact start-ups who contribute to solving the biggest challenges facing the world, including poverty, climate change and food security. A unique group of world-class entrepreneurs, leading investors and early-stage impact startups will gather for the Impact Accelerator. Among the mentors are more than 50 founders of unicorns and companies such as Klarna, Minecraft, Soundcloud, Good American, Kry, Meltwater, Voi, Rekindle and Brilliant Minds.

As we enter a new year and against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and looming climate crisis, it is abundantly clear that we need to accelerate progress in line with Agenda 2030. The Decade of Action calls for a whole-of-society approach where widespread and deep engagement with the private sector is crucial if we are to be successful.

“UNDP looks forward to contributing to the Norrsken Impact Accelerator. Much like Norrsken Foundation, UNDP believes that unlocking the power of innovation and entrepreneurship is vital to stepping up the pace and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

“As entrepreneurs ourselves, this is an accelerator we wished has been around when we launched our own companies. Combining the entrepreneurial ecosystem and investors with the global reach and deep expertise of the UNDP will create a perfect steppingstone for fast growing startups solving the world’s greatest challenges”, says Erik Engellau-Nilsson, CEO Norrsken Foundation.

The Norrsken Impact Accelerator targets early-stage start-ups. It is sector agnostic and is open to startups in any area of impact. This year, the cohort will be from mixed impact areas, with a special focus on food-tech and agri-tech. 20 start-ups will be selected and will receive an upfront investment of $100 000 dollars for 5% equity. This summer, the start-ups will be invited to Stockholm for a dedicated 8-week program where they will be offered support from experienced entrepreneurs and advisors, including experts from UNDP. The program will culminate in a Demo Day, where start-ups have the opportunity to pitch to several investors and potential customers.

Since 2017, UNDP has worked with over 200 ventures from 40 countries in partnership with foundations, venture capitalists, business accelerators, institutional investors, and donors to help a broad range of entrepreneurs to accelerate and scale up innovative technological solutions and business models to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. UNDP will bring this experience and network to support the Norrsken Impact Accelerator, as well as its technical knowledge in the areas of food, agriculture, water, SDG alignment, and impact measurement and management. In addition, UNDP will offer support in bringing a multi-sectoral perspective and specific market knowledge for the start-ups as they develop their solutions.

The application deadline for the Norrsken Impact Accelerator is February 28, 2021.

Apply here: https://www.norrskenimpactaccelerator.com/