RESPOND Accelerator 2021

RESPOND promotes both responsible leadership and sustainable business models


Are you looking for an opportunity to take your sustainability startup to the next level?

The mission of the RESPOND Accelerator – a BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt accelerator program operated by UnternehmerTUM – is to promote and scale solutions to the most pressing social, environmental, and economic challenges of our time.

It’s the first accelerator program that promotes both responsible leadership and sustainable business models in line with the United Nations’ #2030Agenda.

RESPOND is looking for entrepreneurs who leverage cutting-edge technology and sustainable business models to systematically address one of three areas of innovation: Future Of Work, Sustainable Urbanization, and Responsible Economy.


RESPOND is a 5-month startup accelerator program based in Munich, Germany, that systematically advances how entrepreneurs lead, grow and scale sustainable businesses.

As a member of the RESPOND 2021 cohort, your journey will include the following elements:

COACHING & MENTORSHIP – You’ll work with coaches to develop your business with a focus on sustainability and responsible leadership. Throughout the program, our mentors will challenge, advise, and guide you on critical business and leadership decisions.

RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP – As part of the RESPOND curriculum, you’ll take part in a multi-day leadership program to explore the concept of responsible leadership. We’ll explore what responsible leadership means for entrepreneurs, reflecting and peer-counseling on critical topics such as leadership dilemmas, personal transformation, and entrepreneurial wellbeing.

INTERNATIONAL NETWORK – You’ll be part of a diverse global network of founders, investors, corporations, and thought leaders. You’ll also be introduced to the international BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network.

VISIBILITY – Backed by strong brands, RESPOND will promote your startup at international conferences and through pro-active public relations, social media, and our network. You’ll have the opportunity to present your business to an international group of investors, industry representatives, and the press at the RESPOND Demo Night.

CO-WORKING – During the 5-month program, you’ll attend four sprint phases of four to five days in Munich, Germany. You’ll gain access to the coworking space at Munich Urban Colab, to be together with other international startups in a thriving environment.

NO FEES & FULL COMMITMENT – We are fully committed to developing your leadership and scaling your impact in line with the UN 2030 Agenda. RESPOND is an equity-free program and free of charge.


For our 2021 cohort, we’re looking for ten entrepreneurs with startup solutions that match the following criteria:

SUSTAINABILITY – We seek sustainable business models that systematically address three areas of innovation: Future of Work, Sustainable Urbanization, and Responsible Economy.

INNOVATION – We’re excited about cutting-edge technology and innovative business models that have the potential to scale up globally.

TRACTION – We support international startups with a functional prototype in place, first paying customers and revenues.

LEADERSHIP – We search for entrepreneurs ready to take responsibility, lead a team, and create a positive company culture.

If you want to advance the way you grow, lead and scale your sustainable business, apply here until February 15:

Apply now

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RESPOND Accelerator 2021

RESPOND Accelerator 2021


February 15, 2021
Program dates May 11 - Oct 13, 2021
OrganizerBMW Foundation
Website Visit website
Africa, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Northern America, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
Sectors Sector agnostic
SDG (5)
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production, 13. Climate Action, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure