Kickstarting for Good

Our programme to help launch and grow new nonprofits and impact initiatives.

Are you ready to rock the food world as a social-impact entrepreneur? Do you have a high-potential idea for a new initiative or organisation? Can your project make a difference in the food system? We are looking for the best founders to execute the ideas that will have the biggest positive impact on the world’s food ecosystem. Applications for the 2024 cohort are now open! The deadline is 09 June.

What is it?

Kickstarting for Good is the world’s first incubator and accelerator programme aimed specifically at nonprofit organisations and impact initiatives working on transforming the food system. It is the new not-for-profit programme of the ProVeg Incubator, which is part of the food awareness organisation ProVeg International.

Who is it for?

We’re looking for the best founders to execute the ideas that will have the biggest positive impact on the world’s food ecosystem. Don’t have an idea of your own yet? Not a problem – we’ve identified a series of high-impact areas for you to explore.

Why take part?

You’ll get to take part in an 10-week expert-led programme with a tailor-made curriculum, expert mentoring, and exclusive networking opportunities, culminating in a funding-focused Pitch Day. You’ll get to team up with like-minded co-founders, spend two intensive weeks in Berlin, and receive a grant of up to $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs.

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About Us

Kickstarting for Good is the world’s first programme focusing on high-impact nonprofits and impact initiatives in the food transformation and animal advocacy sector.

Our specialisation, your benefits:

  • Focus on impact: Kickstarting for Good’s programme is tailored to meet the objectives and needs of impact-focused social entrepreneurs.
  • Integrated approach: We take an integrated, hands-on approach that combines incubation and acceleration together with learning and networking.
  • Network: We are part of an international food awareness organisation with a proven track record of spin-off interventions and organisations, along with a global network.
  • Ecosystem: The programme is part of ProVeg’s first-of-its-kind startup incubator with a unique position and ecosystem of founders, mentors, and industry professionals

The Programme

Our 10-week programme offers an intensive curriculum with exclusive networking opportunities. The programme includes two intensive periods in Berlin; it culminates in a funding-focused Pitch Day. Selected participants each receive a grant of up to $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs for the mandatory in-person sessions in Berlin.

Our team of founders, funders, mentors, and researchers will help you identify the best approaches and right co-founder(s). Evaluate and validate your idea, set up a budget, dive into cost-effectiveness, develop a theory of change, and learn the fundraising ropes.

We’ll match you up with experienced mentors and advisors from our international network and our team at ProVeg International. We are experts in non-profit management and dedicated to supporting you on your entrepreneurial journey.

All eyes on AI

Kickstarting for Good collaborates with Vegan Hacktivists and Violet Studios to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) for transforming our food system. Together, we are looking for the most impactful approaches and best talent in this area. AI is one of the high-potential ‘Idea Areas’ to focus on with our next cohort. Find out more below (Idea Areas) and apply now to join the programme.

Idea Areas

After consulting more than 100 experts, we identified the following high-potential ‘Idea Areas’ to focus on with our next cohort.

Artificial Intelligence is poised to disrupt society in countless ways, but its impact on the food system remains uncertain. The animal agriculture industry is already using AI and has the resources to invest heavily in new technologies. KFG seeks to support effective ways to use AI to improve advocacy, level the playing field between advocates and industrial animal agriculture, and transform the global food system. This may include, for example, efforts to train advocacy organisations to utilise existing AI tools more effectively to streamline their processes, improve their research and communications, and have more impact. It could also involve identifying effective uses of existing and emerging AI tools to directly conduct consumer advocacy, corporate campaigns, etc. At this time, we are open to new uses of AI, but we are not currently seeking initiatives to build new LLMs (large language models) since KFG’s recent alumni Open Paws is already working on this.

Despite the many global problems caused or exacerbated by animal agriculture (climate change, public health, animal welfare, etc.), governments have been slow to enact policy changes to move toward more sustainable alternatives. But policies are an especially important tool for advocacy, with individual laws that can affect billions of animals and impacts that typically last 50-100 years. KFG seeks to support one or more new efforts, staffed by experts, to advocate for policy changes that incentivize movement toward novel sources of protein and away from animal agriculture. This may involve activities like lobbying to strengthen the landscape for sustainable foods or against proposed legislation that would limit plant-based product labelling and cultivated meat production. It could also include encouraging investment in the production and distribution of alternative protein products through tax breaks and government subsidies, or supporting research into and development of improved plant-based and cultivated foods. The specific activities chosen will be complementary to the work of groups like ProVeg, GFI, and others. 

In the United States, just 3% of US charitable giving supports both animal and environmental causes, with a tiny fraction reaching farmed animal protection. Farmed Animal Funders estimate that donations to farmed animal causes total about $200 million per year, which is less than half of one percent of all charitable donations. The vast majority of funding for climate change goes to the energy and transport sectors while food systems receive just 3%. As a result, work on food system transformation is underfunded and struggling to make a large-scale impact. KFG seeks to significantly boost funding for farmed animal and food system charities by identifying new income streams and attracting new and diverse donors. Activities may include building connections with funders in related sectors like climate change and public health, exploring new opportunities with corporations and governments, and working with existing fundraising organisations to help them expand their reach to nontraditional donors and foundations. We are particularly open to new and creative ideas – or proven ideas from other movements – spearheaded by experienced fundraisers.

Nearly five billion people are members of at least one social media platform, representing dramatic growth from less than one billion users in 2010. Most young people spend four hours or more on social media and related apps every day, making it arguably the most important source of information for younger consumers. It is clear that the influence of social media is strong and continuing to grow and KFG seeks to improve and increase the movement’s social media content and online presence. We are interested in ideas to help plant-forward social media content creators be more professional, persuasive, effective, and self-sustaining. We also support ideas to help recognize and reward highly effective social media influencers and platforms focusing on plant-based eating and food system transformation and to create stronger communities among mission-aligned influencers.

Efforts to reduce and replace animal product consumption by engaging corporations have shown excellent promise in areas like foodservice and with plant-based defaults. Transforming the global food system requires building a corporate infrastructure to support positive industry changes and alternative consumer choices. KFG is looking for new ideas to use the power and influence of corporations to create a more sustainable and humane food system. These may involve entirely new initiatives – for example, in collaboration with not-for-profits or startups – or efforts to replicate previously successful campaigns in new areas of corporate engagement. For example, organising a coalition of private sector leaders who are eager to nurture a more plant-forward corporate environment or work together to pursue specific industry changes. Also, we are interested in identifying and promoting technological solutions to reduce the number of animals killed for food.

University students are a key audience for food system transformation. They tend to be relatively open to personal behaviour change and have the potential to make a significant impact through their dietary and career choices. There are about 235 million students enrolled in universities worldwide. KFG supports new efforts to conduct strategic outreach to these students including ideas to educate, influence, organise, and support them. For example, a new initiative dedicated to student outreach at top universities, including creating student groups, promoting plant-based food, encouraging food system careers, holding events and hosting speakers, etc. We will also consider ideas to connect and support organisations, groups, or individuals working on plant-forward eating and food awareness education in universities or, for example, a regional umbrella organisation for student networks and campus groups focused on plant-based eating.

Effective communication is essential to amplify the movement’s messages despite having limited resources for media and advertising. Current perceptions of animal advocates, plant-based foods, and food technology in general are mixed and often polarised, in part due to well-funded campaigns by the meat industry. KFG supports improving the movement’s use of public relations, media, and communications, such as the work on disinformation conducted by KFG alumni, The Freedom Food Alliance. Examples include a nonprofit public relations programme working with new and established groups in our movement to get more and better media recognition or a journalism support organisation similar to the Society for Environmental Journalists, or a programme to connect advocates with professional PR companies willing to provide pro bono support.

Chefs, culinary schools, and the culinary field as a whole have the potential to either accelerate or slow down the transition to animal-free foods. In the U.S. alone, the culinary industry employs around 15 million people, including 175,000 chefs and head cooks. Globally, we estimate there are more than 150 million people working in culinary fields including restaurants, foodservice, catering, etc. KFG supports engaging with these professionals to help them be more successful, create a community of like-minded chefs, and generally work to improve the quality and availability of plant-based foods in all parts of the world. For example, international programmes modelled on the successful “Vegucation” programme in Austria, which educates vocational culinary schools about how to teach aspiring chefs to cook plant-based food, or a coalition of industry scientists who help food companies replace animal ingredients.

Religious beliefs and values have a deep influence on the actions of billions of people. Worldwide, more than 80% of people identify as being affiliated with a religion, including 2.2 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims, and 1 billion Hindus. KFG seeks initiatives that work with often neglected religious groups to leverage their influence in creating a more compassionate food system. Potential initiatives include a programme to encourage members of one or more religious groups to change their attitudes and behaviour toward animals or plant-based eating, or a campaign reaching out to influential religious leaders with a message of food system transformation through the lens of faith-based values.

Approximately one in four people in the global workforce are employed by agriculture. Farmers and their employees have been integral to sustaining the global human population and will be an important part of transforming the food system. However, meat industry consolidation has reduced competition and profits for many contract animal farmers. KFG supports initiatives that help farmers transition away from animal agriculture toward farming more sustainable and potentially more profitable alternatives including plant-based ingredients and fungi. Our primary goal is to accelerate the work already being done in this area (examples here and here), for instance by establishing a global or regional umbrella organisation that helps existing transition programmes in different countries more effectively encourage and support efforts by farmers to move towards animal-free agriculture. Other ideas in this area could be persuading governments to subside farming transition projects or building new farming transition initiatives in underserved geographic regions or for animal product industries that may currently be neglected.

Global food waste accounts for an estimated 6% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is about a fourth of all food-related emissions. Food waste also accounts for 18 billion farmed animal deaths each year. With the United Nations naming food waste among its Sustainable Development Goals and committing to halving global food waste by 2030 (see goal 12.3), there appears to be political will to address the problem. However, most current efforts focused on food waste emphasise fruits and vegetables rather than animal products. KFG is looking for innovative ideas to address animal product waste among consumers and throughout the supply chain. For example, this could include an initiative to encourage existing campaigns against food waste to prioritise animal products or a programme to persuade food manufacturers, foodservice providers, and consumers to reduce the portion sizes of animal-based products that they offer or purchase.

Team & Mentors

Our team and our mentors will support you throughout your entrepreneurial journey. We'll give you access to a unique network of leaders and founders, non-profit and for-profit experts, scientific pioneers, bestselling authors and seasoned advisers from diverse backgrounds.

Want to support impact entrepreneurs as a mentor, partner or funder?

We are always looking for like-minded, mission-aligned mentors who are knowledgeable about the not-for-profit, animal advocacy and food transformation spaces. Perhaps you’re a founder who built their own charity or company from scratch or maybe you’re an expert in business models, marketing, impact evaluation, or fundraising? You can share your valuable expertise with our founders via workshops, talks, or Q&As!

If you’d like to get involved, please write to us and tell us how you can contribute.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The ProVeg Incubator programme is for food-tech startups seeking investments; Kickstarting for Good is for nonprofits and impact initiatives fueled primarily by philanthropy.

  • Kickstarting for Good has a laser-sharp focus on the mission of reducing and replacing the consumption of animal products for the benefit of public health, animals, climate and our planet at large.
  • Besides helping to launch new fully-fledged nonprofit organisations, we also work to create new programmes and initiatives within existing organisations.
  • While all of our initiatives seek philanthropic support to get started, we also help them develop revenue-generating ideas and models (e.g. for associations).
  • Our programme is there to support at the ideation stage, but also at the growth or repositioning stage for existing organisations.
  • Around 10 hours per week during the pre-programme phase from mid-July to end-August.
  •  Full-time during the in-person sessions on site in Berlin (6 – 11 September, 9-13 November).
  • Around 20 hours per week during the virtual programme phase from mid-September to mid-November.
  • While the official programme ends in mid-November, we are looking for applicants keen and able to work full-time on their initiative after the programme (as funding permits).

 

Yes, twice. It’s required to be present during the intensive weeks in Berlin which would be at the beginning (6-11 September) and the end (9-13 November) of the programme.

Yes. Please apply separately and list your co-founders and team members in the application form. If you apply with your own idea, only one of the co-founders or team members needs to fill out the information about their initiative.

After consulting more than 100 stakeholders in our movement, we think: yes! The ecosystem of today cannot solve all the pressing problems at hand. We need more specialised nonprofits and impact initiatives and also meta organisations that tackle those problems. We will be very thoughtful and intentional in our approach, however, and will only facilitate the launch of new organisations when there are compelling reasons to do so. Cost-effectiveness, problem-solution fit, theory of change and sustainability are crucial. Furthermore, our approach is very flexible: Apart from new organisations, we also support and work on initiatives or programmes that could be integrated in existing organisations.

Absolutely not! You can join without an idea, and can either choose to explore one of the Idea Areas we’ve identified, or can potentially join someone else already working on their own idea.

Yes. The programme is shaped in such a way that it is adaptable to already established organisations and initiatives in their early stage, or at a stage of repositioning and pivoting.

Seed funding is crucial but we cannot guarantee that you will receive it. Having said that, we will connect you with potential major funders and foundations and help you present your work in the most compelling way. We will also work with you on alternative business models that are less dependent on philanthropy.

We’ve identified the following Idea Areas for our 2024 cohort. 

  • Policy Change
  • Meta-Fundraising
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Social Media
  • Corporate Engagement
  • University Outreach
  • Public Relations
  • Culinary Engagement
  • Faith-Based Advocacy
  • Farming Transition
  • Food Waste

See the ‘Idea Areas’ section above for a description of each.

Stage 1: Application form

The application process begins with the written application form which helps us get an understanding of your background, experience and interests. In the application form you can submit your own idea and/or apply to found one of our ideas.

Stage 2: Trial tasks, tests and video

Applicants who pass the first stage will be invited to complete trial tasks, aptitude and personality tests. We’ll also ask them to submit a short introductory video of themselves.

Stage 3: Group call

Applicants who pass the second stage, and who applied to found one of our ideas, will be invited to a group call where they will meet our team as well as other candidates interested in the same Idea Area, who could be potential co-founders.

Those who apply with their own idea will also have a group call with our team and with potential co-founders, if applicable.

Stage 4: Interview

Applicants who pass stage 3 will be invited for individual interviews for a final assessment.

Confirmation

From applicants to participants! We aim to make our final decision in early July. Once we have confirmed your participation, we will coordinate with you the important logistics i.e. contract, support needed for a visa, preparation for coming to Berlin, and the programme.

Structure and timeline:

  • Pre-programme: Onboarding, preparation and introductions. (Mid-July to end-August).
  • Programme: 10 weeks (6 September to 13 November).
  • Post-programme: Once the teams are incubated, we are still there to support them with not only their fundraising journey but also helping them set up operations if needed.

Key dates:

  • 6-11 September: Initiation week in Berlin 
  • 12-14 September: CARE Conference (optional). We will attend the conference as a cohort.  Additional stipend provided on a case-by-case basis.
  • 15 September – 8 November: Virtual phase 
  • 9-13 November: Closing week in Berlin 
  • 13 November: Pitch Day in Berlin.

We know that acquiring a visa can take time, with getting an appointment at the embassy or consulate often being the most time-consuming step. If you require a visa to come to Berlin for the programme, we recommend that you already start the process of requesting an appointment when you enter the second stage of your application with us. If you are selected, we will provide the necessary documents to support your visa.

Yes, you can submit your own idea outside of those areas. 

In the application form, we’ll ask the following open questions in case you submit your own idea:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Describe your unique or innovative solution to the problem.
  • What will be your main activities, interventions, and/or services?
  • What impact will your nonprofit or initiative have?
  • Where do you envisage the funding coming from?
  • If applicable, mention an organisation or initiative (maybe in a different movement or geography) that can serve as a role model or inspiration for your idea.
  • If you plan to focus on a specific country or geography, please describe it.
  • If you already work with co-founders and/or partners on this project, please tell us about them, including their skills, responsibilities, and LinkedIn pages, if applicable.
  • Where is the founding team located?
  • If applicable, what are you looking for in a possible co-founder? Please list the traits, qualities, and skills that you would want your co-founder to possess.
  • What is your estimated budget for the first 12 months?
  • If you have a presentation, website, or one-pager of your idea, please provide us with a link.

We review applications on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply by 30 April. In this case, you will receive a response by 15 May informing you as to whether you’ve made it to the next stage. We will accept applications up until 26 May. In this case, we will consider your application, but we can’t promise when we’ll get back to you.

Sebastian Joy

Founder & President - ProVeg International

Sebastian Joy is the Founding President of ProVeg International, a food awareness organization working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal products with plant-based and cultivated alternatives. He also helped kickstart 50by40.org, an international alliance of over 80 NGOs working to reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by 2040, where he served as the Executive Chair. In addition, he is Vice President of the European Vegetarian Union, a partner of V-label Ltd., a mentor at Charity Entrepreneurship, and was a lecturer in Nonprofit Management at the Berlin School of Economics and Law for several years.

Albrecht Wolfmeyer

Director at ProVeg Incubator

Albrecht Wolfmeyer is Director at ProVeg Incubator. He joined ProVeg International in 2018 to build and launch ProVeg Incubator, the world’s first startup program dedicated to supporting impact-driven startups developing animal-free food solutions. Prior to joining ProVeg, Albrecht took charge of marketing and communications at the World Association of German Schools Abroad (WDA), a global non-profit organization. He led research projects in collaboration with the Bertelsmann Foundation and the University of St. Gallen. As a project and marketing manager at KPMG, Albrecht focussed on key topics like high-growth markets. As co-founder of a social startup, he gathered first-hand experience as an entrepreneur. Albrecht is a mentor, juror and speaker at numerous international food-tech, investment and startup programs, competitions and events. Albrecht studied in Berlin, Toronto, Paris and Fribourg. He holds degrees in non-profit and association management from the University of Fribourg and in social sciences from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Albrecht speaks German, English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Prakrit Sachdeva

Impact Program Manager at ProVeg Incubator

Prakrit Sachdeva is Impact Program Manager (Kickstarting For Good) at ProVeg Incubator. He is an entrepreneurship, ecosystem management and hospitality expert. Prior to joining ProVeg, he was with SAP.iO and SAP and co-founded HAKS – Hospitality And Kitchen Solutions in his hometown Delhi, India. Prakrit is passionate about the world of innovation and entrepreneurship, and how innovation can be used to do good for our society and the planet.

Che Green

Research & Impact Consultant at ProVeg Incubator

Che Green is a change-maker focused on ethics, sustainability, and public health. Through his work with Moonshot Collaborative (co-founder), Cultivate Insights (principal), and Faunalytics (founder), he helps advocates and sustainable businesses achieve their potential and bring about much-needed change. Che specializes in product testing, marketing, operations, research, and business development. Che is a former analyst, investment banker, and research manager with experience in developing and implementing a range of research projects.

Esther Salomon

Vegan and Animal Rights Conference - Mentor

Hanna Yael Gabay

Beyond Impact / Animal Save Movement - Mentor

Hanna Yael Gabay is a partner at Beyond Impact VC. She was Director of Global Operations at Zero Egg, Global Campaign Director at Animal Save Movement and Co-Director at Plant Based Treaty, among other positions in for-profit and not-for-profit organisations. Hanna Yael has vast experience in food-tech, running global campaigns, and serving several not-for-profits boards.

Linda Obregon

Peruvian Veef - Mentor

Ria Rehberg

Veganuary - Mentor

Our Team

Kickstarting for Good