Innovation Accelerator Consultant

World Food Programme, Munich, Germany

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource Mobilization
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st December, 2018

Job Description


The World Food Programme (WFP) is the United Nations frontline agency fighting hunger. WFP reaches more than 80 million people every day - delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with small holder farmers, communities and governments to improve nutrition and build resilience.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator has been named one of the top 10 innovative companies 2017 by Fast Company for operating a real startup accelerator to disrupt global hunger at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

It identifies, supports and scales high potential solutions to hunger worldwide - both WFP innovators and external start-ups with $50-100K cash, hands-on support by our New Venture Consultants and access to WFP's global operations in developing countries in a 3-6 month sprint programme. The most promising innovations are supported in scaling further.

Based in Munich, Germany, we are currently a team of 28innovators, with over 20 different nationalities and a diverse background, e.g. as serial entrepreneurs, management/HCD consultants focused on building businesses or experts in developing country innovation. Lean start-up and human-centered design (HCD) approaches are at the core of everything we do.

We have built partnerships with leading innovation organisations such as Singularity University, XPRIZE and the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). Several private sector partners and high-net-worth individuals support WFP in their work in disrupting global hunger, such as Google and others.

We support the next-level innovation for WFP’s operations, such as Building Blocks, using blockchain technology for e-wallets for people receiving cash-transfers; Tech for Food, connecting refugees to online work after a 12 week training; H2Grow / hydroponics, helps refugees grow food in desert areas or camps; FarmToMarketAlliance – an alliance between WFP and 7 private sector entities purchasing food from smallholder farmers and providing credit, and agricultural inputs as for profit business model or new startups that could help make a difference to end hunger.

As the Accelerator team, we support other entrepreneurs (could be WFP innovators or external startups, NGOs, companies) to take their innovations to the next level – either getting ideas to the first proof of concept or already implemented solutions to the next scale-up. We either remote coach teams or co-locate New Venture Consultants in the developing countries with the teams where the innovation’s user is also located for a 3-6 month period, helping drive the innovation/startup very much like a co-founder in a startup would.

Most of the team is based in Munich, Germany and some colleagues are based in locations such as Ethiopia, Lebanon and Kenya, but every New Ventures Consultant is also expected to travel to developing countries for shorter business trips. Furthermore, you would need to be available to for deployment in developing countries for a duration of 3-6 months or longer side by side with innovations of startups. Countries could be any of the 83 countries where WFP operates and has included Lebanon, Jordan, Tanzania, Iraq, Uganda, Kenya, Cambodia, el Salvador, Colombia and others in the past.


The incumbent, reporting to the Function Lead of the WFP Innovation Accelerator (e.g. Operations, Thought Leadership, Scale-up Enablement), is expected to:

Drive forward innovations/new ventures that have potential towards zero hunger:

  • Act as overall entrepreneurial team member/”temporary startup team member” for an innovation project
  • Support and coach project teams during ideation & product design
  • Define key performance indicators and milestones for the innovation project and assure their implementation
  • Participate and carry out discussions with managers in other divisions to align on project scope and objectives
  • Advise and support teams on key decisions regarding product features and technology options
  • Provide project management support, including supporting the development of innovative solutions
  • Support product testing and improvements as required
  • Execute any other task as required

Support building a strong innovation platform and network

  • Support building strong partnerships within the Munich ecosystem with the external innovation community globally
  • Engage external innovation community to act as partners to drive forward innovations with potential for zero hunger
  • Support workshops and events, e.g. innovation bootcamps by facilitating sessions or project teams/startups
  • Support building an internal innovation network to share best practices and create a peer support system

Support the innovation accelerator build-up, administration & management

  • Provide analysis & content preparation (data on projects, powerpoint presentations, briefs, etc) for corporate priority topics and executive management meetings
  • Participate and carry out discussions with colleagues in other divisions or external stakeholders on topics related to innovation
  • Support core processes of the Innovation Accelerator (e.g. innovation challenge; innovation bootcamps; sprint programme; thought leadership; innovation fund) as required
  • Support the Head of the Innovation Accelerator and the Director of Innovation with any other activities as required


  • Developed project plans and milestones achieved for innovation projects/new ventures
  • Innovation bootcamps and events effectively supported
  • Effective support of operations of the Innovation Accelerator


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree a plus
  • Experience: At least 3 years of progressively responsible national or international experience in a startup, innovations in private businesses or innovations in the humanitarian or international development sector,

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Passion and deep understanding of technology innovations (e.g. mobile apps, blockchain, artificial intelligence) and business model innovations (e.g. innovative finance, crowdsourcing)
  • Startup experience or startup mentality. Worked or led cross-functionally and get things done in a scrappy and hands-on way
  • Proven track driving projects - effectively delivering impactful elements of projects in fast-moving environment, ideally for new businesses, new business models, startups
  • Able to generate new and original solutions to complex problems and to design new products ideas
  • Strong conceptual thinking to develop new strategies & innovative projects
  • Able to interact with a broad range of stakeholders and external audience with maturity and tact
  • Excellent communication/presentation skills, with the ability to write strategy documents, to develop business plans and to write and deliver presentations
  • Collaborative spirit, able to partner with a wide range of people at all levels and across different cultures and to act with credibility and diplomacy
  • Self-motivated and able to work with a high degree of autonomy
  • Sets high-level of ambition for the project and own work to achieve impact for the hungry people we serve
  • Fully committed and motivated to achieve the aims of the UN World Food Programme

Languages: Fluency in oral and written English mandatory. An intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages) is desirable.


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