Our Projects

Impact Startups

Project Summary

In August 2022, PHINEO / United Way Germany set up PHINEO Startups as a response to the long-term and acute crises happening in proximity and around the world. The startup platform has the ambition to assist impact startups in their development of solutions to current and future crises through dynamic Incubator and Accelerator programs. Given the current urgency, the first 6-month impact startup incubator program is the “Ukraine Response Program”- a program supporting impact startups to develop answers for the short-term and long-term effects of the war in Ukraine.


We empower impact startups in creating sustainable solutions for a world of crises. In particular, we seek to educate and equip a new generation of committed founders with the necessary expertise and skills to successfully manage an enterprise.

Target Group

We support impact pre-seed/seed startups that are creating solutions for the world’s most pressing crises – our focus is on impact, hence we support both non-profit startups with strong entrepreneurial spirit and for-profit startups with a strong impact mindset.


PHINEO Startups’ current incubator program takes place at the co-working space betterplace Umspannwerk (bUm). The place currently welcomes the 10 teams of the first cohort to work, meet, learn, and improve the world together, in Berlin, Germany.




A dedicated PHINEO Startups coach guides impact founders through the incubator program and designs it together with them


A dedicated and experienced mentor supports and advises each impact startup team individually throughout the incubator program – in addition, topic-specific mentors can be consulted


Weekly masterclasses impart relevant content that is tailored to the founders’ needs with the intention of supporting the acceleration of the startups’ development


Diverse types of events are offered as part of the incubator program, e.g., community events, pitch events, networking opportunities & a final event


PHINEO Startups supported impact startups benefit from joint co-working at bUm, a place to work, meet, learn and improve the world together

Peer-to-peer coaching & community building

PHINEO Startups encourages and facilitates learning and community-building opportunities among founders


PHINEO Startups provides access to different sector partners and one of the largest impact investing and social entrepreneurship networks in Germany



We received 55 applications
for the first incubator program
within 2 months after the founding of PHINEO Startups
We are supporting 10 Ukrainian impact startup teams
with 30+ active program participants in first cohort
70%+ of founders are female
We matched 10 dedicated startup mentors
and impact community of
100+ trainers, mentors, and supporters

Testimonials on the Project

“The program sheds a light on a way if you are lost and shows you hidden paths if you aren’t. The level of support from coaches and mentors has been enormous. It was the best decision we have made to succeed.”

Hanna Kolesnichenko
Co-Founder and Head of Tysha by One Ukraine

“With PHINEO Startups, we had the chance to take root in Berlin, which seemed impossible for our startup from Mariupol. Their networking and professional expertise provided so many opportunities to grow faster and with more predictable results.”

Alex Kuvallini
CEO & Co-founder Handstree

Project Timeline

August 2022
Official founding of PHINEO Startups
September 2022
Start of application process for first cohort of 6-months pilot program “Ukraine Response Program”
October 2022
Selection of 10 startup teams with primarily Ukrainian founders for first cohort
November 2022
Kick-off of pilot program with startup teams at bUm
December 2022
“Winter Magic”- community event at bUm with 70+ attendees
April 2023
Final event to celebrate the end of our first program with our 10 teams and PHINEO Startups community
June 2023
Kick-off of our second cohort of the “Ukraine Response Program”

This could be your project!

We want to know how to help you, what you think of our work, what information you need to join our synergy, and anything else you want to share so we can continue to join forces.

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Contact us

Alina Nosenko
Alina Nosenko
Head of United Way Germany
Annika Köhne
Annika Köhne
Global Strategic Partnerships Manager
Wiebke Guelcibuk
Wiebke Guelcibuk
Head of Communications