Bernhard Kowatsch is the Head of the Innovation Accelerator of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), which he created in 2015. The Accelerator sources, nurtures and scales start-ups and non-profits that disrupt global hunger and runs accelerator programmes for other global problems. In 2021, the innovation and startup portfolio positively impacted the lives of 9 million people (2X each year since launch) and has raised a total of $180M+ of grant funding.
The Accelerator has supported more than 200 innovations in its portfolio, runs a total of 18 SDG accelerator programmes for external partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Humanitarian Grand Challenges and other UN Agencies in different areas. The team of 70+ innovators represents over 40 countries and speaks more than 25 languages.
Bernhard is a regular speaker at tech conferences and global events on tech for good, blockchain, artificial intelligence, social entrepreneurship and technologies disrupting global hunger, e.g. Mobile World Congress, AI For Good, SXSW, World Economic Forum, XPRIZE and numerous UN and government events.
Prior to starting the Accelerator, Bernhard co-founded the award-winning ShareTheMeal app that crowdsources funding for WFP. This leading innovation has raised over 150 million meals for hungry children worldwide, and was named as an App of the Year for 2020 by both Apple and Google.
Bernhard also built up WFP’s Internal Management Consulting unit based in Rome, and was previously a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for global tech and industrial goods companies. He holds three Master degrees from HEC Paris and Vienna University of Business and Economics.