GIZ Innovation Fund

Developing, implementing and rolling out innovative ideas for products, services and business models – that’s the objective of the GIZ Innovation Fund. The companywide ideas competition aims at enhancing our services and improving the impact of our projects.  

The GIZ Innovation Fund is our corporate intrapreneurship programme launched in 2017. All employees around the world are invited every year to tackle a new challenge. 

▶ We provide room, space and resources to experiment and bring innovative ideas to life.

▶ We build capacities in human-centred design, lean start-up and agile working methods.

▶ We encourage cross-departmental, cross-hierarchical collaboration and the establishments of new external partnerships.



Final Pitch 2024

On March 20, the Final Pitch of the GIZ Innovation Fund took place. At the event, six international teams presented their innovative solutions to an expert jury and the public. 2500+ watched as teams Be Prepared App and Circular Urban Garden convinced the jury and won the GIZ Innovation Awards. In the now following Maturation Phase, the two winning teams will receive intensive support in implementing their approaches.

Circles of Transition showed their agility and team spirit during the Accelerator phase, earning them the Most Agile Team Award. And the viewers favourite? DEEGRO.w! stole everyone’s heart and won the Audience Award.  

Did you miss the live event? Watch the recording on YouTube!


The four programme phases of the GIZ Innovation Fund

Through four phases the two most promising teams are identified from hundreds of ideas submitted to implement their ideas in the company.


Additional information

During the first phase of the GIZ Innovation Fund all employees are invited to submit their ideas. 

This year, we are looking for innovative ideas that have the potential to become scalable products or services and have an impact in many partner countries. In particular, we are looking for ideas that address the priority areas of German development cooperation:  

  • Covid 19 pandemic and how to alleviate its consequences
  • Eradicating hunger and poverty 
  • Enabling a Just Transition towards climate neutrality and -equity
  • Furthering feminist development cooperation

Click here to watch the invitation video of our board member Mrs. Hoven.

The Launchpad is a fun and enriching learning journey hosted on Atingi. Here the teams participate in trainings about user research and idea validation. It contains engaging video inputs, team exercises and peer exchange. By the end of this phase the teams have updated their applications. An expert jury then decides on six teams to participate in the Accelerator.

During the Accelerator the six teams with the most potential receive professional coaching and funding to develop their idea into a high-fidelity prototype. After six month the teams present their products and services at the Final Pitch Event. The two best teams will be chosen to proceed into the last phase.

In the last phase the two winning teams receive further funding and coaching to pilot and scale their ideas within GIZ.


The Innovation Fund reaches a large audience in the company, including a large number of national staff: in total, over 550 ideas from more than 70 countries were submitted during the 4 rounds.

In the course of the Innovation Fund, 121 participants were trained in innovation methods through the Accelerator Programme.

Of the 24 ideas funded, 13 have been implemented in the meantime. However, the Call for Ideas also triggered innovations outside the programme. Ideas submitted that were not funded are often pursued independently outside the Accelerator, some of which have even resulted in new projects.

The Innovation Fund has effectively brought many employees into contact with the topic of innovation and established itself as a space in which innovation is lived within the company.

V7_Infografiken Overview

Additional information

Find an overview of all the teams that have participated in the Accelerator Programme here.

Find an overview of the past five years of the GIZ Innovation Fund in this booklet.

Want to know more?

In the section below, you can find additional information on successful ideas from former cohorts of the GIZ Innovation Fund. A dynamic insight into the GIZ Innovation Fund is available on YouTube.

Additional information