BCGDV Social Venture Program Part 1: Introducing Plan A

For the next eight weeks, BCGDV is collaborating with social venture Plan A to help the company bring its product to the next level. We’ll be following them along the way.

At the tail end of 2019, we at DV launched our social ventures program. It started with a simple idea: To give an inspiring social initiative, company, NGO or another entity the opportunity to take their project to the next level, with a team of DVers working alongside them from our Berlin office over a maximum period of three months.

When issued a call for applicants, we were blown away by the response. Over 70 teams submitted their proposals, and we were impressed by the number of strong applicants. We went through a thorough process in order to settle on the winning venture, first identifying the 12 teams that offered the most promise, then tasking our judges with narrowing down these 12 to a shortlist of 5. We invited these 5 candidates to pitch at our Berlin center.

Plan A’s Lubomilla Jordanova presenting Plan A at the pitch event at our Berlin center.

After much deliberation and a lively pitch event, we selected Plan A, a data-driven platform which, in the words of Founder and CEO Lubomilla Jordanova, “helps companies embed sustainability seamlessly in their operations.”

What was it that made Plan A stand out? Ken Knoll, Lead Product Manager at DV, said that it all came down to Plan A’s potential for impact: “We think their mission is amazing. What matters to us is having an impact with our social initiatives, and in Plan A we really see the chance to make a real impact. This aligns with what we want to do here at DV and so we’re really happy to support.”

During a busy first week, the new combined team has taken the opportunity to get to know one another, while also making a lot of progress. Lubomilla: “It’s been a long week! We’ve had a few long nights of thinking, working, prototyping. It’s been amazing, we’ve been able to capture quite well what Plan A stands for. Capturing two-and-a-half years in a week is quite a lot of work! We also put together a plan for the next eight weeks.”

So, what is planned for the next eight weeks?

“Plan A has so far had amazing success and response in the market so far and we’re helping them to take it to the next level. We want to help make their product more scalable, to reach more businesses in a shorter time,” said Ken. “Our intended outcome within these eight weeks is to build an end-to-end digital experience that will allow us to reach more businesses and help them reduce their carbon footprint.”

The team will work on automating the process of calculating, monitoring, reducing and offsetting businesses’ carbon emissions, a mission not without its challenges. “When you’re translating something from an offline experience to something digital you really need to understand what value you’re driving for the customer and make sure you translate exactly that into this digital experience seamlessly.”

Both DV and Plan A are excited about the next eight weeks. Lubomilla: “This week has made it clear to the whole Plan A team that we’re in for an amazing challenge and give us the opportunity to come out with a really great product, one that will really improve on the one we have now, and I’m confident that we’re going to put together something great.”

The combined BCGDV x Plan A team

Ken: “It’s an amazing team to work with, an amazing value proposition, and we’re really excited to launch a real product within eight weeks.”

For the next eight weeks, Plan A will work with a team of DVers, from designers to product managers to engineers and more. We’ll be posting updates throughout that time, so stay tuned!

Read the next instalment in this series:
🌎 Part 2: Design
🌎 Part 3: Technology
🌎 Part 4: Reflections

For more about Plan A, visit the website.

To learn more about BCGDV, follow us on Twitter @BCGDV and visit our website.

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BCG Digital Ventures - Part of BCG X

BCG Digital Ventures - Part of BCG X

BCG Digital Ventures, part of BCG X, builds and scales innovative businesses with the world’s most influential companies.