We know from experience that by working with others to leverage shared skills, insight and capital, we can make a greater impact. We have a growing network of partners and are working together to enable socially motivated tech ventures to grow. Read on to hear about just some of the initiatives we’re involved in.
Microsoft AI for Good Start Up Programme
We’ve teamed up with Microsoft to support their exciting Global AI for Good initiative. We’re working in partnership to deliver a special AI for Good cohort for the Microsoft for Start-ups. Together we can show that the biggest opportunity for AI is not for AI to shape our future, but for people to shape AI to make the future we want to see. Applications are open, until 8th January 2019, for any UK organisations (all phases of growth) using AI for social impact. Further information is available here.
Vodafone Techstarter is a social innovation award programme, that we’ve developed in partnership with Vodafone and its charitable arm, Vodafone Foundation. It aims to uncover and develop innovative ideas which are harnessing the power of UK technology, connectivity an innovation to improve health, education, environmental protection or social mobility.
It’s a brilliant example of how industry can support early stage innovation in social tech, providing not only funding but also access to tech and business expertise and mentoring.
Fair by Design
In 2017 we invested £1m in Fair by Design – a new fund which aims to raise up to £20m to end the poverty premium within the next 10 years. In partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Big Society Capital, Ascension Ventures, Finance Birmingham and Wayra UK, the Fair By Design Fund will invest in companies working across areas including energy, finance, insurance and digital exclusion, seeking loans and equity funding from Seed through to Series A and beyond.
Bethnal Green Ventures
We’re a founding partner in Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV), Europe’s first impact investment start-up accelerator. Since its launch in March 2012, BGV’s accelerator programme has invested £1.4 million in 86 start-ups using technology to take on major social and environmental problems.
In 2015, we invested in CAST – Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology – to help funders, nonprofits, businesses and government put digital at the heart of their service delivery and drive organisational change.
We’ve partnered with Creative England on shared initiatives since 2014. Our £1 million iAMDigital Fund launched in 2016 and is helping the Government to tackle the UK’s digital skills gap by investing in new and established SMEs working to address this challenge.
In 2015 we began our three year partnership with Shift, exploring and developing tech solutions that benefit the wellbeing and mental health of children and families living in poverty.