New Social Tech Amplifier seeking ventures that offer tech solutions to help tackle youth unemployment

Catch22, Ufi VocTech Trust and the Social Tech Trust launch new amplifier in bid to improve employment prospects for young people

The Social Tech Amplifier, launched today, is set to mobilise the power and energy of tech ventures in public service delivery to help young people access jobs and navigate the future of work.

Delivered in partnership by Catch22, Ufi VocTech Trust and the Social Tech Trust, and supported by Hatch and Microsoft, the Amplifier is inviting ventures to apply for the programme, where they’ll receive funding and support to scale their ideas.

David Hinton, Catch22’s Project Lead for the Social Tech Amplifier, said:

“At Catch22, we firmly believe in the power of alternative public service delivery – not least in the space of supporting young people into work. Our current employability programmes support nearly 2000 people a year into work or training, over a third of whom are NEET. We also have a strong procurement track record; 60% of the ventures we supported through our Incubate, Accelerate, Amplify programme won public sector contracts to the value of £21m.”

Those ventures who are successful in applying to be part of the Social Trust Amplifier will receive support with:

Accessing Business to Government (B2G) markets

> Helping ventures to identify the impact and commercial opportunities for deployment in public service delivery.
> Helping ventures to test and refine solutions through existing supply chain and network partners
> Helping ventures to deploy impactful and commercially successful solutions in the B2G market

Venture development and contract readiness

> A series of workshops including strategy, finance, branding, marketing, sales, and pitching
> Peer support and expert coaching and mentoring sessions
> Demo Day showcasing business to a panel of experts

Technology support

> Microsoft Founder Hub resources including products and Azure credits.
> Expert mentors – advice and guidance from Microsoft’s technical experts.
> Partner offers – access to product and service offers from Microsoft partners.

Raising investment

> Helping ventures know what types of funding and investment is available to them and best aligns with their goals and needs
> Helping ventures understand the process of raising investment and what they need to prepare for fundraising
> Helping ventures understand what different investors are looking for and start to form an investment strategy

Thomas Heiser, Head of Communications and Ufi, said:

“Digital technology has a crucial role to play in supporting young people to access jobs and navigate the future of work. The Social Tech Amplifier has the potential to have a real impact, supporting new ventures to scale and transforming the employment prospects of young people. We’re very excited to be a partner and look forward to supporting the first cohort of ventures.”

Chris Blues, Programme Director at the Social Tech Trust, said:

“Technology can be a powerful tool for addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The Social Tech Amplifier will truly supercharge young people’s employment prospects through scaling impact tech ventures.

“We know all know that talent is evenly distributed, yet opportunity is not. The Social Tech Amplifier will showcase how we can create a world where social transformation is the driving force behind tech and nurture solutions that have a deep-rooted impact on young people’s lives.”

Applications close Friday 2nd December 2022 at midday.
Register your interest.

Our partnership with Microsoft and the Met Office enabled us to support ten social tech ventures to tackle pressing social issues from developing intelligence software to combat online illicit trade to helping food and drink businesses score and display the environmental impact of their products to consumers. This year’s cohort has the potential to tackle climate change from a holistic perspective, creating change that can be truly fundamental to the way that we live our lives and engage with the planet.  

To give our ventures every chance of success, they were supported through expert advice and workshops on commercial development and social impact in addition to coaching to maximise the impact of their work.  

The programme saw Scrapp, a patent pending, purpose-led platform on a mission to reduce global waste, realign their value proposition for greater impact and Yes Make taking on excerpt advice to support them in solidifying their work in mitigating the locally and globally, by encouraging outdoor education and facilitating low carbon transport and renewable energy whilst promoting creativity and play for people of all ages. This year’s AI for Environmental Sustainability programme has catalysed the work being done by ventures committed to using technology for social good.  

What’s next for this year’s ventures?  

This year’s ventures are ready to make a positive difference, but in order to make a sustainable impact on the world, they need the support of a wider community. Here’s a snapshot of what our ventures hope to achieve and how you can help: 

Materials Nexus, is a company committed to accelerating the transition towards net-zero materials is on the lookout for businesses who are interested in decarbonising their businesses.  

Scrapp wants to ensure that recycling is a viable and widely adopted method to appropriately handle waste. They’re seeking investment to scale their operations and want businesses to adopt Scrapp and roll-out effective recycling programs that save them money on contamination fees. 

Vistalworks is tackling illicit trade, a $2.2trillion a year problem that depletes corporate profitability, funds organised crime, affects national security, and impacts progress towards all UN Sustainability Goals and Net Zero Climate Targets. Their next step is to develop the best way to measure the impact of their work.  

Yes Make want the urban design and construction process to include sustainable materials practise and the voices of their end-users from the beginning. Through their work they hope to see the mitigation of the climate emergency and uptake in low-carbon alternatives in industry done in a just way. Yes Make is changing the way urban design takes place, but they need capital to support them in their mission.  

If you’re interested in supporting one of this year’s ventures, get in touch with us 

Ten companies focused on finding solutions to reduce carbon emissions and waste, preserve water and protect ecosystems have been selected to take part in Microsoft’s AI for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator programme.

The programme, launched in collaboration with the Met Office and Social Tech Trust, will support the cohort through a four-month programme to advance their environmental solution using AI.

The 10 companies will develop their technological capabilities and commercial strategy, build the relationships they need to scale their solution and, crucially, learn how to measure the impact it will have for environmental progress.

Among the accelerator participants are Exeter-based Quanterra Systems, which is creating a measurement solution for the indicators of ecosystem health; Scotland’s Vistalworks, is developing intelligence software to combat online illicit trade; Materials Nexus from Teddington is using AI to speed up the discovery of sustainable material alternatives, and Yes Make is helping design London’s public spaces with reclaimed materials from other developments.

Other companies include:

Modulous (London): Modulous creates a globally scalable model for the design and delivery of homes that are sustainable, cost effective and promote wellbeing for residents

Reewild (London): Reewild helps food and drink businesses to score and display the environmental impact of their products to consumers

Scrapp (Edinburgh): Scrapp makes recycling simple, fun and rewarding

Seab Energy (London): Seab Energy creates easy-to-install micro-power plants that turn food and bio-wastes into heat, electricity, water and fertiliser

CO2Analysis (Hampshire): CO2Analysis makes Scope 3 emissions easy and quick to analyse

Treeconomy (London): Treeconomy generates financial value from ecosystem services and natural capital, using an offset-as-a-service business model

The companies joined programme partners, investors and Microsoft’s UK Chief Sustainability Officer, Musidora Jorgensen, for a kick-off event at Microsoft’s UK headquarters in Reading on March 31.

Jorgensen said: “Climate change is one of our most pressing threats and we need solutions quickly to deal with the problems we face. We know artificial intelligence is a powerful tool we can deploy today to make progress. These ten creative companies have been selected for their focus on significant industry challenges and our ambition is that with Microsoft’s support we can crack them.”

Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said: “Failure to address climate change will have catastrophic consequences for our planet, and we must act now. The ten selected social tech ventures represent the possibilities available to us for safeguarding the future of our planet, and we are committed to supporting them to make this a reality.”

Start-ups selected for the four-month equity-free accelerator programme will receive Microsoft Azure cloud credits, advice from experts on AI, technology, commercial development and social impact, workshops, coaching from Microsoft, The Met Office and Social Tech Trust, networking opportunities and funding support to scale their solution and put it in the hands of those who need it most.

29 March 2022 

We are thrilled to announce that we have become signatories to Diversity Forum’s Manifesto. The Diversity Forum is a collective on a mission to drive inclusive social investment in the UK, through the convening of sector-wide groups, commissioning research, and knowledge sharing. The Manifesto acts as a public commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and builds on the Trust’s belief that EDI is critical to achieving a world where social transformation drives tech.   

The renewed commitments follow an expansion of the Trust’s approach to EDI, ensuring that the core principles are integral to the Trust’s strategy and embedded across all aspects of our work. As signatories of Diversity Forum’s Manifesto, the Trust has made 7 commitments and 10 initial actions that will be actioned in the coming months to support its EDI practice.   

Social Tech Trust, CEO Edward Evans says “The pandemic has shone a light on existing inequalities within society. We believe technology can help to address these challenges, provided it is guided by principles of equality. We are convinced that stronger EDI practices can help enable more people to shape a better future where everyone in society can live well.”   


Read the full Manifesto.

The UK has a vibrant impact and social investment market. Yet beneath the headlines of record levels of investment in UK tech and social businesses, social tech ventures continue to tell us that access to appropriate finance is the biggest obstacle to their plans for sustainability and growth. 

To understand more about the barriers they face, and what new approaches they would like to see, we convened a series of roundtable discussions with social tech ventures from across the UK. 

Our research identified several challenges that ventures experience when engaging different investor groups, including misalignment with the dominant VC model, investor aversion to impact-focused business models, and investor hesitancy about tech propositions. 

The participants expressed a clear desire to see more innovative investment models and instruments being used that have a closer alignment with their financial and impact objectives. 

Several key areas were highlighted where the ventures saw opportunities to take a different approach, including exploring models that focus on sustainability as well as growth; developing more revenue-based approaches; and addressing the need for patient and flexible finance. 

Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust says, “social tech ventures have consistently evidenced their commercial acumen and the positive impact of their work on society. This report validates what we have known for years – social tech ventures are being negatively impacted by mis-aligned funding models. Going forward, we’ll continue to focus on addressing the investment gap so that ventures can access the capital they need to build a better society.” 


Read the full report. For more information about our investment approach, read our blog Fair play: why sustainable impact needs a more flexible approach to investment’.  

For further enquiries, please contact us via