6th June 2024

A further 10 ventures have been selected for the second cohort to take part in the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator – an accelerator programme supporting impact-led start-ups. The programme is delivered by Catch22 in partnership with Social Tech Trust and Unity Ventures with funding and support from Ufi VocTech Trust, Microsoft and the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

David Hinton, Senior Venture Partner at Catch22’s GoodTech Ventures, said:

“We’re excited to announce the arrival of the second cohort of the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator, comprising 10 remarkable ventures. The selection process was highly competitive, with numerous exceptional impact ventures to choose from. At GoodTech Ventures, our mission is to champion founders dedicated to leveraging technology for a stronger society. These 10 ventures embody this commitment, and we’re proud to stand behind them as they set out to make a lasting difference in our communities.”

Programmes Director at Social Tech Trust, Chris Blues, said:

“We’re thrilled to welcome new game-changing companies joining our second cohort of the GoodTech Accelerator. They represent a diverse range of solutions aiming to transform lives with tech and put positive social impact as the driving force behind their growth.”

GoodTech Ventures supports early-stage impact-led tech founders through a community of practice and an accelerator programme.

The full set of ventures is available on the GoodTech Ventures website. Three of the ventures that will be part of the cohort are:


Elifa Founder, Yolanda Roach, said:

“I’m thrilled to be part of the cohort. Our goal is to make a meaningful impact on society, one family at a time, through our end-of-life and legacy planning platform.

Being accepted into the programme is important to us because it aligns perfectly with our mission to empower individuals to make life’s most difficult decisions with confidence and peace of mind.

Through this accelerator, we hope to gain insight, mentorship and support to further develop our MVP and progress towards our final product. We’re looking forward to working with like-minded founders and experts in the field of technology for good, and learning from their experience and expertise.”

Air Aware Labs

Air Aware Labs Co-Founder, Louise Thomas, said:

“We are excited to join Goodtech Ventures to take Air Aware Labs to the next level. Now we’ve launched our first product, this is a crucial time for us to deliver our commercial strategy and conclude our pre-seed investment round. We’re delighted to be part of Goodtech Ventures’ second cohort, building our network and gaining expertise to build our business.”

Fish Bladder Games

Fish Bladder Games Founder, Jon Reynolds, said:

“We’re excited to be part of the GoodTech Accelerator! At Fish Bladder Ltd, we’re on a mission to revolutionise how kids view physical activity worldwide. With innovative digital tech, we’re making fitness fun and accessible. The accelerator’s support will help us enhance our solution and make a greater impact on society. Together, we’re building a future where every child can enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.”

Director of Ufi Ventures, Helen Gironi, said:

“The new cohort of impact-driven tech ventures will join a community of people and organisations using digital technologies to help build a stronger society. At Ufi, we have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact that early-stage startups can have on public service delivery. We are really pleased to be able to continue our partnership with the GoodTech Ventures Community and Accelerator, helping them to provide vital resources and support for these ventures.

Want to learn more about upcoming programmes and community events at GoodTech Ventures? You can join our platform for free here: www.goodtech.ventures


3rd April 2024

Social Tech Trust, a leading impact investor in the UK, is delighted to announce exciting changes to its Board of Trustees, effective April 1, 2024.  

Rob Tashima, an existing Trustee with a robust background in impact investment and innovation, will assume the role of Chair of Trustees, succeeding Bill Liao, who has come to the limit of his term as a Trustee after a decade of invaluable leadership and guidance. Russell Johnstone, a seasoned legal expert in the tech and communications sector, will step into the newly established position of Vice Chair. Both appointments come at a pivotal time as the Trust continues to champion the intersection of tech innovation, inclusive investment and social impact. 

Bill Liao (General Partner at SOSV), the outgoing Chair, has been instrumental in the Trust’s evolution, including its transition from Nominet Trust to the Social Tech Trust we see today. Under his stewardship, the Trust has expanded its reach and refined its investment strategy, working closely with CEO Edward Evans to identify and support high-potential social tech ventures. The Trust extends its deepest gratitude to Bill for his dedication, visionary leadership, and the lasting impact he has made. 

Bill Liao said: “Serving as the Chair of Social Tech Trust has been a profoundly rewarding experience. Witnessing the Trust’s growth and impact firsthand has been a privilege. I am confident that under Rob and Russell’s leadership, the Trust will continue to thrive and lead the way in using technology for social good. I look forward to seeing the next chapters of success.” 

Edward Evans, CEO said: “We are immensely grateful to Bill for his ten years of exceptional leadership and are excited about the future with Rob and Russell at the helm. Their combined expertise and fresh perspectives are perfectly aligned with our mission to empower social tech ventures. Together, we will continue to explore innovative investment models and strategies to support our ambitious mission of transforming lives with tech.” 

Rob Tashima (Senior Director at Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation) brings to the Trust a wealth of experience from Village Capital and an extensive investment and venture management background in the US, Africa and the Middle East. He has been at the forefront of exploring innovative financial models for entrepreneurs and investors tackling global challenges, and his expertise in early-stage impact investing will be invaluable as the Trust continues to nurture and invest in ventures that promise significant social transformation. 

Rob Tashima said: “I am honoured to support the work of the Trust as Chair. Entrepreneurship and social innovation can build a better world, but venture funding too often leaves communities on the sidelines. Social Tech Trust is changing that by backing entrepreneurs solving real-world problems, from reducing anxiety in pediatric cancer patients to improving therapy access for low-income individuals. Bill has helped create a strong foundation for us to build upon, and I look forward to collaborating closely with the team and trustees to further the mission of the Trust in the years to come.” 

Russell Johnstone (General Counsel at EE), with his extensive legal background and commitment to improving social mobility in professional sectors, brings a vital perspective to the Trust’s work. His experience leading the legal team for BT’s consumer brands (BT, EE, and Plusnet) equips him with the knowledge and skills to support the Trust’s mission and its focus on creating tangible benefits for end beneficiaries. 

Russell Johnstone said: “Assuming the role of Vice Chair for Social Tech Trust is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to a cause I am deeply passionate about. The intersection of technology, investment and social impact has never been more critical, and I am eager to leverage my experience to support the Trust’s strategic goals. Together, we will continue to champion social tech ventures that are making a real difference in the world.” 

After running a successful internal recruitment campaign, Social Tech Trust welcomes Rob and Russell to their new roles with excitement and anticipation for the continued growth and impact of the Trust’s work.  

Together, we remain committed to advancing our vision of a world where social transformation is the driving force behind tech. 


Meet our Board and Team

26th February 2024 

Ventures selected for first cohort of the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator


12 ventures have been selected as the first cohort to take part in the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator – a new programme supporting impact-led start-ups. The programme is delivered by Catch22 in partnership with Social Tech Trust and Unity Ventures with funding and support from Ufi VocTech Trust, Microsoft and the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 


David Hinton, Senior Venture Partner at Catch22’s GoodTech Ventures, said: 

“We are thrilled to welcome these 12 outstanding ventures selected for the first cohort of the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator. The selection process was highly competitive, with numerous exceptional impact ventures to choose from. 

At GoodTech Ventures, we are dedicated to supporting founders who are committed to developing tech solutions for a stronger society. We believe that these 12 ventures exemplify this dedication. We look forward to providing our support to these ventures as they embark on their journey to create lasting social impact.” 

GoodTech Ventures supports early-stage impact-led tech founders through a community of practice and an accelerator programme. 

The full set of ventures is available on the GoodTech Ventures website.


Three of the ventures that will be part of the cohort are: 



SuperFi is on a mission to provide urgent support to the 20 million adults who are currently struggling to stay on top of their bills in the midst of the UK’s cost of living crisis. The SuperFi app helps people to stay on top of their bills and out of problem debt. Backed by leading social impact funds, SuperFi has partnered with the Greater London Authority and is working with councils, housing associations and banks to roll out its service across the UK. 

SuperFi Founder, Tom Barltrop, said: 

“Being part of the GoodTech Ventures accelerator program is a unique opportunity to further develop our relationships with public sector organisations to address the lack of scalable support for people across the UK who are at risk of falling behind on their monthly bill payments.” 


Good With 

Good With is a financial behaviour analytics solution, supporting financial services’ risk prediction and decisioning for ‘credit invisible’ young adults. Good With has developed a model that predicts psychological readiness for credit, Readiness Score™, which accurately identifies who these overlooked good customers and potentially risky customers are. This is supplemented by a psycho-education process for collecting that data, FinIQ™ through which we make the ‘invisibles’ visible. 

Founder and CEO Gabriela Isas, and Co-Founder Dr Ellie Kallis said: 

“We are passionate female founders who have personally experienced problem debt and lack of relevant financial education and mental health support. We are committed to Good With’s success and are delighted to start working with GoodTech Ventures team to gain insights and support on how to achieve our impact and commercial goals and deliver on our mission: a world where people, whatever their starting point in life, can become good with money, and safely attain their goals.” 


Cogs AI 

Cogs is an autistic-led technology company building software for the neurodivergent community. Their first product is a mobile application which helps neurodivergent people understand their diagnosis and work through day-to-day situations, such as understanding and regulating emotions, communicating how they feel to others and asking for help in a crisis. 

CEO and Co-Founder Zareen Ali and Felix de Grey, COO and Co-Founder, said: 

“As a new entrant into the public sector, we are very excited to join the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator. We are hoping that the programme will help us to build out a repeatable and scalable route to market, developing on the lessons we’ve learnt from winning our existing contracts in the NHS and local authorities. One of the main appeals for us is the opportunity to be introduced to leaders, commissioners and an array of potential partners who will expand our reach into the public sector.” 


Programmes Director at Social Tech Trust, Chris Blues, said: 

“We are excited to welcome innovative ventures to the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator. These visionary companies are making waves and driving positive change across community development, employment and training, finance, and health sectors. As we embark on the accelerator journey together, we look forward to walking alongside these ventures and supporting them to take their impact to the next level.” 


Director of Ufi Ventures, Helen Gironi, said: 

“We are delighted to welcome the first cohort of impact-driven tech ventures to the GoodTech Ventures Accelerator and look forward to following their progress. At Ufi, we support the development and deployment of vocational technology to help adults gain skills for work. We are particularly pleased that this first cohort includes a strong set of ventures innovating in this space.” 

If you’re a social impact venture who might want to join our next cohort, you can register your interest via the GoodTech Ventures website. Applications will be open in early March. 

Tuesday 19 December

Social Tech Trust joins forces with TRANSFORM Support Hub to catalyse global social venture movement.


Social Tech Trust is thrilled to announce its collaboration with the TRANSFORM Support Hub, powered by MovingWorlds, in a strategic partnership to propel the social venture movement towards a more sustainable and equitable world. 

The TRANSFORM Support Hub is an innovative platform that connects social ventures with highly valuable resources, including pro bono experts, cost-saving guides, corporate sales opportunities, and follow-on funders—all conveniently centralised in one dynamic space. Through this initiative, social entrepreneurs gain access to targeted learning modules, highly skilled professionals, and valuable networking opportunities with peers and potential corporate partners worldwide. This comprehensive approach not only enhances their knowledge and skills but also opens doors to new opportunities for impact and revenue growth. 

Social Tech Trust’s partnership with the TRANSFORM Support Hub signifies a significant leap forward for ventures aligned with the organisation. By becoming part of this global network, our ventures can efficiently build their brand, develop pipelines, and accelerate the impact of their investments. This collaboration is poised to create a positive ripple effect, providing unparalleled support to social ventures seeking sustainable growth and increased influence. 

“Our alliance with the TRANSFORM Support Hub reflects our commitment to fostering an ecosystem where social ventures thrive,” said Chris Blues, Programmes Director at Social Tech Trust. “By leveraging the Hub’s resources and global network, we empower our ventures to amplify their impact, strengthen their brands, and forge valuable connections that transcend geographical boundaries.” 

Social ventures that have participated in Social Tech Trust’s previous programmes will be able to take advantage of free and ongoing support from early 2024.  

Learn more about the TRANSFORM Support Hub and its transformative initiatives here. 

Tuesday 14 November


We are thrilled to announce that Social Tech Trust is partnering with Challenge Works – a Nesta enterprise – to support teams competing in the Longitude Prize on Dementia to develop working prototypes of new assistive technologies to help people living with dementia remain independent for longer.

The £4.34m Longitude Prize on Dementia, funded by Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK, is incentivising the development of breakthrough assistive technologies for people living with dementia. 

24 international teams are developing solutions that use AI to learn about their users and adapt to help ‘fill the gaps’ as their cognitive function is progressively reduced by the disease. The solutions will help people to live independently for longer while maintaining fulfilling lives. Five finalists will be selected from these 24 teams in summer 2024.

At Social Tech Trust, we challenge organisations to think differently about technology’s role in society, and we will be helping each innovator assess where their product might benefit from support and provide appropriate technology and data advice. We will also leverage our network of experts to introduce innovators to big tech companies, including Microsoft, AWS and NVIDIA.

The semi-finalists include a range of innovations, from AI gamified software that promotes positive social experiences to help delay decline in brain function (from Memory Lane Games) to biodynamic lighting and sensor systems that can ease symptoms of sundowning – irritability and confusion that can worsen as daylight fades (from Chroma Lighting).

Chris Blues, Director, Social Tech Trust said: “Around 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia, including 900,000 in the UK. Tech has enormous power to help with many social challenges – including dementia, which can devastate lives, causing people to lose their memory, identity and, sadly, relationships. Supporting innovators with technical and data support to help refine their prototypes is the first step in using technology to ease the lives of those living with dementia.”


Wider capacity-building support and co-creation

The partnership will form just one element of the non-financial support offered to teams participating in the Longitude Prize on Dementia. Alongside the technical support, wider support is being provided through opportunities to ensure all technologies are co-created with people living with dementia or caring for people with dementia. 

The innovators will attend two co-creation workshops this month, one focusing on social connectedness and technology features from the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (a Canadian partner of the prize) and another on user-centred AI design and personalisation hosted by Innovate UK and National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA). Co-creation is essential to ensure that new technologies developed through the prize are designed to meet the needs of their intended beneficiaries and their lifestyles.

Alzheimer’s Society has also established 38 local focus groups involving people living with dementia and their carers. These groups will assist innovators in ensuring their product is co-designed and has considered some of the most important elements of living with dementia. International co-creation and access to user opportunities have also been set up with international partners. This will help to ensure that every innovation learns from people living with dementia and can adapt and support changing needs over time.

Challenge Works is also offering advice and guidance from 15 dementia experts, ranging from frontline dementia healthcare professionals to leading dementia academics, as well as design and customer experience experts. The innovators will be able to book one-on-one sessions with each expert.

Ruth Neale, Programme Manager for the Longitude Prize on Dementia at Challenge Works said: “We’re excited to join forces with Social Tech Trust to provide semi-finalists in the Longitude Prize on Dementia with tailored technical and data support to develop their ideas into prototypes. The team at Social Tech Trust will provide a bespoke technology support package for our international cohort to drive high-quality tech products for the next stage of the competition. This is one element in the programme of capacity-building support that is being provided to teams in the next 12 months.”


About the Longitude Prize on Dementia

The Longitude Prize on Dementia is a £4.42 million prize to drive the creation of personalised, technology-based tools that are co-created with people living with the early stages of dementia, helping them live independent, more fulfilled lives and enabling them to do the things they enjoy.

Dementia is a progressive condition and there is no cure, but people can live well for years. As hospitalisations can increase the rate of decline, the hope is that assistive technology can help people stay safe and independent in their home for longer. The winning solution will use the latest advances in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning combined with user data and testing to provide personalised support for people living with dementia.  

The Longitude Prize on Dementia is funded by Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK and delivered by Challenge Works. More information about the Longitude Prize on Dementia can be found at dementia.longitudeprize.org


About our partners:

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. It is a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for everyone affected by dementia. Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer. One in three people born in the UK will develop dementia in their lifetime. For more information or to make a donation, visit alzheimers.org.uk

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency, helping UK businesses to grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive and easy to navigate.

One of the Discovery Awards awarded, the ‘Paul and Nick Harvey Discovery Award’ is sponsored by the Hunter Foundation, with further support coming from Heather Corrie and the Caretech Foundation.

The prize has also received funding from the Medical Research Council. The MRC funds research at the forefront of science to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health.

Challenge Works is a global leader in the design and delivery of challenge prizes mobilising innovation for social good.

7th November 2023 

We are thrilled to announce that the Social Tech Trust has been shortlisted for the prestigious Catalyst 2030 Awards in the Leaders in Trust category. This remarkable recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to leveraging technology for social transformation and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals. 


About the Catalyst 2030 Awards 

Launched at the World Economic Forum in January 2020, Catalyst 2030 is a rapidly growing global movement comprised of over 3,600 proven social innovators and 2010 member organisations, active in 124 countries and directly impacting an estimated one billion people. The movement unites social entrepreneurs and innovators from all sectors who share a common goal—advancing sustainable development through innovative, community-led approaches. 

The Catalyst 2030 Awards celebrate those who champion transformational change by recognising funding allies that illuminate innovative practices. These awards honour private and public sector entities that boldly shift how society addresses its challenges, prioritising support for community-led solutions and championing the efforts of local social innovators through collaborative partnerships.  


Transforming Lives Through Technology 

At Social Tech Trust, our dedication goes beyond change; we envision a future where technology isn’t just a tool for convenience but a lever for equality – where access to healthcare, financial and economic well-being, and climate solutions aren’t privileges but universal truths available for everyone.  

We invest in companies at the forefront of furthering equality, keenly aware that technology has the power to dismantle barriers and forge paths to a more equitable world. Through our accelerator programmes, partnerships and investments, we have helped identify and scale hundreds of tech companies that are creating social change and positively impacting people’s lives. We champion the use of tech to further equality, providing fertile ground for companies not only to succeed but to redefine success in terms of social impact and systemic change.  

By listening to founders and understanding their vision, we become more than investors—we become allies in pursuing transformative social change. We are challenging existing approaches that hold back innovation, addressing the lack of aligned investment and providing alternative models that gives ventures the optionality they need to grow sustainably. Our engagement goes beyond financing—we share our learning and insights to inspire others and amplify the effect of our work. Our programs enable startups to create sustainable solutions with a far-reaching impact, always guided by the needs and well-being of the communities they serve.  


Join Us at the Catalyst 2030 Awards Ceremony 

The winners of the Catalyst 2030 Awards will be announced at a grand ceremony on November 8th at 4:00 pm, live-streamed from Spencer House in London. We invite you to register and join us virtually to celebrate this momentous occasion. 

We are grateful for this nomination and believe it reflects our steadfast commitment to harnessing the power of technology for social good. Let’s continue to transform lives with technology and create a more sustainable and inclusive future for all. 

Register to attend virtually here. 

23rd October 2023 

Unlocking tech innovation in social and public services


We’re excited to unveil a new partnership to unlock tech innovation across social and public services. Introducing the GoodTech Ventures Community and Accelerator, a cross-sector initiative dedicated to nurturing emerging tech solutions that drive transformative social impact for people and communities. 

The program will streamline the scaling process for early-stage impact-driven tech ventures, enabling them to create and deploy game-changing digital technologies. 

42% of civil servants believe that their department lacks the tools, resources and skills necessary to utilise technology in transforming public service delivery, a recent government report has revealed. This programme will support founders to scale their ventures and navigate the complexities of social invocation, in turn facilitating digital innovation in the sector and supporting more social ventures to thrive.

The programme will be delivered by Catch22 in partnership with Social Tech Trust and Unity Ventures, with over 700k of funding and support from Ufi VocTech Trust, Microsoft and the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The programme has two core features of support:

GoodTech Community – this will provide “always-on” venture support through our open community platform helping early-stage founders prepare for scale.

GoodTech Accelerator – working with 30+ SMEs to provide intensive innovation and go-to-market support.


Chris Blues, Programmes Director at Social Tech Trust, said:

“We are excited to partner with Catch22, Greater London Authority, Unity Ventures, Ufi VocTech Trust and Microsoft to scale tech companies that are addressing entrenched social challenges. We believe the GoodTech Community and Accelerator with truly enable the benefits of technology to be shared throughout society.”

Andy Canniford, Chief Development Officer at Catch22 said:

“As we witnessed from the pandemic, innovation and adaptability is a crucial element in effective public and third sector delivery. At Catch22, we are committed to taking the learnings from our operational delivery and building this into our political reform and wider commitment to changing public service delivery for the better.”

David Hinton, Senior Venture Partner at Catch22, said:

“As we embark on this exciting journey with the support of our valued partners, we’re deeply committed to addressing the unique needs of early-stage impact-led tech ventures. This new partnership ensures that we can provide the tailored support, resources, and connections.”

Helen Gironi, Director of Ventures at Ufi VocTech Trust, said:

“At Ufi, we have seen first-hand the transformative role early-stage startups can play within public service delivery. We are really pleased to be able to continue our support of Catch22’s work and the development of the GoodTech Ventures Community and Accelerator.”

Our partners

  • Catch22 is a charity and social business that delivers programmes across education, employability, justice and youth work. Last year, our 100+ services supported over 160,000 people to lead better lives across the UK.
  • The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.
  • Ufi VocTech Trust supports the development and adoption of learning technology to help adults across the UK develop the skills they need for work. We have provided more than £28m in grant funding and direct investment to support over 280 tech-enabled projects.
  • Unity Ventures work with businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators who seek purpose beyond profit – unifying business activities with outcomes for people and planet.

Together, we’re ready to revolutionise the landscape of tech innovation in social and public services.

Visit the GoodTech Ventures website here: www.goodtech.ventures

1st August 2023 

We are delighted to welcome Mehjabeen Patrick to our committed Board. 

Mehjabeen’s appointment brings additional investment and finance experience to our established Board as we continue to build our investment and programmatic activity to help ventures deliver equality outcomes throughout society.  

Mehjabeen has over 25 years of experience working in finance and investment at a leadership level. She is currently the founding CFO and Investment lead at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s newly created Culture & Creativity initiative, which is working to transform Europe’s cultural and creative sectors by increasing innovation and competitiveness. 

Prior to her current role, Mehjabeen served as both Chief Finance Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Creative UK, where she raised multimillion pound funds from the public and private sectors to invest in creative companies. Mehjabeen has also served as the UK representative on the European Commission’s Access to Finance group. 

Her passion lies in supporting businesses, helping them to grow, scale and prosper and enabling public and private partnerships to build and flourish. In addition to her day job, Mehjabeen serves on the Board of several organisations and sits on the British Design Fund’s Investment Committee. 

Commenting on her appointment, Mehjabeen said, ‘’Social tech, where technology and compassion converge to serve as a catalyst for positive social change, is an area I am deeply interested in and committed to. Naturally, I am thrilled and honoured to join the Board of Social Tech Trust. I am looking forward to working with the talented Board and the team at the Trust to harness the power of technology, innovation and social impact to create a better future for us all. I am excited to bring my investment experience to help make Social Tech Trust an investor of choice in the space.’’ 

On behalf of the team and Board, Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said, “We are really excited to welcome Mehjabeen to our ambitious Board. She brings a wealth of experience and is a passionate advocate for our work supporting overlooked founders to drive social innovation through technology. Mehjabeen’s appointment reflects our commitment to expanding our investment work and she firmly shares our belief that society can benefit when social tech ventures are supported by investment models that are designed for them.”   


Meet our Board and Team

Is it possible to invest in tech ventures that aim to tackle the root causes of inequalities and drive systemic change? We think so – here’s how… 

We are thrilled to share our newest social investment tool, developed in partnership with Connect Fund, Equality Impact Investing Project and nine incredible social tech ventures.  

Our Equality Transformation Tool is designed to help funders identify and support innovative startups that are actively addressing systemic inequalities.  

Click here to access the Equality Transformative Tool. 

Click here to access our How-to guide. 

Click here to access our article which outlines our insights and how investors can tackle structural inequality. 

At Social Tech Trust, we’re committed to addressing the structural inequalities in the investment market that limit founders from reaching their full potential and in turn benefitting society through their work. Our view is that if we want to use technology to create a fairer society, then investors need to consciously re-consider our choices about which start-ups to support as this can have profound implications for how technologies evolve and how companies grow.

This year we launched the Social Tech Amplifier, a partnership between Catch22, Ufi VocTech Trust and Social Tech Trust to support 11 ventures with a focus on developing and implementing tech solutions to help tackle youth employment.

The Amplifier will help ventures unlock opportunities in the public sector supply chain and prepare them for scale through venture development activities and access to investment. They’ll also receive support from Hatch and Microsoft whose products and expertise will enhance the skills of our ventures – providing them with access to relevant software, guidance and mentorship.

We asked some of the ventures about what they hope to get out of being part of the Amplifier…here’s what they said:

“We’re excited about the impact that voice technology can have on empowering employment advisers to do their best work. We joined Social Tech Amplifier to gain support through our test, learn and iterate process so that we can continuously improve our ability to help providers deliver quality support at scale. We’re also excited about the opportunity to connect, learn from and collaborate with a community of innovators who share our vision for a world in which everyone has the opportunity to achieve their career potential.” Claudine Adeyemi, Founder & CEO, Earlybird

Read more about Earlybird here

“Joining The Social Tech Amplifier is perfect timing; our newest build will improve employment outcomes for young people at scale. Working with Catch22 and their partners, will help us unlock opportunities in the public sector supply chain, as well as build collaborations with the other ventures on our cohort. It’s going to be a huge year for us!” Gem Hallett, MiFuture

Read more about MiFuture here

“AKOU is both excited and honoured to be part of the Social Tech Amplifier, to work alongside such brilliant minds trying to disrupt and innovate pathways to employment for young people! We have high hopes for this journey, we know we are going to build new collaborations, learn a lot and amplify the development of some ground-breaking technology!”  Tilly Harries, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development, AKOU

Read more about AKOU here

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Social Tech Amplifier. The amplifier is the perfect platform to learn from experts such a Microsoft but also gain valuable advice and guidance from Catch22 whilst we develop, test, network and launch our technology into the employment sector.” Marina Hoole, Chief Operating Officer, Imployable

Read more about Imployable here

We’re excited to be joining the programme to increase our work further in the public sector, meet other like-minded ventures and ultimately increase our social impact. Christos Orthodoxou, Director of Innovation, TheTalentPeople / GetMyFirstJob.co.uk

Read more about GetMyFirstJob here

“Career Matters is delighted to have been selected to take part in the Social Tech Amplifier and to receive support from Catch22, Microsoft and Ufi VocTech Trust.  Thrive our hybrid digital provision, funded by Ufi VocTech Trust, is a solution to support young people with experience of the local authority care system into education, employment and training.  The solution also supports employers (including the NHS) who are seeking to create an open and inclusive workforce”.  Hannah Kirkbride, CEO, Career Matters

Read more about Career Matters here

“The Social Tech Amplifier is a unique opportunity to support us in fine-tuning our technology for different target groups in the UK. We look forward to leveraging the strong expertise that partners such as Catch22 or Microsoft provide.” Christoph Bretgeld, Co-Founder & Director of Strategy at SkillLab

Read more about SkillLab here

“Supplytrain is delighted to have been accepted onto the Social Tech Amplifier. We’re excited to work with the amazing partners on the project, to help us grow our online mentoring support. Ultimately, we believe the Amplifier will help us to place more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into great entry-level jobs, and provide the mentoring support they need to thrive in their new roles.” Phil Golding, Managing Director, Supplytrain CIC

Read more about Supplytrain here

As part of the programme, all ventures receive support in:

Accessing B2G markets

The Social Tech Amplifier helps ventures to identify the impact and commercial opportunities for their product or service for use in public service delivery. We’ll help ventures to test and refine solutions through existing supply chain and network partners, and we’ll help them to deploy impactful and commercially successful solutions in the B2G market

Venture development and contract readiness

Ventures that are part of the programme will benefit from a series of workshops including strategy, finance, branding, marketing, sales, and pitching. There will also be peer support, expert coaching and mentoring sessions, and a ‘Demo day’ showcasing their business to a panel of experts

Technology support

> Social Tech Amplifier ventures will have access to Microsoft’s start-up resources including Azure credits and access to development and productivity tools including GitHub and Microsoft 365.

> They will also benefit from expert mentors, hacks and advice and guidance from Microsoft technical experts, and connections to Microsoft customers and partners.

Raising investment

We’ll support ventures in knowing what types of funding and investment is available to them and what best aligns with their goals and needs. We’ll help them understand the process of raising investment and what they need to prepare for fundraising. We’ll also support them to understand what different investors are looking for and start to form an investment strategy


Find out more about the Social Tech Amplifier and the partners involved, here

For further information or comment, please contact: melissa.milner@catch-22.org.uk


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 Hello@socialtechtrust.org 

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 hello@socialtechtrust.org 

13 January 2022 


Today we open the call for applications to our 2022 AI for Environmental Sustainability in partnership with the Met Office and Microsoft.  This is the fourth programme developed and delivered together, through a shared vision of AI that transforms the lives of people and communities. 

Recent research has shown that only 41 percent of UK organisations are on track to reach the government’s 2050 environmental sustainability targets. The programme responds to an urgent need to address is, and challenges in the following areas: 

> Reducing carbon emissions and waste 

> Preserving water  

> Protecting ecosystems 


Social Tech Trust will use their sector-specific expertise to support ventures:

Turn their learning into practice and, ultimately, social impact.

Expand their network through expert partners and deliver support.

> With 1:1 support via a portfolio manager who will help the Cohort connect to the people and organisations in our network who can support their development and help them develop their social transformation vision. 


Applications are open now, until 20th February 2022. Successful ventures will participate in a four-month programme, starting in March 2022 and will benefit from talks, workshops, seminars and 121 sessions in business development, marketing, technical support, social impact, climate science and innovation delivered by thematic experts. 


Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said: “From floods to forest fires, 2021 was a global wake-up call for how we engage with the planet. In the aftermath of climate disasters and COP26, we’re focusing on the role of AI and social tech in addressing environmental sustainability and tackling climate change. We’re searching for innovative ventures to help create a better world for us all. 

The previous AI for Social Impact cohort consisted of 13 ambitious, purpose-led tech ventures committed to shaping a better future by supporting the UK healthcare and manufacturing industries – two of the areas hardest hit by the pandemic – to recover faster and better from COVID-19. 85% of our leaders were from underrepresented backgrounds or had lived experience of their challenge. Find out more about them in our 2021 ‘Impact Report’.  

Our programmes are open to people from all backgrounds, and we are particularly interested in hearing from founders and teams from under-represented groups. For application criteria, FAQs and to apply, click here. 

Our vision is now more critical than ever before. The pandemic has exposed huge inequality across society, and technology is fundamental in shaping a more equal, inclusive and empowering future for everyone.

Following a strategic review and building on over 12 successful years nurturing social tech innovation, we’re strengthening our organisation to pursue our vision of a world where social transformation drives tech.

We’re recruiting for three new leadership roles to deliver our ambitious growth strategy, specifically in designing and delivering an innovative new investment fund and building multi-year social tech partnerships, to sustain our long-term impact.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to join a newly formed leadership team within an organisation which spans multiple sectors.

We’re looking for exceptional people to join us on this exciting journey – do you have what it takes?

Read more about the roles:

  • Partnership Development Director
  • Programmes Director
  • Operations Director

Social Tech Trust pioneers a new approach to investment and backs health tech startup Xploro to empower young patients.

21 July 2021, London

Impact investor Social Tech Trust has made a revenue-based investment in Xploro as part of a broader drive to increase the availability and access to flexible and inclusive finance, and meet the needs of diverse, purpose-driven tech ventures as they grow.

Despite the UK being third in the world for investment in impact tech, 62% of social ventures do not have suitable finance in place.  With revenue-based investing gaining traction in the US, Social Tech Trust’s approach is designed to enable early-stage social tech ventures to have more control over their path to growth.

Xploro, which is proven to reduce anxiety, uses augmented reality, gameplay and 3D interactive models of the hospital environment to familiarise children with treatments and procedures. An AI avatar chatbot which uses age-appropriate language to inform children of what to expect, reduces stress for young patients.  Product development is overseen by an Expert Advisory Board of twelve children with different experiences of healthcare.

Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said, “Time and time again, social tech ventures like Xploro, that have the potential to transform entire sectors of society, tell us that they are unable to access suitable capital to fuel their growth and make the change they want to see.  Our investment approach is designed to be enabling, not prescriptive.  At an early stage, most ventures don’t know what their growth path will look like, so they need flexibility and optionality to achieve their ambitions. We are thrilled to be able to support Xploro in the next stage of their journey, reaching more children and families going through one of the hardest times in their lives.”

Sutin Yang, Portfolio Manager at Social Tech Trust added “Our investment in Xploro is incredibly exciting not only because of the huge impact Xploro will have on young patients fear of medical treatments but also because we have created a new hybrid investment instrument for the UK, based on popular convertible loans which will provide truly flexible and patient financing for purpose driven tech startups to quickly access the capital they need to scale their impact ”

Dom Raban, co-founder and CEO of Xploro commented, “We need a healthcare system where people are included in decisions about their health and Xploro provides a platform to improve communication, understanding and health outcomes.  This kind of capital is ideally suited to our current fundraising. It will enable us to deliver the next stage of our plans and build our revenues, so we are in a stronger position to determine the right growth path for Xploro”.


For more information about our investment approach, read our blog ‘Fair play: why sustainable impact needs a more flexible approach to investment’

Media Enquiries:

Jessica Dillon – hello@socialtechtrust.org 

24th June 2021 

We are thrilled to welcome Dr Maria A. Nelson to our Board today.  Maria complements our nine existing Board members, five of whom joined us in December 2021, further diversifying the group’s skills, life experiences and backgrounds, which will undoubtedly enrich our work.   

The recent appointments follow a refresh of the Trust’s strategy, which seeks to demonstrate the potential of social transformation to drive tech; increase access to flexible and inclusive funding to enable ventures to grow and to increase the collaboration between social tech focused organisations. 

Maria is Director of Innovation Practice at Digital Catapult, where she has built a team of 30 innovation managers and runs a portfolio of technology innovation and acceleration programmes, helping small companies grow, large companies innovate and innovation ecosystems flourish.  

Maria is passionate about driving purpose led innovation by fostering collaboration between bright minds from industry, startups and academia, and believes that innovation thrives where three intentions combine: a vision to solve real-world problems, an ambition to turn ideas into reality, and the belief that together we can get there, one step at a time.  

Commenting on her appointment, Maria said, “Technology innovation done right – that is, purpose-led and designed with users front and centre – is one of the biggest opportunities we have to address the current and future challenges we face as a society. I am thrilled to be able to contribute by supporting the Social Tech Trust in its work with social tech innovators and communities.” 

On behalf of the team and Board, Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said, “We are all really excited to welcome Maria to our Board.  She brings exceptional talent and experience of tech innovation, combined with a genuine commitment to our vision for social transformation to drive tech.  This puts us in a great position to deliver against our strategy, which is driven by a deep understanding of social challenges and when coupled with tech expertise to deliver solutions, we can make a big difference to people’s lives.” 

Before joining Digital Catapult, Maria was Innovation Programme Manager at Cisco. Maria has an extensive background in innovation management, strategic communications and programme management, and has published a book about creativity and innovation as core assets of contemporary economies. In her spare time, Maria translates poetry and lyrics, and has recently finished work for a world premiere recording of Polish Jewish poetry and music for a German record label. She lives in Broadstairs, Kent with her husband David and daughter Hannah. 

Maria joins our existing Board members – Bill Liao, Anisah Osman Britton, Hannah Keartland, Nick Wise, Rob Tashima, Russell Johnstone, Sebastien Lahtinen, Sunil Suri and Nick Temple.  We are enormously grateful for the support of Beth Murray, who retired from our Board in May this year, following four years as Vice Chair.    


Meet our Board and Team

We’re thrilled to have been selected for Big Society Capital’s Ideas for Impact programme, working in partnership with two fantastic organisations – Catch 22 and Hatch Enterprise.

Over the coming months, we’ll be working together to develop a programme and fund to support organisations in creating solutions to tackle youth unemployment. Together we will help them to grow their impact and revenues by accessing public sector contracting opportunities.

Social Tech Trust CEO, Ed Evans said, “We’re delighted to be working together with Big Society Capital to test new ways of supporting and investing in organisations with solutions that can help tackle the youth unemployment crisis. As we’ve seen over the past year, partnerships rooted in solidarity and a vision for a positive future are critical if we are to drive much-needed change.”

The Ideas for Impact programme aims to identify ideas to tackle social issues which have the potential to take on social investment as a way to scale and support multiple organisations through an investment fund. Social Tech Trust, Catch 22 and Hatch Enterprise are amongst seven winning teams to receive funding and support to develop their idea for impact.


Social Tech Trust backs 13 start-ups using AI to help transform UK’s health, manufacturing and resource sectors
19th March 2021, Oxford

Thirteen companies who are helping the UK’s healthcare, manufacturing and resource sectors recover from the impact of COVID-19 have been chosen to join the AI for Social Impact 2021 programme – a partnership between Social Tech Trust and Microsoft.

This is the third time the two organisations have partnered on the programme where Social Tech Trust will support the startups to embed impact management at the core of their organisation, and Microsoft will work with them to develop artificial intelligence solutions that can be used to improve people’s lives and the world around us.

Among those selected to take part in the programme, 85% of the cohort’s senior leaders consider themselves to be from underrepresented groups or as having lived experience of the challenge they are addressing.

The cohort includes Fabriq, a software platform designed to make buildings more sustainable. SafetyNet Technologies has created a device that converts fishing boats into scientific vessels, allowing scientists to have a deeper understanding of the oceans, helping reduce wastage in the seafood industry and assist climate modelling. And, C the Signs is a digital platform that uses AI to identify patients at risk of cancer at a much earlier stage.

Bhavagaya Bakshi, CEO of C the Signs, said: “C the Signs is a purpose driven organisation, founded by doctors, that uses AI to identify patients at risk of cancer at the earliest and most curable stage of the disease.  We are delighted to be selected to join the AI for Social Impact Cohort, where social impact is at the heart of technological endeavour, as we set out to create a future where every patient survives cancer.”

The other startups joining the cohort are:

  • CanSense – accurate, rapid, non-invasive, blood diagnostic for the early detection of cancer
  • CarelQ – chronic disease management platform to help clinicians and patients collaborate
  • e-Surgery – API that enables third parties to offer private prescription medication on their website
  • FollowApp Care – bringing dentists and patients together through personalised digital care journeys
  • iLoF – using AI and photonics to build a cloud-based library of diseases biomarkers and biological profiles
  • Medicspot – Improving remote consultations and making healthcare accessible in every community
  • MediShout – helping hospitals become digitally smarter
  • Neuer Energy – simplifies net zero planning, procurement and transparency
  • Podium Analytics – digital platform that aims to transform the relationship young sports players – and their parents, teachers, coaches and schools – have with injury
  • The Data Analysis Bureau – using machine learning solutions to help organisations have impact


The four-month programme offers support on business development, including commercial strategy and raising funds; the fundamentals of AI, including ethical principles, and social impact, including user engagement and managing impact. The start-ups will also receive Azure credits and access to workshops, 1:1 coaching and events to help them grow. They will also receive ongoing support after they leave the programme in June.

Ed Evans, Social Tech Trust CEO, said “As we recover from COVID-19, now more than ever, there is a huge opportunity to transform the way we look after our health, shape the world of work and manage sustainable resources.  This cohort all share a desire to change the world for the better and recognise the valuable role AI can play in shaping our future.  The team and I are excited to welcome these ventures to the Social Tech Trust portfolio and look forward to working with them to deepen their impact on the world.”

Clare Barclay, Microsoft UK CEO, said she was looking forward to seeing the success of the latest cohort. “The passion of these entrepreneurs for solving some of the world’s most critical and challenging societal issues is inspiring,” she said. “I look forward to seeing their success and the impact these great businesses will have on healthcare and manufacturing in the UK”



This spring, we bring you three fantastic events, one insightful podcast and a thought provoking Green Paper guaranteed to get you thinking.

Celebrating accessibility

On Thursday 18th March – join us, together with East London Inclusive Enterprise Zone (ELIEZ) and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson to celebrate the achievements of 12 entrepreneurs whose businesses are focused on accessibility.

Register now

Making an impact with vocational technology

We’ve been working with UFI VocTech Trust and others to explore how VocTech can improve vocational outcomes for people most impacted by the digital divide and at greatest risk from the long-term impact of the pandemic on access to training and jobs.

It’s time for you to get involved too – UFI want to engage with the wider community to help shape what they do next.

Have your say

The new different

On 16th March, NorthInvest is hosting a showcase and investment forum event to inspire and educate the entrepreneurs and investors of the future, explore investment outlooks and insights, share knowledge and showcase the best of Northern tech start-ups.

Hear from our Portfolio Manager, Sutin Yang, alongside Check Warner from Ada Ventures and Chris Parsons from ClearlySo.

Register now

Championing UK tech for good

Just over a week ago, we teamed up with the Department for International Trade to showcase UK tech for good through a webinar and panel discussion featuring some of our amazing social tech alumni.

The session was recorded, so if you’d like to hear more about the UK tech for Good landscape from us, Beam, City MaaS and The Future Fox, you can watch the session now.

Watch now

Bringing equality to impact investing

In this new podcast, the network for European funders, Ariadne, explores gender-lens investing and features from Ceri Goddard from Equality Impact Investing (EII).

We’re pleased to be working with Ceri as part of the EII Taskforce, to support their mission and bring further equality to our own work.

Listen now


For regular updates, you can sign up to our newsletter from the foot of our homepage or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

We are thrilled to announce that Social Tech Trust is part of the Access Foundation’s ‘Flexible Finance Recovery’ programme.


COVID-19 has had a devastating impact many aspects of our lives.  Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen just how important tech is to help keep us safe and well and we continue to support organisations to deliver solutions that make the biggest positive difference to people’s lives.

As we begin our recovery, we recognize the importance of organisations being able to access patient and flexible capital as they work towards sustainability and are working to explore revenue-based investment as an alternative to debt and equity.

Within the cohort, Social Tech Trust leads on one of nine proposals covering a range of different “patient” and “flexible” investment products to meet different financing needs in the future.  The proposals will also address issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion, which the programme is particularly prioritising.


Read more about the programme via the Access Foundation’s website.

15th December 2020

It’s our absolute pleasure to welcome five new Trustees to our Board this month. The new appointments double the size of our Board, bringing greater diversity in terms of skills, background and life experience.

The new appointments support a refresh of the Trust’s strategy, which brings a sharper focus on demonstrating the potential for social transformation to drive tech;  increasing access to the flexible and inclusive funding that ventures need to grow; and increasing collaboration between social and tech focused organisations to deliver impact at scale.

Each new Trustee brings an impressive track record in the areas of investment, tech and entrepreneurship – all expertise which will help drive our strategy forward and provide vital guidance and support as we continue to find and back people-led solutions to social challenges.

Our new Trustees will be in great company, alongside our continuing Board – Bill Liao, Hannah Keartland, Sebastien Lahtinen, Beth Murray and Nick Temple.

Joining us in December 2020 are:


Anisah Osman Britton

Anisah is the founder of 23 Code Street, a coding school for women in the UK that uses part of its profits to provide digital skills training to women in the slums of Mumbai.

She is also the CTO of Vinokilo- a fashion company making second hand as desirable and as accessible as first-hand fashion.

She has previously held the role of Director at Backstage Capital, an investment fund for underrepresented founders and Operations Director at The Bakery, a corporate innovation house.


Russell Johnstone

Russell leads the legal team for BT’s three Consumer brands (BT, EE and Plusnet) supporting their voice, broadband, mobile, TV and sport businesses.

He started his career at a leading London law firm advising clients across the media, communications and technology sectors in the UK and internationally, and has held various in-house legal roles within TV and broadcasting.

Russell is also a trustee of the Social Mobility Business Partnership, an organisation dedicated to improving social mobility in the legal and finance professions.


Sunil Suri

Sunil is Head of Ventures and Innovation at Catch22, a national charity building resilience and aspiration in communities across the UK. Sunil brings a strong understanding of the early-stage social venture landscape in the UK  – since 2018, he has led Catch22’s work with social ventures, supporting entrepreneurs to develop solutions that have the potential to transform the delivery of public services.

Sunil previously set up his own social enterprise focused on supporting frontline workers in the homelessness sector after completing a Social Innovation Fellowship at Year Here.  He has also worked for digital bank, Monzo.


Rob Tashima

Rob is Chief Growth Officer at Village Capital, an early-stage impact investor and accelerator. Rob leads initiatives across Village Capital’s innovations and partnerships teams, experimenting with new ways of supporting entrepreneurs and investors.

Previously, he spent a decade at an emerging markets consultancy, where he led field studies on investment issues across Africa. Rob also lived in the Middle East, analysing investment competitiveness across regional markets, and worked on business and regulatory policy for the State of California and at a think tank in San Francisco.

Rob serves on the board of directors of US non-profit, Capitol Area Asset Builders; is an advisor to IssueVoter, a civic engagement venture; and Asoko Insight, an Africa-based corporate data venture.


Nick Wise

Nick is founder and CEO of OceanMind, a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the world’s fisheries. Using satellites and artificial intelligence, OceanMind empowers effective fisheries enforcement and enables more responsible seafood sourcing, increasing compliance and sustainability.

Nick has been designing large scale, highly secure software solutions for over 20 years, using innovative techniques focused on market needs.  Before joining the ranks of social entrepreneurship, Nick’s journey saw him starting an Internet security business, as CTO of a mature SME, and managing product development in a billion-dollar multinational.

Nick now empowers people to solve global issues with technology.


On behalf of our new Trustees, Sunil Suri said “We need greater collaboration if we are to tackle some of the urgent social challenges of our time. That’s why I’m excited to join the board of Social Tech Trust, which has from its earliest days played a starring role in building the UK’s world-leading social tech ecosystem.”

Bill Liao, Chair of Trustees at Social Tech Trust said, “It is a delightful honour to welcome Anisah, Russell, Sunil, Rob and Nick to our Board.  We believe that organisations, driven by a deep understanding of social challenges, that also have deep technical expertise can deliver solutions that make the biggest positive differences to people’s lives.

With the extraordinary talent and experience each of our new trustees bring, we are supercharging our entire team to inspire more organisations to transform lives with tech and we can further tackle some of unintended negative consequences that ill-considered tech has demonstrated.”

Meet our team…


15th December 2020

London, UK: Recycleye, the intelligent waste management start-up, has secured £1.2 million in seed funding, led by venture capital investors MMC Ventures and Playfair Capital, with participation from leading funds Atypical Ventures, Creator Fund, and eolos GmbH. The company has also received grants from InnovateUK and the European Union to develop a computer vision system and affordable robotics, that will combine to create the world’s first fully automated, and deployable material recovery facility.

CEO and co-founder of Recycleye, Victor Dewulf, resigned as a banker at Goldman Sachs in 2019 on a mission to remove the dull, dirty, and dangerous manual jobs plaguing the recycling industry. Manual waste pickers, who are exposed to a multitude of occupational hazards, have resulted in the industry facing an average of 50 percent labour turnover every 6 months. Compounded with China’s waste import ban in 2018, which stopped the UK from exporting 50 percent of its waste, the recycling industry is now at overcapacity.

Recycleye’s vision system, which is capable of detecting and classifying all items in waste streams – broken down by material, object and even brand, removes the need for manual waste pickers. Underpinning the high-level accuracy of their system is the company’s own library of waste images – the largest waste image data set in the world, holding over 2 million trained images and counting.

Investor Henrik Wetter Sanchez of Playfair Capital commented: “As deep technology investors, we were impressed by Recycleye’s AI-led computer vision solution to this growing global problem. Yet it is what Victor and Peter have achieved, working fast and lean, in just a year since inception that gives us confidence that they can truly transform the recycling industry with their technology”.

Until now, Recycleye’s advanced team of world-class research engineers have been working in stealth mode with the company’s partners to build and deploy the vision system in under a year. Their early academic partnerships, comprised of nine computer scientists, with Imperial College London and the Delft University of Technology, were pivotal in building Recycleye’s technology. Recycleye has also benefitted from an early partnership with Microsoft, which provided technological capabilities that has scaled the company from research and development to commercialisation. Notably, the company has been accepted into leading accelerator programmes such as Social Tech Trust, which are bolstering Recycleye’s mission to turn rubbish back into resources.

Recycleye’s advisor, former CEO of Veolia France, Bernard Harambillet, introduced to Recycleye through its partnership with eolos GmbH, commented: “I was impressed by Recycleye’s expertise, and their incredible ability to federate around them, the best academic, technological and industrial skills, as well as to transpose all this knowledge in very concrete cases. I am delighted to support the growth of Recycleye, convinced that they will be able to provide breakthrough technologies to further the creation of an ever more circular economy.”

Recycleye has already secured paid pilots with two out of the three largest waste management players in the UK. The company has already deployed multiple systems on the French market, ahead of plans to expand to wider Europe in the next year. The installed systems have successfully exceeded human performance, enabling their clients to optimise their throughput, and for the first time examine their strategic operations using live data of their waste flows.

Victor Dewulf stated: “Recycleye’s cutting-edge technology is a result of Recycleye’s cutting edge team – this new funding will allow us to fuel our relentless drive to spearhead the green revolution! If we are successful, your children will ask you what waste was.”

Sutin Yang, Portfolio Manager, Social Tech Trust said, “Through technology, Recycleye are bringing a game changing solution to the one of society’s largest problems – waste and recycling. We see them as a transformative startup because rather than just disrupting the sector, they are working closely with industry and business partners to modernise the waste management industry as a whole. It’s fantastic to see our alumni venture grow and scale their social impact”.

Amali de Alwis, UK Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups, commented: “At Microsoft, we are committed to driving positive social transformation using 21st century technology and are excited to be working with Recycleye. Having originally joined Microsoft’s AI for Good Programme, we saw the potential in Recycleye’s vision system which leverages deep learning and AI advances, and their ambition to build the operating system for the waste management industry – the key to accelerating the world’s transition towards a circular economy. We support their goal to enable true commoditisation of waste for the waste management industry and look forward to continuing our strategic and technological partnership with Recycleye as they scale.”

Recycleye are using artificial intelligence and robotics to bring transparency, traceability and accountability to removal chains. In 2021, the company will focus on scaling their affordable robotics from development to commercialisation – moving closer to deploying a fully-automated material recovery facility.

30 November 2020

Today we open the call for applications to our 2021 AI for Social Impact Programme, in partnership with Microsoft and Microsoft for Startups.  This is the third programme developed and delivered together, through a shared vision of AI that transforms the lives of people and communities.

The programme responds to an urgent need to address challenges in two key areas:

Future-proofing healthcare in the areas of:   

> Prevention and early detection of cancer and other conditions

> Revolutionising healthcare settings

> Ensuring equitable access to healthcare

Revolutionising manufacturing & resources in the areas of:

> Creating more sustainable supply chains

> Building the factory & workforce of the future

> Transforming water & energy through renewables


Applications are open now, until 24th January 2021. Successful ventures will participate in a four-month programme, starting in March 2021 and will benefit from resources, advice, and one-to-one support to help them grow and scale the impact of their purpose driven AI initiative.

Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our health and our work, impacting people across the UK in different ways.  As we begin our recovery, our attention turns to where tech can have the greatest impact on improving lives and communities in the areas hardest hit by the pandemic.  We’re looking for exceptional ventures with lived experience and a vision of a better future.”

The previous AI for Good cohort graduated in October 2020 and included 11 purpose-driven startups focussing on four key areas – AI for Earth, AI for Accessibility, AI for Humanitarian action and AI for Cultural Heritage.  You can read more about our previous programmes in ‘Our Impact Journey’ .

Our programmes are open to people from all backgrounds and we are particularly interested in hearing from founders and teams from under-represented groups.

For application criteria, FAQs and to apply, click here.

6 November 2020 – Latest cohort graduates from our 2020 AI for Good Accelerator, in partnership with Microsoft.

Together with our partners Microsoft and Microsoft for Startups, today we celebrated the graduation of our second AI for Good cohort.

Joined online by an audience spanning the social tech ecosystem, the virtual event showcased the eleven purpose-led ventures all using AI to make a positive impact on either the earth, accessibility, humanitarian action, and cultural heritage.

Following over 200 hours of support, which gave them access to the technology, resources and expertise to help them develop their solutions, the founders shared their progress since joining the accelerator programme in February.

Tiernan Mines, CEO of Hello Lamp Post said “The quality of start-ups in the cohort was impressive. It really helped that the companies were all at similar stages and not competing. This allowed everyone to open up and share experiences candidly, which is incredibly liberating for an entrepreneur. We’re extremely thankful to have been part of the AI for Good programme and are excited to have Microsoft and Social Tech Trust as close advisors for our journey going forward.”

The 2020 programme delivered 63 workshops and events aimed at developing their social, business and technical capabilities, whilst also providing 70 hours of specialist one-to-one support to help ventures meet their specific goals. This year has been challenging for all and in response to COVID-19, we shifted to online delivery, flexing our support to meet changing circumstances, for example, meeting urgent funding needs and providing much needed guidance and moral support.

The ventures learnt about topics including impact management, genuine user engagement and social transformation, alongside business, data and AI. They are leaving the programme with more closely aligned social impact and commercial goals and have already raised £1.5 million since joining us in February.

Andy Smith, Chief Partnership Officer at MiiCare said, “The conversations we are now having with potential partners, customers and investors include knowledge and skills we gained on the programme. Even mentioning that we are part of the 2020 AI for Good cohort has a positive impact, as the programme has a very positive reputation.”

The ventures graduating from the cohort are:

Akari – developed a conversational app to help with accessibility needs.

Baobab – Using technology to enable access to justice at scale for law clinics, community advice centres, and pro bono legal operations.

BeneTalk – World’s first wearable speech tracker and digital coach for speech fluency therapy.

EcoSync – Cloud-based platform helping commercial buildings to stop heating empty rooms.

Good Boost –   Provides affordable and accessible therapeutic exercise programmes through cutting-edge technology.

Hello Lamp Post – Helps cities better understand, communicate with and educate its citizens through playful conversations with street objects like statues via text messages.

miiCARE –  Developed MiiCube with built-in sensors and Monica, a personal AI-based digital health companion to help the elderly live more independently and be safe, healthy and happy.

MyCognition – Tracks, treats and prevents poor mental health through a cognitive assessment and training platform.

OrxaGrid – A socially driven team that envisions energy optimisation for a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy future for all.

Signly – Has developed an internet browser extension that offers sign language for web pages

Ed Evans, CEO of Social Tech Trust, said “Congratulations to all of the ventures graduating from the AI for Good Accelerator programme.  Due to COVID-19, it has been a really challenging time, which has shown just why we need purpose driven ventures like this to succeed in addressing big social challenges.  We’re really proud to have worked with these teams and look forward to seeing how they continue on their impact journey”.  

And there’s exciting news – our third generation of the accelerator programme delivered in partnership with Microsoft, will aim to support the UK’s Covid recovery and will be launched in the coming weeks.  Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media via the foot of our homepage to find out more.





As technology continues to play a vital role in addressing the challenges we face, we’re incredibly proud to share an update on how we’ve been supporting purpose-led ventures to transform lives with tech.

While the global pandemic highlights how important tech is to help keep us safe and well, we think it’s timely to reflect on our progress. We’re calling this report ‘Our Impact Journey’ to recognise the changing shape of our approach.

Read our report to find out more about our impact journey during the last 2 years as Social Tech Trust.

Join our online workshop and learn more about how to manage your social impact.

> Register here! 


What we’ll cover:

In this interactive session, Social Tech Trust Impact Manager, Natalie Tucker, will share our insights from working directly with over 300 socially motivated ventures and offer you practical tips for managing your own impact.

By the end of the session, you will have a better understanding of:

> What impact management is
> How it can be useful
> How you can get started

You will leave with the beginnings of your own simple framework to start measuring your impact.

Who should attend?

The session is designed for anyone with an idea or an initiative which aims to have a social impact, whether you already have a start-up, you’re developing an idea, work for a charity or simply want to understand more about impact management.

Date and Time

Thursday, 24 September 2020

14:00 – 15:30 BST

> Register here! 

20th March 2020


The outbreak of COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on almost every aspect of our lives and an immediate impact on many of the social tech ventures that we support.  The uncertain future is challenging, but we want to reassure the organisations we work with that we’re here to support you through these difficult times.


The health and well-being of our team and the community of ventures is our top priority.  We’ve taken a number of steps to make sure that we continue to provide the best possible support we can, while keeping everyone safe and healthy:

> We’ve stopped all face to face meetings and events and moved our AI for Good Programme, in partnership with Microsoft, to online delivery only.

> We’ve set up a new online community for peer to peer support for our venture portfolio and alumni to share resources, news and advice to help our ventures through this exceptional time.

> Along with a wider group of funders, we recognise that the COVID-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an impact on civil society groups, and want to offer reassurance that we stand with the sector during this time. We have signed the COVID-19 funder statement.

> There are many useful resources for social enterprises, charities and startups in circulation and we’ll continue to share what we learn on our Twitter feed, @SocialTechTrust.

>As a small organisation ourselves, we understand that everyone is juggling multiple priorities right now and appreciate our ventures may need to pivot on their approach and turn their immediate attention to other things.

>Like much of the population, we’re embracing the benefits of tech and are all working from home, while managing the demands of team capacity. We still aim to be on hand to be a critical friend, so if you’re part of our portfolio or alumni and need a little help and advice, please do get in touch with us at hello@socialtechtrust.org.  We may not have all the answers you need but we will aim to point you in the right direction

>We encourage you to let us know about your challenges and concerns about COVID-19 and the impact it is having on your organisation. Behind the scenes we’re working hard with our partners to make sure you have the support you need, so be sure to let us know how we can help.


Best wishes,


CEO, Social Tech Trust


12 March 2020

Mayor of London’s flagship tech scheme, the Civic Innovation Challenge reveals award winners 


  • Raven Science to help tackle violent extremism online through anonymous reporting
  • 3D Repo making planning system more accessible to help tackling housing crisis
  • Six companies selected to work with TfL to tackle freight congestion


Two of the capital’s most innovative tech companies have won vital funding from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, after responding to his call to tackle key challenges facing the capital.

The winners were selected from more than 125 entrants to the second round of the Civic Innovation Challenge, delivered in partnership with Social Tech Trust and Microsoft.

Raven Science will work with the Metropolitan Police Service to develop their proposals to counter violent extremism online, while 3D Repo will move ahead with their plans to make the planning system more accessible to Londoners.

Raven Science’s winning proposal to tackle extremism will enable members of the public to report online violent extremist content through a smartphone app while remaining anonymous.

This will complement the Mayor of London’s ongoing work in this area, which includes recently launching a new £800,000 fund – with support from Google’s philanthropic arm – to empower communities to tackle violent extremism and fight intolerance across the capital.

Meanwhile, 3D Repo are making the planning system more accessible to Londoners without technical planning knowledge through a clear, well-designed online system which can be accessed via the cloud.

This is designed to make Londoners become more aware of future developments across the city – giving them the information and confidence to engage with public consultations on current planning applications, which will in turn help them play their part in tackling London’s housing crisis.

Each winner will be awarded a contract worth £40,000 as well as the opportunity to test their ideas with experts in each field and Londoners directly, through City Hall’s Talk London platform.

The Civic Innovation Challenge brings together London’s public and private sector with tech companies, which were asked to pitch new solutions to key issues facing the capital.

For tech startups and SMEs, the scheme offers the chance to develop products with the needs of Londoners firmly in mind. Companies taking part have access to unique insight, expertise, cutting-edge data and pilot sites, as well as mentoring and business support from City Hall’s partners. This gives participants the chance to develop the commercial potential of their ideas as well as providing solutions to the city’s challenges.

The Challenge forms part of the Mayor’s wider efforts to make London a ‘test-bed city’ for technological innovation which brings real benefits to Londoners’ lives, as well as supporting the best and brightest from the capital’s world-leading tech sector.

A further six companies have been selected to work with Transport for London to tackle road congestion caused by freight deliveries, with each winning £20,000 to develop their ideas. They are:

> AppyWay – a digital tool which helps organisations manage traffic flows, parking solutions and other kerbside activity.

> EMSOL – an easy-to-use dashboard to help organisations use data to take action on air quality.

> ENSO – developing a new generation of more energy efficient, durable and sustainable tyres for electric vehicles.

> Fernhay – creating zero-emission products for freight deliveries in cities.

> Ford Mobility – designing, growing and investing in emerging mobility services and connectivity solutions.

> Humanising Autonomy – developing real-time behaviour analysis software for accident and near-miss prevention to increase safety for vulnerable road users.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the world – but we face some significant challenges. My flagship tech scheme – the Civic Innovation Challenge – is a unique opportunity for London’s best and brightest tech companies to tackle some of the capital’s most pressing problems.

“I’m so impressed with the high calibre of entrants this year and the standard of competition means I’m sure we’ll see some really exciting projects taken to the next level – including by gaining feedback directly from Londoners themselves.

“It’s only through the public and private sector working together that we’ll come up with the best ideas we need to help improve Londoners’ lives the future.”


Programme Development Manager at Social Tech Trust, Anne Radl, said: “What I love about the Civic Innovation Challenge is that it has helped some of London’s most ambitious tech startups take a people-centred approach to make a lasting change in their communities, while expanding their business opportunities at the same time.

“The results have been inspiring – living proof we can shape tech to deliver the future we all want to see.  Congratulations to the winners and to all organisations that took part in the programme.”



11th February 2020

Eight of the capital’s innovative tech start-ups have been shortlisted for funding from the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge, to counter violent extremism online and to help make the planning system more accessible.

More than 125 entrants have been whittled down to the eight finalists in the second round of the Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge, ​which will work with City Hall and the Metropolitan Police Service to develop their proposals to help tackle some of the key challenges facing the city.

Two winners – one per category – will each be awarded a contract worth £40,000.

The Civic Innovation Challenge, ​developed and delivered in partnership with Social Tech Trust, with Microsoft, brings together London’s public and private sector with tech companies, which were asked to pitch new solutions to key issues facing the capital.

In addition, another 20 companies will work with Transport for London and pitch to Mayor’s Office of Los Angeles – one of London’s ‘Innovator Cities’ partners – to try to secure funding and support in developing their ideas.

Finally, in the coming months, a further six companies will be selected from a separate shortlist of 20 to work with Transport for London to receive £20,000 each to tackle road congestion caused by freight deliveries.

The eight start-ups which have been shortlisted in two categories are:


Making a more accessible planning system:

  • 3D Repo – bringing down the barriers to collaboration for construction professionals
  • Agile Datum – specialising in delivering cost-effective AI solutions for the public and private sectors
  • LandHawk – helping developers identify land which positively impacts the environment and enhance communities
  • The Future Fox – a platform helping planners collaborate with communities on ambitious urban schemes


Countering violent extremism online:

  • Data Language – experts in data-driven product innovation and mission-critical AI platforms
  • Faculty – developed and tested a new AI algorithm designed to detect and flag terrorist propaganda videos
  • Logically – a social enterprise using artificial intelligence to improve how we consume and interact with information online
  • Raven Science – an intelligent software using machine learning to find, classify, and analyse extremist videos


Programme Development Manager at Social Tech Trust, Anne Radl, said: “For the last three weeks, we’ve been working closely with some incredible ventures to co-develop their innovations and ensure that they’ll improve the lives of Londoners.

“Congratulations to the eight ventures moving into the final phase of the Civic Innovation Challenge. It’s our pleasure to continue working with them as they further refine their ideas.”


London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said: “The Civic Innovation Challenge is a unique opportunity for tech companies to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing our capital.

“I’m really impressed with the calibre of entrants this year and the standard of competition means I’m sure we’ll see some really exciting projects taken to the next level.

“In important areas such as planning and countering extremism online, it’s only through the public and private sector working together that we’ll come up with the best ideas we need for the future.”


Find out more about the Civic Innovation Challenge: https://tech.london/challenges 

7th February 2020

Companies that aim to transform how we recycle, make websites more accessible for people who are Deaf, and give the public a greater say in how their towns change have joined our programme that shapes AI to tackle challenges in society.

The latest AI for Good cohort, based in London, contains 12 start-ups from across Britain who will be given access to the technology, resources and expertise that will help them develop and launch their products and solutions.

The programme is run by Microsoft and Social Tech Trust. It is open to entrepreneurs from the UK who are developing a solution that focuses on one of four areas – AI for Earth, AI for Accessibility, AI for Humanitarian Action and AI for Cultural Heritage. By helping grow innovative ideas into established companies, Microsoft and Social Tech Trust hope to create a more sustainable and accessible world.

Recycleye is among the new companies that joined the cohort. Its founder, Victor Dewulf, aims to revolutionise the recycling process – from companies creating materials, to people putting packaging in bins, through to sorting it at large waste facilities. It does this by using cameras to identify recyclable objects and what they are made of, enabling them to be automatically sorted at a waste plant.

“Our motto is that waste doesn’t exist, it’s just materials in the wrong place,” Dewulf, 23, said. “The reason a lot of materials aren’t recycled is because the cost of sorting it at plants is too expensive, and that’s because the waste industry hasn’t really changed in the past 50 years. To sort different types of recyclable material, the industry is using a lot of large and incredibly expensive sensors, which can miss some items. Using computer vision means we can use just one sensor for the whole plant that’s much more cost effective.”

Peter Hedley, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, added: “Reducing the cost of sorting suddenly makes waste valuable. When the economics reverse and companies start to make a profit from their waste stream, recycling rates will dramatically increase. That’s a true boost to the circular economy and a huge change for the environment.”

Signly is another new entrant into the cohort. The company has developed an internet browser extension that offers sign language for web pages.

For many Deaf people who communicate using British Sign Language (BSL), they consider it their first language, ahead of English. However, a lack of provisioning for deaf people online, combined with a shortage of interpreters, means BSL users are often excluded from essential content.

“If you’re Deaf and your account is overdrawn at your bank, you might have to wait weeks for an interpreter, ask friends or family who can use BSL or contact a deaf organisation to use the website and sort it out,” said Signly ambassador Tim Scannell, himself profoundly deaf since birth. “All that takes time and the overdraft is costing you money. Now, BSL users can self-serve.

“Because the tool can work on any website for any sign language, Signly helps make the online world more Deaf-friendly. As far as we know, this is a world first.”

On sites where the content owner has enabled Signly, Deaf people who want a particular web page signed can request it through the browser extension. Signly will use qualified translators to create a signed version and use Microsoft Azure cloud to upload it for use online.

“Signly provides Deaf people with more independence and gives them the ability to find out for themselves, at a time and place of their choosing, about all the stuff that everyone else knows about through the internet,” added Scannell, 41.

Meanwhile, Hello Lamp Post lets people have playful conversations with street objects such as statues, benches and post boxes via text messages or popular conversation apps. The service is launched in conjunction with local authorities, developers and construction companies, and Chief Executive and co-founder Tiernan Mines sees it as a great way to get vital feedback on issues in the community.

For example, texting a special number on a sculpture in a park may start a conversation that includes the question: “what would you change about this area?” The person may reply “more cycle parking in the city centre”, which would be directly fed back to the council.

“We want to help local authorities make better informed decisions, while giving people more of a voice in the decisions made about their community,” Mines, 30, said. “The appeal of Microsoft’s AI for Good cohort for us was that it focused on business development, improving AI capabilities and measuring social impact. If I could have chosen what the programme would look like, that was exactly a match.”

The other companies in the cohort are:

Akari – helps companies use technology to support employees as individuals

Baobab – provides legal tools that track cases, manage teams and ensure privacy and security

BeneTalk – a digital coach and tracker for fluency therapy

Chatterbox – online language learning for professionals and organisations

Good Boost – transforms public swimming pools into therapy spaces for the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions

EcoSync – cloud-based platform helping commercial buildings to stop heating empty rooms

miiCARE – specialises in the application of AI in the area of geriatrics

MyCognition – tracks, treats and prevents poor mental health through a cognitive assessment and training platform

OrxaGrid – provides accurate and secure analytics that provide efficiency improvements for energy networks


As well as support and technology, they will also be given space to run their business in the Microsoft for Startups office in Shoreditch.

Ed Evans, Chief Executive of Social Tech Trust, said: “The inspiring start-ups in this cohort are all driven by their vision of a better future.  We’ve developed the AI for Good Programme in partnership with Microsoft to nurture the transformative innovation that will help them realise their goals. Our four-month impact-led curriculum brings together cross-sector experts to provide these promising purpose-led tech ventures with the support they need to shape our future society.  We can’t wait to start working with them.”

Amali de Alwis, Managing Director of Startups UK at Microsoft, said: “These 12 companies are some of the brightest and most cutting-edge businesses in Britain, and I am delighted to welcome to them to our cohort. They are all aiming to make the world a better place by using technology to tackle complex problems – from accessibility and heritage to sustainability. Microsoft is keen to help them make an even bigger positive impact on the world around them, and we’re looking forward to supporting them through this exciting stage of their journey.”

The cohort starts on February 7 and runs for four months.

Twenty-three tech startups have been selected to join the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge for 2019/2020, to develop innovative solutions to key challenges facing London.

Over 125 applications have been whittled down to a shortlist of twenty-three companies, who will work directly with Challenge Partners from the Metropolitan Police Service, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to develop the proposal they submitted in response to three challenges:


> Countering violent extremism online

> Democratising planning

> More efficient freight in London


Companies will benefit from a five-week curriculum delivered by experts from Social Tech Trust and partners including Greater London Authority and Microsoft, to access knowledge, expertise and insights of our networks. They also get the opportunity to validate their solutions and a route to market.


The companies invited onto the programme to tackle the challenge of  ‘Democratising Planning’ are:


3D Repo LTD – Bringing down the barriers to collaboration for construction professionals.

Agile Datum – Specialising in delivering cost effective AI solutions for the public and private sector that transform your organisations and give you the competitive edge.

Bulbshare – Helping the world’s leading organisations stay ahead of the game through customer collaboration.

CycleStreets Ltd – A social enterprise, working to get more people cycling through the provision of journey planning and tools for advocacy.

Emu Analytics Limited – Creating better services, places & communities by understanding location data.

Hello Lamp Post – A communication platform that brings citizens into urban decision making. It encourages people to strike up playful, text-based conversations with street objects using their mobile phones.

LandHawk Software Services Limited – Helping land finders and property developers identify land that positively impacts our environment and enhance the communities that we live, work and play in.

Open Systems Lab – A non-profit R&D lab working on open digital innovation for industry and society, currently working to transform architecture, construction and cities.

Skyscape Technologies -Unlocking urban rooftop space to contribute to a sustainable future.

Titan Reality – Indream (the Proptech brand of Titan Reality) develops immersive spaces, technologies and infrastructures enabling businesses, property developers and organizations to design and deliver immersive customer experiences.

The Future Fox – A digital platform helping planners collaborate with communities on ambitious urban planning schemes.

Tranquil City – Exploring our relationship with tranquillity in the urban environment to promote health, wellbeing and balance.

ZEG.ai – Helping clients create 3D in the fastest way possible.


The companies invited onto the programme to tackle the challenge of  ‘Countering Violent Extremism Online’ are:


Cubica Technology – Building state of the art algorithms, real-time software, and highly specialised turn-key systems for analysing and exploiting digital media content to detect criminal behaviour, protect assets and help save lives.

Data Language -Data Language experts in data driven product innovation and mission-critical AI platforms.

Faculty Science – Developed and tested a new AI algorithm designed to detect and flag terrorist propaganda video content to stop it ever being uploaded and spread on the internet.

Groundswell Project – Initiates and assists local communities to promote harmony and challenge hate.

Krzana – An AI engine that provides access to on-the-ground reports, images and videos, local and international news and blogs, public discussion, and content shared across social media.

Logically – A  social enterprise specialising in the use of artificial intelligence to improve how we consume and interact with information online.

LocalHalo – A smart messenger for chatting with neighbours powered by alerts.

Prodikta Technologies – Using the latest technologies to interpret global crime data, combined with advanced analytics and user collaboration.

Raven Science – An intelligent software using machine learning to find, classify, and analyse extremist videos.

Renato Software – Senso. cloud is an AI driven cloud based platform for online user threat detection.


The finalists for the TfL challenge will be announced soon.

In February, up to 10 companies will be further shortlisted to compete for a £40,000 contract to deliver a pilot project together with their Challenge Partner.

Later in the year, three companies – one per challenge – will be awarded the £40,000 contract to test their idea further.

The second round of the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge was launched by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, in November 2019 at a reception, hosted by partners, Microsoft, at their Flagship Store on Oxford Circus.


Find out more about the programme at tech.london/challenges