27th June 2013 - Business News

£1m fund challenges tech entrepreneurs to solve social problems

Clare Sutcliffe and Linda Sandvik

A £1m fund has been launched to encourage tech entrepreneurs develop business ideas for the social good.

The ‘Social Tech, Social Change’ seed fund will help 20 new tech businesses tackle issues such as environment, education, child welfare and social care.

Dedicated social funder Nominet Trust and entrepreneurs organisation The Founders Forum for Good, announced the cash backed project in London yesterday (thurs).

Entrepreneurs with ideas will also get mentoring help and advice from experts backing the scheme including Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, and Autonomy founder Mike Lynch among others.

Launching the Fund with Martha Lane-Fox, the CEO of Nominet Trust, Annika Small said: ‘The UK’s digital economy is thriving, contributing more than 8 per cent of the UK’s GDP.

‘Technology is completely changing the way we work, communicate, shop and learn.

‘And we want to harness some of that tech talent and energy so that the same individuals, who have done so much for our economy, can help address some of our toughest social challenges.

‘Up until now tech has often been bolted onto organisations and we are looking for some really radical ideas. For example intead of funding environmental research labs, there may be a way of developing a community of citizen scientists.’

Nominet Trust said the fund is designed to be used to transform ambitious ideas of how to use technology to improve the lives of millions into realistic, profitable and scalable businesses.

It will not be seeking equity or IP (intellectual property) but instead provide £50,000 grants to move ideas from prototype to growth.

Applications can be made from June to September with grants awarded from October. The successful entries must form a legal company.

 

Via Metro