The Social Tech, Social Change challenge offers funding and support to entrepreneurs developing exciting new tech ventures that address major social issues affecting Britain, such as unemployment, social isolation, access to education and healthcare.
The Social Tech, Social Change mentors who have committed to help the winners of the £1m ‘Tech for Good’ fund include:
- Brent Hoberman, co-founder of lastminute.com;
- Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project;
- Gi Fernando, co-founder of Techlightenment;
- Barry Smith, co-founder of Skyscanner.net; and
- Mobile guru, Ralph Simon (known as “the father of the ringtone”) – to name but a few.
All mentors have been carefully matched to a new social tech project relevant to their own experience. They will play a crucial role in developing the early-stage ideas into profitable, scalable ventures by lending their skills and knowledge of specific markets. The mentors will help the projects grow and will be there to offer both advice and hands-on support throughout the duration of the year-long programme.
The latest Social Tech, Social Change round sees a further seven social tech ventures added to the original list of ten announced in October. In addition to valuable mentorship, the entrepreneurs will each receive in the region of £50,000 from the £1m STSC fund, to help bring their ideas to fruition. They will be celebrating their success at a winners’ dinner on 29 January 2014.
Dafna Ciechanover Bonas, CEO of Founders Forum For Good, which was established to encourage the world’s most dynamic digital entrepreneurs to offer their time, skills and resources to help tech entrepreneurship in the third sector flourish said:
“For an ambitious young entrepreneur taking on today’s big social challenges, the right mentor can make all the difference. We know that actual mentorship and support from those with experience and the relevant contacts is vital to the success of social tech start ups. Founders Forum For Good was created by Founders, for Founders, and we are confident that our pool of world-class digital entrepreneurs will make exceptional mentors, offering a year-long commitment of practical advice and industry insights to the winners of the fund”.
The second cohort of organisations that have been awarded funding and mentorship are:
- Data Unity: a free, easy-to-use data visualisation tool for social organisations;
- Equal Eyes: a suite of accessible mobile applications to support the elderly;
- Justinteractive New Media Ltd.: a community driven social gifting platform to encourage re-use of items otherwise destined for landfill;
- National Extension College: a provider of low-cost solar-powered learning devices and content for distance learning;
- Reason Digital: a smartphone app for improving the safety of the vulnerable;
- The Crowd Works: a peer-based recruitment platform matching your LinkedIn contacts’ skills with open job roles; and
- Wevolver: a collaborative development platform for open source hardware projects.
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