Europe's first accelerator for technology-based social ventures has received support from the Cabinet Office's Social Incubator Fund.
Bethnal Green Ventures will receive a £1.8 million investment from the Cabinet Office, Nominet Trust and innovation charity Nesta to back up to 80 early stage technology start-ups tackling social and environmental problems.
The projects will be backed over the next four years, with Bethnal Green Ventures offering £15,000 to 20 early stage social technology ventures per year, enabling successful applicants to concentrate full time on their start-up for twelve weeks.
During the programme the ventures will take part in workshops and receive mentoring, legal and administrative support. The ventures will be based in a newly refurbished start-up space at Nesta, Chancery Lane, central London and will also have use of Google Campus in Shoreditch, east London.
Applications for the summer 2013 programme are open on 6 March 2013 for early stage technology ventures seeking to tackle problems in health, ageing, education, employment and sustainability. Workshops will be run throughout March and April for interested applicants.
Bethnal Green Ventures has run two programmes since it launched in 2011 and has incubated twelve start-ups to date.
These include DrDoctor, a multi-platform application to improve patient bookings for hospitals; Good Gym, online tools to help people exercise while volunteering in their communities; and Mastodon C - big data specialists helping organisations use data better without using carbon intensive server farms.
Paul Miller, a partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, said, "Our aim is to provide investment and support to people who really understand social challenges so that they can build social, technology ventures to improve the lives of people."
The Cabinet Office Social Incubator Fund has invested £900,000 in the Bethnal Green Ventures programme. This has been match funded by Nesta and Nominet Trust.