Award entrants must be businesses and not-for-profits with 'clear social purpose'.
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Vodafone has launched a new UK technology award programme called Vodafone Techstarter to support start-ups and early-stage ventures developing innovative technology solutions with social purpose.
Vodafone Techstarter aims to uncover and develop ideas that can harness the power of technology, connectivity and innovation to improve health, education, environmental protection or social mobility.
It has been developed in partnership with the Vodafone Foundation, Vodafone’s charitable arm, and Social Tech Trust, the UK’s leading dedicated supporter of socially motivated tech ventures.
In addition to financial awards, winners will benefit from access to industry and technology expertise from Vodafone and the Social Tech Trust, enabling them to take their innovations from prototype to market readiness.
This includes coaching, commercial development support, mentoring, investment and partnership advice, with additional bespoke elements depending on their requirements.
The Vodafone Techstarter social innovation award fund for 2018 is £300,000 to be distributed as follows:
For profit Vodafone Techstarter Award - four winners will each receive £35,000 and a 12-month programme of support and value-in-kind. Supported by Vodafone UK.
Not for profit Vodafone Techstarter Award - four winners will each receive £35,000 and a 12-month programme of support and value-in-kind..
Vodafone Techstarter Champion’s Award – two winners, voted by Vodafone employees, will each receive £10,000
Vodafone Techstarter is open to UK-based inventors, innovators, charities, social enterprises, businesses and entrepreneurs, with prototype ideas. It says all applications must have a clearly defined social purpose and the deadline is 23 October 2018.
The judging panel brings together industry, investment, technology and social purpose expertise and includes:
Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK; Matthew Gould, director general for digital and media Policy at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Jen Hyatt, founder of Troo.ai, eartime and Big White Wall.
Judging will take place in December with finalists revealed in January 2019. Winners will be announced at an awards event in London in February 2019.
Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK’s external affairs director, said: “Vodafone Techstarter is a hugely exciting opportunity for industry to contribute vital support, expertise and funding to help take early stage ventures driven by social purpose from start-up to scale-up.
"We believe that some of the biggest challenges in society can be addressed using technology and innovation. The UK has a fantastic opportunity to lead the way in providing solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges.”