Vodafone invites Welsh businesses to apply for new social innovation fund

Welsh start-ups and entrepreneurs have just one more day to apply for Vodafone’s new social innovation fund.

The telecoms giant is on the lookout for early stage companies developing innovative technology solutions with a social purpose.

Vodafone Techstarter is aimed at supporting ideas that harness the power of technology, connectivity and innovation to improve health, education, environmental protection or social mobility.

It’s been developed in partnership with Vodafone Foundation, which is  Vodafone’s charitable arm, and Social Tech Trust, the UK’s leading dedicated supporter of socially motivated tech ventures.

Winners will get access to coaching, commercial development support, mentorship, 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. Supported by the Vodafone Foundation (UK registered charity number 1089625).
  • Vodafone Techstarter Champion’sAward – two winners, voted by Vodafone employees, will each receive £10,000

The programme is open to UK-based inventors, innovators, charities, social enterprises, businesses and entrepreneurs that can demonstrate prototype ideas.  Applications can be submitted here.

Michele Metcalfe, Vodafone UK’s Head of Wales, said: “We know there are many organisations and individuals across Wales who are developing innovative technology solutions with a social purpose. Vodafone Techstarter is an exciting opportunity that could help them to take their idea to the next level.”

Judges include Nick Jeffery, chief executive officer, Vodafone UK; Anne Sheehan, enterprise director, Vodafone UK; Amparo Moraleda, non-executive director, Vodafone Group Plc; and Matthew Gould, director general for Digital and Media Policy, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK’s general counsel and external affairs director and Vodafone Foundation Trustee, commented: “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.”