For Founders

The Tech For Good Programme
We provide ambitious early-stage founders with the investment, support, expertise and networks to launch and build a successful tech for good venture.
Apply to our Spring 2020 programme
Applications are open for our Spring 2020 programme. We're looking for the next batch of ambitious founders using technology to significantly improve people's lives and protect the planet.
Apply now
What we offer
Investment
£30,000 in cash for 7% equity in your venture
Learning
A tailored three-month programme of workshops, talks and 1:1 mentoring
Life-long support
Life-long support and the opportunity for follow-on funding
Peer support
Valuable support from a large community of tech for good founders
Mentoring
Regular connections with our network of 70+ mentors and advisors. Checkout who they are here
Partnerships
Additional support from our expert partners
Connections
Introductions and 1:1 meetings with investors and industry experts
Office space
A creative working environment and free office space in London during the three-month programme
Our investment themes
These are the outcomes we want to see in the world and the areas our support and investment can best facilitate tangible positive impact in.
A Sustainable Planet
It's no secret there is a climate crisis upon us, but we believe that visionary businesses committed to protecting the environment can help ensure a sustained and thriving future planet. We want to see innovative yet affordable systems and solutions in the following areas:


Resource efficiency and circular economy; responsible consumption and production; sustainable agriculture, transportation and infrastructure.


A Better Society
We want to see radical approaches that work towards creating a society in which everybody has equal access and opportunity. There are many challenges for this to become a reality, but to us that means huge scope for truly exciting and impactful ventures, especially in the following areas:


Education and life-long learning, employability and fair work, poverty reduction, integrated and inclusive communities, civic participation, democracy and justice.
Healthy Lives
Every person deserves a healthy life, but new products and services are needed to effectively deliver on this. We also believe that health depends as much on prevention as it does cure. These are some of the areas we're excited to back solutions in:



Health and social care, preventative care, mental and emotional wellbeing and lifestyles and ageing population.

Your business model
Alongside our investment themes, there are five key aspects we look to be inherent in all the businesses we back:
1
Scalability
The business must have the potential to both positively impact millions of lives and reach a £100m enterprise value within 10 years time.
2
Innovative application of technology
The use of tech should either allow a greater scale of solution, or facilitate a new way of approaching the problem.
3
Intentionality
Products and services must be developed with the specific intention of creating positive social or environmental impact.
4
Direct impact
We look for ventures that have a direct impact, alternatively if your solution is targeting a broader systemic change then we expect to see a credible hypothesis of how impact will be achieved.
5
Reducing inequality
No matter the sector, ventures should always be working towards narrowing the gap of inequality, this often means focusing on those that are underserved and underrepresented.
Application criteria
To join BGV's Tech For Good Programme, here's an easy overview of requirements:
You have an innovative idea that uses technology to address a social or environmental challenge
You're motivated and committed to building a scalable for-profit business that will both radically improve millions of lives and be hugely commercially successful
You're actively building a team with a strong understanding of the problem you are tackling, the market you'll be operating in and relevant technical experience
Your team is available to take part in the three-month programme
Your venture is at an early-stage and has been trading for less than two years old
You have the right to work in the UK (unfortunately, you cannot take part in our programme on a tourist visa)
Hear from our portfolio
"BGV have provided us with high quality, effective and timely support at every stage of our business' development. There is no one else like BGV in London's funding landscape."


How Do I?
Spring 17 cohort
"BGV have been an incredible ally from the start. We couldn't recommend them more highly."
Birdsong
Winter 15 cohort
"BGV has been a fantastic investor and has given mappd a huge amount of support through the programme and afterwards too. The support network is most valuable and the opportunities that come along with it"
mappd
Spring 18 cohort
Talk to our team
We really value time spent getting to know our potential applicants. So if you'd like to register your interest to speak with us about your tech for good venture and the support we offer, then hit the button below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can we expect by joining BGV?
First up, each team joining the programme will receive a £30,000 cash investment in return for 7% equity (there's more information on this investment below). Teams will join our three-month programme of intensive support. Though BGV's support doesn't end there, instead we offer continuous non-financial support to all our portfolio ventures and the opportunity for follow-on funding to a select number of teams afterwards.

We are here to help out with your business, connect you to investors and mentors, and facilitate learning amongst the portfolio for as long as you need us.
How much time do I need to commit?
The programme's "contact hours" are usually held over two days per week. We do this because we know our teams have 101 things to do, and they need the time to do them. We are looking for teams that are dedicated to working full-time on their ventures; it is hard work running a tech for good startup, and running the programme over the past six years has showed us that.
At what stage do you typically invest?
"Early stage" is quite an ambiguous term, but we generally invest into all teams that have demonstrated what we are looking for (see above) and are accepted onto our programme, and then into a select number of teams at pre-seed and seed stage.
Can I apply as an individual?
Yes, but it's more likely that we'll invest in you with a team. We definitely wouldn't invest in a founder who thought they could do it all on their own - the wellbeing of founders is important to us and building, launching and scaling a venture is hard on your own. We strongly believe that diverse teams bring superior returns and impact and have strong potential to achieve better outcomes for people and planet.


Do we already have to be incorporated as a company before we apply?
No – we can help you do that if you're selected. We'll get you all set up and put the money in your bank account at the beginning of the programme. If you've already got a company set up, we'll just get you to sign the paperwork and then transfer the money to you.
Do you support not-for-profit companies, charities or community interest companies?
Unfortunately not. We only invest in companies limited by shares.
My idea isn't based on technology, can I apply?
No. We're just focusing on ideas that use technology. That's what we know about and we think it's more likely that ideas based on technology can scale faster to help millions of people which is our ultimate goal for all the companies we fund.
I've already got funding and investment, can I apply?
Yes. We'll want to know about that investment and see what you've been able to achieve with it. We work with teams at different levels of 'early-stage', as long as we believe there's a match between the support we offer and the help you need.
Do we have to live in London?
Nope, but you will need to be able to travel to London to take part in most of the workshops during the three-month programme.
Do we have to be British to apply?
No. Our only requirement is that you have the right to work in the UK. You cannot take part in the BGV programme on a tourist visa.
Can you help with visas for entrepreneurs outside of EEA?
BGV are an endorsing body for the UK Government's Startup and Innovator visa schemes. This means that we can put entrepreneurs forward to apply for these visas. BGV will only be endorsing people who have successfully applied for our investment and support. There are a number of criteria to be applicable for this support which you can read more about on this page. We are not in a position to endorse individuals outside of this, and are not able to provide advice on how to get endorsements - for all visa related questions please visit the Home Office website.
Is the offer negotiable?
No. One of the most important and beneficial things about joining BGV is being part of a cohort, and entering the portfolio following the programme. We want the teams on the programme to start on equal terms to help foster the cohort feel.
Is there a programme participation fee?
Yes. On top of the investment mentioned above, BGV will provide £25,000 of additional investment to each venture. After investment we will invoice you for our programme participation fee of £25,000 (plus VAT). So each venture will receive £55,000 and pay a £25,000 fee, totalling a £30,000 investment for 7% equity in your business.

Remember, the BGV team are there to help you with your VAT return so you can offset the VAT paid on the programme fee.
What have you learned running a tech for good programme for early stage ventures?
We've learned a lot from investing in early stage tech for good businesses over the past six years and continue to learn, iterate and test as we go. We've identified critical success factors when we screen, select and support ventures joining the BGV community. These include:


  • Skills and commitment of the management team
  • Deep understanding of the social or environmental problem and market insight
  • A user centred design approach, based on learning and iteration
  • The innovation of the product or service, and its potential to add significant value to users and customers at a large scale
  • Differentiation and defensibility in light of competition