For Founders

Find out more about our tech for good programme
Fast-track your tech for good venture to radically change
millions of lives for the better.
About the programme
Applications for our Autumn 2019 programme are now closed but we're always keen to meet talented teams using technology to make the world a better place.
Our thematic focus
Affordable, accessible health and social care
Civic engagement
Civic participation, maintenance and advancement of democracy
Climate change, resource efficiency and conservation of the environment
Tech to support young people
In partnership with the Children's Society
Effective education and employability
What we're offering
£20,000 in cash for 6% equity in your venture
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 community of 200+ tech for good founders
Regular connections with our network of 90+ mentors and advisors
Additional support from our expert partners
Introductions and 1:1 meetings with investors and industry experts
Office space
A creative working environment and free office space in London during the programme
How it works
We select teams based on
The idea
  • An innovative idea with evidence of its merits and how it would contribute to solving the problem you're tackling
  • A clear hypothesis of how to produce, sell and distribute the solution
The team
  • You have a strong and ambitious team (or are actively seeking to build one)
  • A strong understanding of the problem and the market you will be operating in
  • Technical experience within the team
The potential for impact
  • A strong ambition to scale and positively impact millions of lives
  • A credible hypothesis to realise and measure the positive outcomes you want to achieve
A handy checklist for you
Before you go on to Gust, where you can submit your application, we just want to make sure that:
You have an innovative idea that uses technology to address challenges in one of our impact areas
You make your team available to participate in the three-month programme
You have a strong and ambitious team (or are actively building one) with the necessary skills to execute your idea
You are looking to turn your idea into a successful for-profit business
You are motivated to radically improve millions of lives for the better
You have the right to work in the UK
(Unfortunately, you cannot take part in our programme on a tourist visa)
Applications open
Applications for our Autumn 2019
cohort are open from 21st May until 18th June 2019, 23.59.
Applications close
Applications close on Tuesday 18th June 2019, 23.59.
Interviews take place
between 8th and 12th July 2019.
Start of programme
The programme kicks off on 18th September 2019.
Talk to our team
We really value time spent getting to know our applicants. So if you'd like the opportunity to speak with us about your tech for good venture and the support we offer, then fill out the form.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can we expect by joining BGV?
First up, each team joining the programme will receive a £20,000 cash investment in return for 6% 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 £20,000 of additional investment to each venture. After investment we will invoice you for our programme participation fee of £20,000 (plus VAT). So each venture will receive £40,000 and pay a £20,000 fee, totalling a £20,000 investment for 6% 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