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.
Supercharging tech for good ventures
Applications for our next programme starting in September are now closed. But we're always keen to chat to ambitious teams and entrepreneurs using technology to tackle the world's pressing social and environmental challenges.
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
Connections
Introductions and 1:1 meetings with investors and industry experts
Our investment themes
We invest in tech for good companies that drive significant positive impact for people and the planet. Our investment thesis is centred around the idea that the companies we invest in contribute to a sustainable planet, better society and healthy lives.
A Sustainable Planet
It's no secret that we're in a climate emergency, but we believe that visionary businesses committed to protecting the environment can help ensure a sustainable and thriving 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 and social 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 on cure. These are some of the areas we're excited to back solutions in:


Health and social care, preventative care, mental and emotional wellbeing, healthy lifestyles and ageing population.
What we're looking for
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 for greater potential to scale, or facilitate a new way of approaching the problem.
3
Intentionality and purpose
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 on people and the planet. 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
Before you go to Gust to apply, check that you meet our requirements to join the BGV programme:
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 12-week 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 (though we have a bit of flexibility with our virtual programme)
Timeline
Applications open
Applications are open until Sunday 21st June, 2020, 23:59.
Come to our virtual Q&A event
We're running a virtual Q&A event on 2nd June in London.

Register here.
Virtual drop-ins
We're running virtual drop-in sessions all-year round, but are running focused sessions for startups from 18th May to 19th June 2020.
Interviews
Interviews will take place between 8-14th July 2020.
Autumn 2020 Programme
The programme runs from 16th September to the 2nd December 2020.
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.
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 2017 Cohort
"BGV have been an incredible ally from the start. We couldn't recommend them more highly."
Birdsong
Winter 2015 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 2018 Cohort
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. 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.

In 2019, we made investments into 19 teams through our programme and nine follow-on investments into portfolio companies at pre-seed and seed-stages, which included joining a $10m Series A round in SecondNature.

Generally, 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 businesses to run, and they need the time to do that. 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 eight years has showed us that.

We understand that not everyone is able to participate in our programme full-time due to caring responsibilities or issues relating to the current pandemic. We're always keen to explore how we can best tailor the programme to people's needs - get in touch if you'd like to discuss.
At what stage do you typically invest?
"Early stage" is quite an ambiguous term, but we first invest into all teams that have demonstrated what we are looking for (see above) and are accepted onto our programme. Companies usually range from pre-product or prototype stage to those with an early product or service with users. We then provide follow-on funding into a select number of teams at pre-seed and seed stage as part of a bigger round.
Can I apply as an individual?
Yes you can apply, 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 the 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. 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. We require that you're incorporated in the UK for us to be able to invest.
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 spectrums 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?
No, due to the current pandemic you can live anywhere in the world and join our programme online. However, we don't know yet if our programme will be fully virtual. If it's a blend of in-person and virtual elements, you would need to be able to travel to London to take part in workshops during the three-month programme (safety permitting). We've included questions on social distancing requirements in our application, so please do let us know about your needs.
Do we have to be British to apply?
No. Our only requirement is that you have the right to work in the UK for an in-person programme and that your company is incorporated in the UK.
Can you help with visas for entrepreneurs outside of EEA?
BGV is 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 or respond to individuals 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.
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 eight 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