05 Jun 2018

Achieving the Global Goals using tech for good

By Dama Sathianathan

Launching the Global Goals programme, offering expert support for ambitious tech for good ventures to achieve the goals for international development

Together with Andy Wales and Ed Gillespie, founding partners of the Global Goals accelerator, we are looking for ambitious startups using technologies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs/Global Goals).

Why we’re focused on the Global Goals

Three years have passed since the United Nations (UN) adopted these Global Goals with the public and private sector alike striving to improve people’s lives under one common framework.

Whether it’s open source data platforms connecting research to mitigate the effects of climate change, the use of virtual reality to show the lives of refugees in Zaatari, or applying frontier technologies to the biggest challenges in development, we have seen great examples of tech for good to help achieve the SDGs and improve people’s lives.

And it’s not only the public sector, where we’ve seen large scale adoption of the SDGs. Increasingly, private sector companies are aligning their business operations with the SDGs, opening up economic opportunities with a worth of up to $12 trillion. But with an ambitious agenda  – 17 goals to transform the world by eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, and more – we see great potential to help accelerate the growth of tech for good startups to contribute to achieving the goals.

A significant portion of that innovation occurs in developing markets themselves – DfID’s Transform partnership with Unilever is a leading example of funding and support for early stage entrepreneurs. There is also support from a range of foundations for accelerators and tech hubs across developing countries which inspire and enable more home-grown entrepreneurs.

However, technologies emerging from those working and studying in developed countries also have a lot to offer to deliver the Global Goals. The UK is brimming with new tech ideas and entrepreneurs highly motivated for social impact. Many of them, want to start a business that makes a contribution to international development, but find it hard to get their businesses off the ground.

We want to support these early stage entrepreneurs and build a community of founders, better connected to each other and emerging and developing markets, ultimately accelerate startups to achieve the Global Goals.

Partnering to accelerate ventures addressing the Global Goals

Our partnership with Andy Wales and Ed Gillespie, founding partners of the Global Goals accelerator, will identify and support startups using technology to achieve the goals. For this programme, we are focused on startups creating tech solutions helping the most vulnerable people, ensuring we’re leaving no-one behind.

We’re looking to find and support up to 10 ventures through this partnership, with selected ventures receiving investment and support through the main BGV accelerator programme.

Apply here for BGV’s autumn programme – the deadline is Sunday, 8th July 2018, 23:59pm.


This blog was written together with Andy Wales and Ed Gillespie. Find out more about our partnership.