24 Jan 2019

Connecting academics with tech for good startups focused on mental health

By Milly Shotter

Announcing a partnership with the Wellcome Trust.

We are very pleased to announce that BGV has been awarded a grant by the Wellcome Trust (WT) to collaborate on their ‘research to venture mental health programme’ which will run until Autumn 2019.

For startups seeking to improve people’s mental health, the pressure to evidence their impact is high and resources to do so can be low. The Wellcome Trust programme, co-ordinated by Big Society Capital, aims to aid these ventures in formally understanding the effectiveness of their solutions by providing grants to conduct academic research.

From a broader perspective, the programme also aims to understand whether connecting academics with tech for good startups could more generally identify and understand barriers to improve a ventures growth, both in terms of finance and impact.

The BGV portfolio teams selected for this programme are Club Soda, TalkLife and Mind Moose. Each startup has varying specific areas where they intend to commission their piece of research;

  • Club Soda, who are creating a mindful drinking movement, are looking to research the power of self-efficacy for behaviour change surrounding alcohol.
  • TalkLife, a mental health peer support network for young people, are aiming to assess the impact of a digital intervention to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviours, to engage with others.
  • MindMoose, who aim to improve children’s mental and emotional wellbeing, are using this opportunity to research and examine the effectiveness of their programme.  

These BGV startups are also joined by ventures from mission-led incubator Zinc.

It’s a pleasure to be working with the Wellcome Trust, Big Society Capital and Zinc on this project and we can’t wait to see the outcome of teaming academics with our tech for good ventures.