23 Sep 2020

Spring 2020 Virtual Showcase: The Tech for Good COVID Graduates

By Will Spurr

This Spring, we backed a brand-new cohort of awesome founders with game-changing ideas to drive positive impact at scale. Brilliant tech for good founders are nothing new for BGV. The marked difference this time was the arrival of COVID-19. A pandemic, however, is no excuse for pandemonium. The programme team swiftly transformed our 3-month course to be fully remote, and the course culminated in a slick online showcase on September 15th. 

 

We ran the showcase on Hopin. This allowed us to maintain the benefit of live pitching, whilst also retaining the functionality of small networking groups, one-to-one meetings and an expo with longer-form versions of the teams pitches

 

Breathe Happy Showcase

Pictured: Breathe Happy’s lightning pitch

 

The event kicked off with lightning pitches from the teams. Without the luxury of canapes and drinks to keep the audience busy, teams had to squeeze their normal pitches into 3-minute bursts. In this way, we hopped between topics as diverse as VR risk-preparedness training for journalists (Headset) and using technology to streamline and magnify the impact of donations to food banks (Spareable). The teams were well-drilled, and despite there being almost 20 contributors based all around the world, the pitches flowed suavely without technical hitches. 

 

Afterwards, the teams each headed to a smaller breakout room for questions. Participants were able to hop between networking bubbles and connect directly with the founders. I was hosting a room with Silver Sharers (who used the event to launch their rebrand to Nestful), and I was impressed by the depth and sophistication of the conversations around their product, market and revenue model.

The event closed out with a fireside chat between Amy Lewin, Deputy Editor of Sifted, and BGV CEO Paul Miller. They dived into questions around impact investing, the prospects for the tech for good sector and the heightened need for rainmaking tech for good founders to solve the mounting social and environmental problems we face. 

 

Catch the full recording here: