First residential impact accelerator opens

Eleven social impact entrepreneurs from around the world come together in London this month for the world’s first residential impact accelerator for early-stage technology startups focused on social change. Julian Blake reports.

The_Collective_Old_Oak cafeThe world’s first residential accelerator for social impact entrepreneurs opens up in London this month, with purpose-driven startups represented from eight countries from emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as the United States.

The new Collective Global Accelerator brings together founders and their organisations from Colombia, South Africa, Ghana, Brazil, Ethiopia, Nigeria, USA and Malaysia, living and working at the Collective Old Oak co-living community space in Willesden, north-west London.

Over the course of the month, the 11 founder-level entrepreneurs will have lived together, benefiting from a bespoke programme designed to provide the skills, advice and contacts to help them scale their socially conscious enterprises. They are backed by a team of coaches and mentors and will have access to a network of professionals.

Startup concepts range from health to finance to education and more, each underpinned by digital. Companies are for-profit and not-for-profit, but exist to create opportunities for people in need in communities across the world.

The new accelerator has been created by Reza Merchant, the founder and chief executive of property development and management company The Collective, with support from CrowdCube, CAST, Impact Hub, Expert Impact and Bridging to the Future.

The Collective Foundation sponsors all participants’ stay during the programme.

At the end of the month, the entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their work in front of an invited audience of impact investors and partners. And the accelerator demo day event will also allow for wider networking and one-on-one opportunities with each founder.

Collective Global Accelerator – 2017 cohort

Daniela Carvajalino, The Biz Nation, Colombia
Online platform that provides high-quality, productive skill oriented education to young people in Colombia to increase employability.

Jaryd Ridgeway, MUZI, South Africa
App that aims to increase the amount of HIV testing in South Africa by a factor of 10 with the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Ernest Gavor, Moja, Ghana
App that aims to increase blood donations in Sub-Saharan Africa with 700% with the use of mobile technology and incentivizing citizens.

Italo Alves, TODXS, Brazil
Social enterprise that focuses on increasing LGBT+ inclusion in Brazil, among others through apps that help the LGBT+ community with resources and fight discrimination.

Tizzita Tefera, mTena, Ethiopia
SMS-based platform that provides women in Ethiopia maternal and infant care information.

Elijah Amoo Addo, Food4All Africa, Ghana
Social enterprise that uses advocacy and an app to create sustainable means of nutrition for vulnerable communities through food recovery, redistribution and farming.

Ogbogu Robert, LOCATE, Nigeria
Civic technology crowdsourcing platform that will aid in the reportage, search and finding of missing persons faster in Nigeria, aiming to reduce the time to initiate a search operation from 15 to four hours.

Pieter Doevendans, Ava, USA
Software for deaf and hard-hearing people that translates any conversation into text and will color code the different speakers, so that you can easily distinguish who says what.

Noor Shahiwan Ismail, Suncrox Solar, Malaysia
Social enterprise that provides solar energy solutions by eliminating grid and fuel power dependency for home, aiming to provide solar energy to 10,000 beneficiaries in South-east Asia in five years

Isaac Quainoo, Sikasem, Ghana
Social enterprise that is dedicated to providing demystified financial information to people in urban and rural informal sectors of sub-Saharan Africa, via SMS, voice calls, and outreach programmes.