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11 emerge from live-in accelerator

Social entrepreneurs from 11 countries emerge next week from the world’s first residential impact accelerator, as graduates from the Collective Global Accelerator’s 2018 cohort. Julian Blake reports.

CollectiveGlobalAccelerator2018Eleven international entrepreneurs, from nations including Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam, South Africa and New Zealand, emerge next week from London’s Collective Old Oak live-in accelerator, to present their plans to investors at a demo day in the capital.

Co-living pioneer The Collective has run its month-long residential social impact accelerator for early-stage startups, for a second year. The 11 were selected from more than 4,600 applicants and 163 countries.

The group has been living and working on the not-for-profit programme out of their north-west London base. The accelerator supports entrepreneurs with resources, skills and mentoring to help them grow their socially conscious enterprises. The co-working/co-living accelerator includes workshops on branding and work-life balance.

The global accelerator is run and funded by business charity arm The Collective Foundation. The foundation – set up by Reza Merchant and Andre Damian – exists to create opportunities for people to tackle the toughest challenges in world cities.

Each one of the accelerator’s social entrepreneurs comes from a different country, with their fledgling businesses centred on this year’s key focus for the accelerator: creating stronger communities in cities. The cohort is separated into four categories around that central theme.

Collective Global Accelerator – 2018 cohort

Human Connection

Tribeless (Gwen Wong, Malaysia) – creates a culture of empathy in every organisation and community in the world through an ‘empathy in a box’ facilitation toolkit

QZenobia (Berat Kjamili, Turkey) – mobile app that runs as a refugee hub, based on refugee big-data analytics

Sumi (Tram Anh Nguyen, Vietnam) – combination of chatbot, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, Sumi can automatically answer any questions from teenagers in their own language

You, Baby and I (Shaney Vijendranath, South Africa) – network of ‘mompreneurs’, launching their first project Momsays – an analytics platform for mothers to connect, review products and services and engage with brands.

Health and wellbeing

CoLiberate (Sarah Tuck, New Zealand) – mental health club on the mission to create a “gym” culture for mental health, by providing wellbeing culture training for organisations, consent education workshops.

Lazarillo (Rene Espinoza, Chile) – creates accessible and intelligent spaces through a mobile application, helping people with visual disabilities connect with their environment, improving their autonomy and quality of life.

Education and opportunity

AlphaGamma (Arthur Gopak, Netherlands) – business portal for young professionals helping them discover and take advantage of life-changing career opportunities.

Maestros Leadership Team (Charles Lipenga, Malawi) – social enterprise from Africa that engages the youth in schools and out schools in working towards achieving the sustainable development goals set by the UN.

Circular economy

Low Carbon City (Juliana Gutierrez, Colombia) – online platform working to tackle climate change in cities, through education, engaging local communities and implementing solutions.

Homepod (Andrei Toma, Romania) – social enterprise which creates a predictive e-procurement software for energy efficiency & low carbon footprint buildings, through the blockchain.

Imperfectly Good (Katy Renwick, United Kingdom) – delivering tasty lunches made from perfectlyGOOD, salvaged, surplus produce.

Collective chief executive Merchant (pictured) said: “The groundbreaking entrepreneurs that we have selected are striving to make a difference across health, education and the environment – and we completely support all of their individual ideas. They each have the potential to change people’s lives and make a transformational impact in their local communities and beyond.”

Reza-Merchant350Qualitative research from last year’s inaugural global accelerator indicates that the entrepreneurs involved impacted around 50,000 individuals in 2017 alone.

2017 alumni include Colombian Daniela Carvajlino, whose The Biz Nation has expanded to the US and been recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of 50 businesses that will re-shape Latin America.

Ghanaian Elijah Amoo Addo’s Food4All Africa initiative has developed a new mobile app ‘Okumkom’ to connect low income and vulnerable communities with discounted food.

Programme mentors include: Claire Rodwell (Google Digital Garage), Lauren Meyer (Thomson Reuters Foundation), Billy Dann (Comic Relief), Jon Addison (LinkedIn UK), Sameer Mistry (Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices); Maria Angela Flores (British Council) and Olivia Sibony (UK Angel Investment Network).

The 2018 Collective Global Accelerator demo day takes place in London on June 26. More details. Reza Merchant interview and 2017 cohort : Collective builds property on purpose.

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