Finalists named for 2018 Impact Awards

An education platform for the performing arts, a coding school for refugees and a social network for young people’s mental health are among the 36 finalists for the 2018 Impact Awards, announced today. The winners are announced on March 7. Julian Blake reports.

Impact Awards juryDigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards recognise the best of UK tech for good. Now in their second year, they honour tech-driven products and services that look to improve lives and the world around us.

The awards are sponsored by Nominet Trust, in association with Berenberg.

When the awards closed for submissions in December, we received 253 entries from across the country into our 12 different awards categories. Entries were 25% up on 2017 – and the quality across the board was impressive.

January’s judging process saw an initial sift by a team of six tech for good experts, followed by a grand jury of 12 senior professionals (pictured and listed below), which met last week to agree the three finalists for each category. The final list of 36 is set out below.

The judges used five key criteria in their decision making – idea, product, team, scalability and impact. They then scored the entries against each criteria, with impact carrying double the weight in the overall scoring. Discussion followed at the jury meeting to agree the 36 overall.

The Impact Awards event takes place on Wednesday March 7 at Oval Space in east London. An afternoon into evening gathering brings 300 together from the worlds of tech innovation, investment, policy, academia and more. We’ll hear from brilliant speakers, as well as our winners. Oli Barrett MBE comperes, with an evening reception sponsored by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Tickets are now on sale for the March 7 awards event. All finalists receive one complimentary ticket. We’ve kept the ticket price as affordable as possible, with discounts available for groups and DigitalAgenda network members.

A people’s choice award goes to the finalist with the most public votes, in a poll going live a month out from the awards event. Watch out for that. We’ll also be giving out an ‘individual impact’ award for outstanding achievement.

DigitalAgenda Impact Awards 2018 – finalists

Education – technologies that are transforming both teaching and learning, in schools, universities or online (sponsored by Barclays):

Digital Theatre+ – education platform for English and the performing arts
Learn My Way – learning platform to make getting online easy
You Teach Me – video-teaching platform engaging pupils in coursework

Employment & skills – changing ways into work, and work itself, and initiatives increasing skills and access to talent (sponsored by BCS):

Code Your Future – coding school for refugees
Koru Kids – nanny-sharing marketplace making childcare affordable
White Hat – matching non-graduate talent with apprenticeship opportunities

Health – technology that enhances healthcare knowledge and treatment, as well as people’s abilities to lead healthier and happier lives:

Good Gym – get fit by doing good by running to help others
In Your Pocket – accessibility for the vision-impaired community
SH:24 – online sexual health and testing

Sharing and communities – digital initiatives that help people to share resources more effectively, or where collaboration enables greater community participation and an increased sense of shared purpose (sponsored by Sharermrkt/The People Who Share):

Age UK Call In Time – befriending service matching volunteers with older people
Olio – helping neighbours share unwanted fridge food
Talklife – social network for young mental health

Cities – digital initiatives that enhance places and spaces, making them better places to live, work and play:

GoJauntly – discovery app for city walks
The Future Fox Streetbuilder – engagement tool for street transformation
Trik – drone mapping and 3D reporting tool for city industry

Climate – technologies that help organisations to manage and understand environmental change, helping them to create places that are more sustainable (sponsored by The Planet Mark):

Green Lab – workspace for designing food, water and waste solutions
Switchee – energy-saving thermostat to fight fuel poverty in social housing
Voyage Control – pollution-cutting ‘air traffic control for trucks’

Smart – products and services using smart technologies, including around travel, to make urban and rural living  easier, offering greater mobility and enabling people to connect more easily:

Alcove – independent living for older people through smart assistive tech
Little Riot – connecting families remotely to heartbeats of loved ones
SteamaCo – connecting the unconnected with off-grid energy management

Sustainable living – technologies that enable individuals to live more sustainably, by providing higher-quality, healthier food or reducing waste:

Alexandra Rose Charity – digital food vouchers for low-income families
Arc-Net – blockchain to authenticate food provenance
Safety Net Technologies – light-emitting devices to help fishermen catch right

Business transformation – products and projects that help business, government and non-profits to become more effective and happier, healthier places to work (sponsored by Opencast Software):

Apolitical – online peer-to-peer platform for public policy
Citizens Advice – digital case management system
Unmind – B2B mental health platform for happier organisations

Financial inclusion – technologies that make it easier for people to save and spend, and that enhance access to and the quality of financial services:

AID:Tech – blockchain marrying digital identity with financial entitlements
LOQBOX – helping build credit histories and financial education
Salary Finance – financial wellbeing for the nation’s workforce

Investment – the best in impact funding provided by investors and backers of all kinds, across all platforms and funding routes (sponsored by ClearlySo):

Bethnal Green Ventures – early-stage investor/accelerator of 100 ventures
Nesta Impact Investments – funding 14 digital social innovators for disadvantaged
UnLtd – awards and accelerator for individual social entrepreneurs

Social and economic transformation – outward-facing initiatives from business, government and non-profits that look to make a positive impact on the wider world (sponsored by Us Ai):

Federation/Co-op Digital – ethical digital business community in Manchester
what3words – world divided into 3m squares to give everyone an address
Yoti – free and safe digital identity app.

Congratulations to all the finalists – and a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to enter the awards! We’ll happily offer feedback to anyone who wants it.

Impact Awards 2018 – jury

Mike Bracken, Public Digital
Richard Brass, Berenberg
Justin Cooke, Unicef UK
Gi Fernando, Freeformers
Priya Guha, RocketSpace
Vicki Hearn, Nominet Trust
Christian Hernandez, White Star Capital
Matt Isaacs, Essence
Eve Joseph, Microsoft UK
Moira Sinclair, Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Pete Trainor, US Ai
Jess Tyrrell, ustwo

Judging committee – initial shortlisting

Julian Blake, DigitalAgenda
Simon Davey, Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness
Ellie Hale, CAST
Andrew Huddart, UCL
Katz Kiely, Kiely & Co
Mike Mompi, ClearlySo
Kate Sandle, B Lab UK
Jessica Stacey, Bethnal Green Ventures.

Any judge with a personal or professional interest in organisations entering the awards opted out of judging in that award category.

Interested in sponsoring an award? You’ll get to present the award on March 7 and have your name on the trophy. Contact to find out more.

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