'Tech for good' ventures awarded share of £375,000 funding to improve lives

 
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Eight 'tech for good' ventures have been awarded £375,000 between them in the Nominet Trust's latest social tech funding round.

The seventh Social Tech Seed programme chose companies working on projects related to social issues including healthcare and the justice system. Startups such as innovative wheelchair designer Disrupt Disability and court auto-transcriber Just Transcription received a share of the money.

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Vicki Hearn, director of Nominet Trust, said: "The UK has a burgeoning social tech sector, but access to funding for start-ups at the very early stages of their development remains limited - yet this is crucial to enable social innovators to test their ideas and unlock the potential of digital tech to improve lives."

Three of the projects combine gaming with healthcare. Neurofenix's Gameball Platform helps stroke survivors with rehabilitation, while Tiny Medical Apps has developed Learnable, a gamified app for teenage asthma sufferers.

Manchester-based Corporation Pop has created a game that demystifies the hospital process for patients.

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The Glasgow-based Media Co-op received funding to develop an app to log incidents of stalking.

Lucinda Broadbent, director and executive producer of Media Co-op, explained to City A.M. that "stalking is a very damaging crime and there's not enough prosecutions, partly because an incident might not be a crime on its own but it could add up to a crime.

"We're massively grateful to Nominet as we know its a very competitive fund. To get money to actually build the app, that's the most difficult thing."

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Just Transcription uses speech recognition software to transcribe court proceedings. Co-founder Rachael Mpashi-Marx told City A.M.: “We are thrilled to be part of Nominet Trust’s Social Tech Seed programme. Their specialist knowledge and support is exactly what we need at this stage in our development.

"Just: Transcription, which emerged from our work with people experiencing miscarriages of justice, has so much potential to open up the justice system and reduce the numbers of people who are currently struggling to access justice. Working with Nominet Trust, we are closer to making this a reality.”

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