Startup incubator firm Zinc, which helps entrepreneurs launch companies that can solve social problems, has raised £3m in seed funding from the London School of Economics (LSE), among others.
The London-based company runs a nine-month program which takes on 50 entrepreneurs and, with the support of experts in social science, technology, design and business, helps them to build entirely new companies focused on solving social problems.
Besides the LSE, investors in the company include venture capital firms Atomico and LocalGlobe as well as angel investors like Martin Leuw and Michael Norton.
The LSE is leading a new consortium of top universities including Oxford, Manchester, Sussex and Sheffield, who will work with Zinc to turn research insight into new businesses that have commercial and social impact.
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Zinc co-founder Paul Kirby, a former Head of the No 10 Policy Unit and previously a senior partner at KPMG, said the funding would help the company fill “an urgent need for more and better solutions to help people and places adapt to economic change.”
Welcoming the new backing for Zinc, MP Matt Hancock (secretary of state for digital) said: “I love Zinc’s vision of combining entrepreneurship, academic insight and digital technology to tackle big social issues...I am delighted to see that the missions are inspiring great talent to come together to build social businesses with global ambition.”
Zinc’s next programme will start on 1 October 2018 and is open to 50 would-be entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world. Applications can be made at: www.zinc.vc/apply