Imagine a world where education is accessible to all, major cities have liveable, breathable air and people trust their governments and news sources. It might seem like a far-off dream, but a number of startups and scaleups are actively working on making it a reality.
And right now is tech for good’s big moment — there are over 490 tech for good companies in the UK, and in London alone, VC investment into tech increased by 800% over the past five years. Around 15% of European VC capital goes into impact technology, three times more than a decade ago and more than double the global average of 7%.
Tech recruiter Hays Technology teamed up with global super connectors Empact Ventures to recognise the top 100 tech for good startups and scaleups in their Super Connect for Good competition across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Here are the 10 innovation winners and overall champion.
Overall Champion: MediSieve
This London-based biotech startup is working on a treatment that can detect and remove harmful bacteria and toxins from a patient’s bloodstream.
The magnetic filtration system can be used both as a diagnostic tool and as a treatment. It takes just under 60 minutes to filter a person’s total blood volume and a full process takes around three hours.
AI for Good Winner: Nosy
Air pollution accounts for one out of every nine deaths worldwide — UK AI startup Nosy wants to change that.
Nosy is a piece of sustainable, wearable technology designed to filter airborne particles and help people breathe more easily. It also collects data from those who wear Nosy, which will be used to predict pollution levels and better understand respiratory health.
EdTech Winner: Klik2learn
English language learning platform Klik2learn wants to offer a new, more accessible way to learn English.
Designed by experts, Klik2learn came into its own during the pandemic. It offers students accredited courses, assessments and videos while teachers have access to assessment tracking and a chat feature to monitor their pupils.
Klik2learn’s low cost software works on all devices, and it partners with NGOs and charities to offer it free of charge in emerging economies.
HealthTech Winner: Brainberry
It’s estimated that by 2051, 2m people per year will be diagnosed with dementia.
Healthtech Brainberry uses a data-driven gaming app and headset to provide treatment and patient monitoring. Brainberry claims its COSMA Neurofeedback System helps to decrease negative moods in patients with early Alzheimers’s and improve their quality of life.
The technology continuously collects data from the devices and allows users to personalise their therapy, as no two cases of dementia are the same.
MedTech Winner: QV Bioelectronics
QV Bioelectronics has created an implant to extend the life expectancy of patients with glioblastoma, an incurable and aggressive brain tumour, and improve their quality of life.
The electric field therapy implant delivers electric fields at specific frequencies which slow down the growth of the tumour. It’s still in its early stages of development, but QV aims to make the technology available to as many people as possible.
Fat, oil and grease (FOG) cause around 200k blockages in UK sewers each year at a cost of £10m. A large part of the problem lies in the communication between businesses that produce this waste and the regulators who enforce the disposal of FOG.
SwiftComply reduces admin for companies making the waste and provides data management for regulators, decreasing blockages.
The company’s ultimate goal is to collect FOG and convert them into biodiesel which will provide environmental and economic benefits for all.
Spanish scaleup Citibeats wants to bridge the gap between governments, companies and citizens — all while skipping the surveys.
The augmented text analytics platform wants to “understand how society changes in real time” by looking at different data sources, such as social media and chatbots, to find out people’s beliefs, opinions and concerns.
Citibeats claims to detect trends faster than other methods and cover all demographics, including underrepresented communities.
IGS (Intelligent Growth Solutions) is an agritech scaleup that allows farmers to grow crops vertically with minimal human assistance.
Their system uses an app to maintain the health of the plants and the technology controls light, irrigation and nutrition. This should mean greater yields produced without pesticides, making it better for the planet and the people eating the produce.
Fintech Curveblock aims to democratise the construction investment sector while pioneering the shared economy using centralised blockchain technology — in layman’s terms, every time they build and sell a project, the public investors share the profit.
Construction investment has traditionally only been available to high net-worth individuals because of its sky high costs, but CurveBlock allows people to buy digital shares that represent ownership of all future profits that the company makes.
Additionally, the portfolio only contains properties that are built with modern methods and don’t require fossil fuels.
Happaning is a video platform that lets the user watch an event from any perspective.
The ViiVid technology — Happaning’s patented multi-vantage video tech — can be used for live events or to explore global landmarks.
This allows videos to be verifiable, collaborative and immersive. The startup hopes it can be used in news reporting, and restore public faith in journalism which is in trouble thanks in part to deepfakes and misinformation.
Univarsity is an early-stage UK startup that aims to encourage participation in sports.
The app is aimed at universities, putting all things sport-related in one place; universities typically have around 50 sports clubs and accessing information on them can be difficult. Univarsity allows teams to promote themselves and get rid of paper signup sheets.
You can access the full report covering each of the winners and all the finalists here.