Facebook backs deep tech for good

Written by Julian Blake, Editor at DigitalAgenda

Facebook has joined forces with Bethnal Green Ventures for a second time, as its LDN_LAB tech-for-good incubator embarks on its next London chapter. The deep tech ventures it is targeting have under a week to apply for a place.

facebook LDN_LABFacebook is backing deep tech startups on a mission, in the second chapter of its innovative LDN_LAB programme for tech-for-good startups.

As with the first LDN_LAB chapter, which ended in May, Facebook has combined with London-based tech-for-good investor and accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures to deliver the programme.

LDN_LAB – the tech giant’s first incubator programme anywhere – offers a 12-week programme of mentoring and tech support, based at Facebook’s London HQ in Rathbone Square (pictured).

As well as connecting to the social media giant’s in-house mentors, startups on the programme will participate in weekly training sessions in product, marketing and technology.

Seven community-focussed startups emerged from the first LDN_LAB chapter in May – including GoodGymMushOLIO and OnHand – selected from a long list of 100.

Facebook European chief Nicola Mendelsohn described the entrepreneurs as “people who can help to solve the biggest and challenging questions that are out there today”.

BGV said the deep tech focus of the second LDN_LAB chapter would attract startups using artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, virtual reality or voice recognition, “to have a transformative impact on the world and create positive social change”.

Facebook’s commitment to run the incubator builds on its Community Boost initiative, offering digital skills training for 50,000 UK small businesses and individuals.

“This partnership is a unique opportunity to combine BGV’s knowledge in supporting tech for good ventures, with Facebook’s expertise across product, marketing and technology,” blogged BGV partner Vicky-Marie Gibbons. “We’re excited to see Facebook commit time, talent and resources to the tech for good movement in London.”

“We believe there is a huge opportunity for deep technologies to address the world’s biggest challenges in healthcare, education, sustainability and democracy, in ways which positively affect the lives of millions,” she added.

LDN_LAB is looking for seed-stage startups that:

  • Have a skilled team in place with a social mission
  • Use pioneering technology, with evidence of product market fit
  • Show significant progress in growth and revenue
  • Have a runway for the next 12 months, and a plan to execute.

Applications for the second chapter of LDN_LAB are open until Sunday 2 September at 11:59pm. Interviews for the second LDN_LAB take place between Monday 24 and Friday 28 September. The 12-week programme starts on 12 November and runs until 1 March.

Find out more.


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