Impact startups get serious

Written by Julian Blake, Editor at DigitalAgenda

For-good venture programme Serious Impact this week marked the successful completion of its first east London Grow Your Business accelerators, at a demo day with a difference at its Craft Central base on the Isle of Dogs.

serious impact craft centralSerious Impact’s end-of-programme display day brought together 39 impactful startups this week from across its two Grow Your Business accelerator programmes, in Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

Rather than pitches or presentations, the event gave the ventures a chance to showcase their physical wares – and demonstrate their business progress to date.

Products offered by the startups go beyond digital and range from artisan jewellery and bespoke men’s suiting to vegan cheese, chocolate and ice cream, alongside yoga classes, event styling and interior design.

Serious Impact is run by Cambridge-founded Allia and backed by the philanthropic arm of JPMorgan Chase. It is led by startup advisor Alex Potter (pictured). Allia is driven by a US-inspired model of economic development, delivering social impact by working with local communities to create jobs and economic growth.

The three-month Grow Your Business accelerator programme is free for businesses and asks for no equity.

After openings in Cambridge and Peterborough, Allia opened its first London Future Business Centre space last year, in a Hackney side street by London Fields.

As well as hosting the Grow Your Business accelerator, the east London Future Business Centre offers incubator and co-working space for local ventures.

These include tech-driven tenants like graduate social innovation venture Year Here, social impact startups Diversity Hut and BuddyHub – and the excellent purpose-driven photography and video service Gaia Visual.

Following its Hackney and Tower Hamlets programmes, Serious is running similar schemes in neighbouring Waltham Forest and Newham, with the former open for applications now.

Allia makes serious London impact.

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