Winners return to Impact Awards

Written by Julian Blake, Editor at DigitalAgenda

With DigitalAgenda’s 2019 Impact Awards event now only six weeks away, we’re pleased to confirm that our first speakers for the event are two returning winners from 2018 – with both making a positive impact on the world beyond their own ventures.

Tessa-ClarkeA year makes quite a difference in the world of startup business – even more so when the reason your business exists is to make a difference to the world.

In March last year, food sharing app OLIO won the sharing and communities prize at DigitalAgenda’s 2018 Impact Awards. A good idea – tackling food waste by connecting neighbours with each other to share surplus food – was gaining good traction.

Fast forward a year, and OLIO now finds itself in a more powerful place to deliver the systemic change its founders seek. In May, the company emerged from Facebook’s first in-house incubator, LDN_LAB, boosted by the programme’s push on community building.

Two months later, OLIO confirmed that it had secured $6m in series A venure support from Octopus Ventures. The money would help the firm build out its product and expand its ‘food waste heroes’ programme enabling retailers, events and corporate canteens to become zero waste on food.

This week, the company confirmed it had appointed Frédéric Mazzella, founder of sharing economy unicorn BlaBlaCar to its board. OLIO chief executive Tessa Clarke said Mazzalla’s experience and wisdom would help “take OLIO to the next level”. 

The timing is right, then, to bring OLIO back to the Impact Awards, when we return to Oval Space London on 7 March for the 2019 ceremony. Clarke, who co-founded the firm back in 2015 with Saasha Celestial-One, will share what she’s learned from her year in tech for good.

Joining Clarke on stage will be another winning chief exec coming from a rather different perspective. Paul Miller, founding partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, is often credited with devising the term ’tech for good’, when in April 2008 he convened a group of designers and designers in east London for the first Social Innovation Camp hackathon.

SIC was the foundation from which Bethnal Green Ventures would grow, as the UK’s first dedicated accelerator and early-stage investor in ventures with the potential to have a positive impact on millions. BGV is best known for its 12-week accelerator programme and has supported over 110 ventures, with a positive impact on over 20m. Applications are now open for BGV’s spring 2019 tech for good accelerator.

Paul Miller, BGVIn 2018 BGV scooped the investment Impact Award. The year since has seen BGV focus on specific verticals including the global goalsworker tech and children and young people. Impand it has built important new partnerships with the London mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge and Facebook’s LDN_LAB. And it continues to nurture the successful London tech for good meetup, which today has no less than 8,147 members (and counting).

DigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards are not your usual black-tie-and-tables awards event. As well as handing out no less than 14 awards, we will hear from brilliant speakers and give the 250+ guests who are coming plenty of time to meet each other at our evening reception.

We announce the three finalists in 12 categories on Monday 28 January, with winners unveiled on 7 March. All finalists receive one complimentary ticket to the awards.

The third annual Impact Awards take place on Thursday 7 March at east London’s iconic Oval Space. Find out more about the event – including how to secure your ticket.

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