The Collective invites 10 start-ups to join its live-in social impact accelerator

Cohort will live and work in The Collective Old Oak and be guided through the programme by a panel of mentors including Young Gun Oli Barrett

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The Collective, a provider of high-end shared accommodation and work spaces founded by 2015 Young Gun Reza Merchant, has invited 10 early-stage start-up to join what is thought to be the “world’s first” residential social impact accelerator The Collective Global Accelerator.

The inaugural members, who were selected from over 3,500 applicants across 158 countries, will spend the next month living and working at The Collective Old Oak, benefitting from advice, resources and contacts to help them scale concepts that “create opportunities for people in need”.

Young Gun alumni and StartUp Britain founder Oli Barrett – the returning host of the Startups Awards 2017 – is on the panel of mentors that will help guide the participants through the programme, as well as Google’s former head of green business and clean energy for Europe Benjamin Kott, founder of Baby2Body Melinda Nicci, and William McQuillian of Frontline Ventures.

The companies will present their ideas to potential investors during a demo day on 24 August.

The 10 businesses making up the inaugural cohort are:

  • Ava – software that translates conversation into text and colour codes the different speakers to help the deaf and hard of hearing engage with what’s happening around them
  • Food For All Africa – social enterprise aiming to create efficiency and sustainable means of nutrition for vulnerable communities in Africa through food recovery, redistribution and farming
  • Moja – a Software-as-a-Service platform that provides incentives and motivation to encourage blood donation in low to middle income countries
  • mTena – an SMS platform that provides women in Ethiopia with maternal and infant care information, which is tailored to the gestation period of the user
  • Muzi – a start-up using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to increase the number of HIV tests by a factor of 10 over the next three years
  • Senti – an online crowdfunding platform that connects citizen donors with cancer patients in poverty in the Philippines, where cancer treatment is costly
  • Silkasem – provides demystified “financial” information to people in Sub-Saharan Africa via SMS, voice calls and outreach programmes
  • Suncrox Solar – a provider of solar energy solutions that aims to eliminate grid and fuel dependency from home. Develops special solutions for low income and rural communities where profit from commercial projects is channelled to subsidise up to 100% of social initiatives
  • The Biz Nation – an online platform providing skill-oriented education that leads to personal, social and economic development
  • TODXS – an organisation that focuses on making Brazilian businesses more LGBT-friendly and is building an app that maps available LGBT resources available and another that ranks schools according to their level of bullying and discrimination

Merchant commented: “As someone who has started their own business from scratch and knows how daunting it can be, I applaud the commitment of these very talented individuals pursuing business ideas which will help those who need it the most.”

Andre Damian, a Dutch social entrepreneur and human rights advocate who helped develop the programme, added: “We are excited to have attracted some of the most innovative entrepreneurs from around the world which are focused on creating a social impact.

“We look forward to empowering them with new skills and advice from leading experts to fuel the next stage of their growth.”

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