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Eight tech startups have been awarded £15,000 each to help develop innovative technologies to combat some of London’s most pressing social and environmental issues, as part of Sadiq Khan’s efforts to position the capital as one the world’s leading “smart cities”.
The Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge (CIC), launched in June 2018 to spur innovation from the tech sector, set seven challenges ranging from Active Travel and Electric Cars to Affordable Housing and Dementia Services.
Some 14 companies were then shortlisted from over 100 applicants, before pitching their concepts to the Greater London Authority and its delivery partner Bethnal Green Ventures, an early stage investor focused on using technology for radical change.
Each CIC winner will use the money to further test and refine their ideas with a group of both public and private sector partners.
BuddyHub, for example, will partner with Hackney Council to tackle loneliness and isolation by creating a “friendship club” that offers the chance to make new social circles by carefully matching seniors with three “buddies” who share their interests – all of which will be done through a state-of-the-art befriending system.
The final eight are now working with their partners to get ready for a demonstration day in December 2018, where their technologies will be shared with an audience of potential customers, supporters and further investors.
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Jessica Stacey, a Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, said: “This competition has been a blueprint for getting these big institutions to collaborate with startups and tackle some of London’s major challenges.”
These include partners such as Transport for London, Lloyds Banking Group, Shell, and the South East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan.