THE BLOG

Profit Only a Byproduct to the Real Purpose Behind Social Innovation

30/11/2015 11:49 GMT | Updated 28/11/2016 10:12 GMT

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Ever heard of a 'start-up accelerator?'

For the uninitiated, a start-up accelerator is what Mark Zuckerberg would have needed if he hadn't had access to the money, expertise or contacts to get Facebook off the ground.

Usually based in a physical location, start-up accelerators give young businesses investment, mentoring and access to investors for a fixed-term to help them scale and take on the world!

Away from my Who's Bored shenanigans, I work as the Head of Communications and Public Relations for Wayra UK, a digital start-up accelerator, powered by the world's third largest digital telco Telefonica.

We're looking for the next Mark Zuckerberg but our search isn't limited to just those commercial innovations people usually associate with digital or the Web. We also invest in social businesses.

State of Ambition, an online campaigning platform that evokes leadership in young people; WeFarm, a peer-to-peer platform connecting farmers to vital information and CENTURY Tech, the first learning platform in the UK which utilises data mining to provide a personalised learning experience, are just a few of the incredible social ventures we support.

To date, Wayra's social businesses have had over 100,000 beneficiaries and poured money into Britain's digital economy.

What a wonderful concept. Digital start-ups making money, with positive societal change a byproduct - it's a win-win and Wayra is only one of a host of accelerators doing this.

There are literally hundreds of accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces out there innovating for a better future. And to explore the thousands of innovations springing up, Telefonica unveiled an ambitious 15-part series called 'The Trailblazers.'

Along with Shivvy Jervis, an award-winning presenter, speaker and and Content Head at Telefonica, I'm road-testing those ventures using technology for good!

Our first episode kicks off with Stan Karpenko of GiveVision. His revolutionary software - designed to work with smart glasses - could give staggering independence to the 285 MILLION visually impaired and blind people worldwide. GiveVision is also backed by startup accelerator Wayra (wayra.co.uk).