Last year, a new VC emerged in Silicon Valley, designed to deal with the world’s biggest problems. 50 Years said it wanted to solve real-world problems, while at the same time as making money. What if you took that ethos and created a sort of Y Combinator-for-good?
Today London, seems to be poised to catch up with that idea, with the launch of Zinc, a new ‘company builder’ fund from the founders of the Seedcamp accelerator and the LocalGlobe VC. Zinc plans to tackle big social issues head-on, one at a time, while at the same time creating investable businesses.
The first mission it’s set itself is tackling the global problem of women’s emotional and mental health, an issue which affects one in four young women in the UK and 300 million people globally. It will bring together 55 entrepreneurs from around the world to tackle this issue inside six months.
Founders taking part in the first Zinc mission will be immersed in expertise on women’s emotional and mental health, with expert speakers drawn from the UK’s top universities and other experts.
Zinc advisors include Professor Ann Blandford, UCL Institute of Digital Health; Professor Vic Strecher, University of Michigan; David Halpern who leads the Behavioural Insights Team (the government’s “Nudge” unit); Polly MacKenzie, Director of Money and Mental Health; Professor Matthew Hotopf , King’s College London; Sarah Wood, founder and CEO of Unruly; Lady Edwina Grosvenor, founder One Small Thing; Tom Hulme, General Partner at Google Ventures; Esther Wallington, Chief People Officer for HMRC.