Jenny Tooth talks about the power of Tech for Good
As we take further steps to reset the economy and readjust our lives, we know that for nearly all of us the way we live, work and play have been irreversibly changed. For our community, this also offers the opportunity to reassess which businesses we choose to back and with many of us seeking to invest in “Tech for Good” that can bring not only economic growth, but real impact and positive change.
As you know technology has offered the potential to address some of our biggest social and global challenges. But never has the opportunity been greater for entrepreneurs to focus on the power of “Tech for Good” during this pandemic. Founders have been bringing forward innovative and impactful solutions to address the many challenges that we have all experienced not just here in the UK, but globally, with opportunities to use technology in key areas such as healthcare, including mental health and well being, fintech, edtech, environmental sustainability and connectivity. Indeed, whilst many companies may have been in huge difficulty during this period, many Tech for Good businesses have been thriving and successfully scaling. Tech for Good is not a sector, it may be regarded as a mobilising framework for articulating the values, behaviours and attitudes that describe a focus on impact and achieving change at the heart of the technology.
At the same time convergence with deep tech such as AI, Machine learning and IOT has turbo charged these business models and amplified the speed and efficiency of these tech for good solutions. Nevertheless, historically there may have been a misconception among the investment community that in order to do good you have to forego profit and that these are unlikely to be high growth potential businesses. Yet we know that founders and start-ups who are purpose or mission-driven tend to outperform their counterparts and can demonstrate high potential for scale.
At UKBAA our investment community, angels, early stage funds and VCs, have already identified the benefits of investing in Tech for Good, focusing on impact as well as growth and returns. But many more players across the investment community have identified that impact and sustainability will be core considerations for technological innovation for investors post pandemic. We need to ensure that tech for good founders across the UK can access the investment they need to successfully build and scale and we need to encourage many more investors to recognise the opportunity to bring SMART capital to support their growth.
With this in mind, I will be introducing a fantastic curated group of Tech for Good entrepreneurs who are presenting as part of the Elevating Founders virtual showcase event at London Tech week on 3rd September. You might also like to know that UKBAA is taking an active role in partnering with virtual LTW throughout the whole week of 7-11th with a wide number of events we are organising on investing in Angel and early stage tech. We will begin with an in-depth chat with many of our leading tech Angel investors on the 7th and I am chairing a roundtable focusing on Investing in Underrepresented founders – a Strategy for Change on 8th September . This will be followed on the 9th with a roundtable I am hosting with many of our leading investors as part of the Global Leaders Summit to look at the future of investing in tech post Covid – and finally you will be able to see a great showcase of selected tech entrepreneurs focused on sustainability as part of our TechInvest series with Mayor of London on the 10th. You can see details of all these events here so do join me.