Zinc, a London, UK-based company builder, raised more than £3m in seed funding.
Backers included Atomico, LocalGlobe, London School of Economics and Political Science, and a range of expert angel investors (such as Martin Leuw and Michael Norton). LSE is leading a new consortium of top universities (Oxford, Manchester, Sussex and Sheffield) who will work with the Zinc program.
The funding will enable Zinc to begin to plan future missions.
Founded by Paul Kirby, Saul Klein, Ella Goldner and Professor Julia Black, Zinc runs a 9-month program that takes 50 entrepreneurs and, with the support of experts in social science, technology, design and business, help them build entirely new companies focused on solving deep-seated social problems. Each Zinc program has a single mission, to solve a high-profile social problem which affects more than 100m people in the developed world. It has created 17 new businesses from its first mission.
The second mission will focus on the 150m people living in places which have been hit hard by automation and globalization over the last 20 or 30 years, as their traditional industries (e.g. coal, manufacturing, textiles, shipbuilding, ports and tourism) declined.
The program will start on October 1st 2018 and is open to 50 outstanding would-be entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world. Applications can be made at www.zinc.vc/apply until July 9th.