Zinc puts steel into social
The UK has a new enterprise builder in the shape of Zinc, which is looking to create new companies to ‘solve the developed world’s toughest social issues’. The recently launched outfit says it plans to combine insights from social sciences with leading entrepreneurial nous and venture capital to build ‘scalable mission-led’ businesses.
The initiative has three criteria for choosing a mission. “It must tackle one of the great unmet needs in the developed world; the target addressable market must exceed 100m people in the developed world alone; there must be lots of unexploited opportunities to disrupt, extend and improve existing services through new technologies and insights from research,” Zinc says.
The Zinc Programme will act as a hub and assemble some 50 entrepreneurs, experts and social enterprise founders for six months to build new enterprises from scratch. Each programme will have a single, lofty mission to solve a social problem affecting ‘at least 100 million people’. The first mission, which has just kicked off, will focus on women and girls affected by emotional and mental health issues.
The prime mover behind Zinc is Saul Klein, a partner at UK-based VC firm LocalGlobe and founder of tech accelerator Seedcamp as well as LoveFilm. But Zinc is nothing new. Klein himself is also behind public.io, the accelerator using technology to transform the way citizens interact with local and central government. public.io estimates that the UK govtech market could be worth £20billion by 2025, ‘making it one of the most important digital sectors of the economy’.