WorkerTech newsletter: May 2023

The latest update from Resolution Ventures


Do you have an idea for how tech could improve low-paid or precarious work in the UK? Are you looking to take the next step and seek investment for your idea?

Resolution Ventures and Bethnal Green Ventures are hosting a WorkerTech Pre-Investment Workshop on 22nd June to provide expert advice to founders who are seeking first-time investment for their idea. The most promising ideas from the day will win additional expert mentorship and a cash prize from Resolution Ventures. You can register here today.

If you work with founders, or are part of a founder community, please do share the opportunity with your network too.

Improving access to WorkerTech investment

Earlier this year, we commissioned some user research with the brilliant team at Shift to understand how we could better support WorkerTech founders through the idea development stage, and get ready to access investment from us and other impact investors.

We’ll be sharing the findings of the research with you soon, but one of the key takeaways was that we are in a great position to convene people with WorkerTech ideas, along with mentors and subject matter experts to guide founders towards investment readiness.

This is why we’re running our first pre-investment workshop to offer inclusive advice and support to founders, and also the opportunity to win awards; the most promising ideas from the day will win a cash prize and additional expert mentorship from Resolution Ventures.

We would love to see people coming along to our workshop who:

  • Have an idea for how tech could improve low-paid or precarious work
  • Want to work on your idea so that you’re ready to look for first-time investment

We’re interested in ideas that help workers who:

  • Are low-paid, earning less than £11.95 per hour, or less than £21,000 per year
  • Are in precarious work, for example gig work, agency work, on a zero-hours contract, self-employed, or have unpredictable working patterns
  • Lack access to training and upskilling
  • Lack voice and power at work

Ideas to support these groups could use any technology – websites, apps, algorithms, data science to name a few. Feel free to have a look at our current portfolio of ventures to get an idea to the range of solutions we are open to backing.

Register to attend, share the link with any founders who you think would like to come along, and drop me an email if you have any questions.

Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation

Food for thought – surging food prices are about to replace energy bills as taking centre stage in the cost of living crisis, as food prices have grown by up to 25 per cent over the last 18 months. Low-income families are particularly vulnerable to this price shock – three-in-five of the poorest households reporting cutting back on food.

Lessons learnt from successful turnaround cities for the UK – Many post-industrial cities are struggling economically. But many have turned around their economic performance in recent decades, and this paper examines how seven cities around the world have successfully done so. UK cities can learn from their approaches, which have included attracting high skill workers, regional leadership, and building on existing strengths rather than ‘cathederals in the desert’.

Labour market and migration – Record net migration has been driven by non-EU migrants, but the migrant workforce is growing more slowly than it was pre-Brexit, and is shifting outside of the capital.

Growing, but for how long? – Labour market statistics from the ONS this month showed rising employment but still high inactivity from over 50s and those with long-term illnesses. Average pay still continues to fall in real terms, while firms’ demand for workers also cools.

WorkerTech stories

‘Jobs for life’ were up for discussion on Reasons to be Cheerful earlier this month, with an episode on new ways of thinking about careers, and the quality of the careers advice available to adults once they’ve left education. Our portfolio companies Ikigai Data and Earlybird are both tackling this issue through personalised and data driven advice and guidance.

Big Society Capital published a report on UK Catalytic Capital as the start of a conversation about how investors can best use catalytic capital in the social investment market. As a provider of catalytic capital to WorkerTech founders, we’re looking forward to joining the conversation about how we can expand its impact, particularly for improving the quality of work.

Ufi Ventures and Tyton Partners explore the investment landscape in 2023 for skills and training technology in The Jobs Frontier 2023. The report finds that the combination of labour shortages and economic slowdown across certain sectors has created a difficult investment environment, but there is still promising activity among edtech and voctech investors.

Get involved

Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from WorkerTech ventures on a rolling basis. Or you can book a slot in our office hours for an initial conversation.

Register for our pre-investment workshop on 22nd June if you have a WorkerTech idea and want to get pre-investment support. Cash prizes and expert mentorship for the best ideas!

Allia is hosting a Female Founder Impact Accelerator Demo Day on 29th June. The event will showcase the participants of their first female founder programme.