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Pre-investment programme

Pre-investment programme

Our pre-investment programme exists to provide support for early-stage WorkerTech founders who want to take the next steps towards investment readiness.

We know that accessing early-stage investment is a challenge, and we want to play a part in opening up the investment world to founders working on WorkerTech ideas.

In 2023 we worked with Shift Design and identified a gap in support for founders between idea development and successfully raising a first funding round, and piloted tailored mentoring and small grants with early-stage founders.

We are continuing this programme of support for pre-revenue and pre-product WorkerTech founders to help them work towards accessing investment.


Our offer:


What we’re looking for

The idea:

  • An idea for how technology can improve the experience of work for low-paid or precarious workers in the UK, focusing on a specific problem experienced by low-paid workers.
  • An idea that is pre-revenue (hasn’t made any money yet) and pre-product (technology not built yet, and although not required, you might have an idea of how it would work or a basic prototype).
  • An idea for how the solution would make money in order to become a sustainable business.

What do we mean by tech that can improve low-paid or precarious work?

We’re interested in ideas that can help workers that:

  • Are in low-paid work – they are earning less than £11.95 an hour, or less than £21,000 per year
  • Are in precarious work – they are a gig worker, agency worker, on a 0-hours contract, self-employed, have unpredictable working patterns
  • Are underrepresented in the workforce, particularly in higher paying roles
  • Lack access to training courses
  • Lack voice and power at work

The team:

  • We’re open to receiving applications from both individuals working on an idea, or small teams. All participants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Applicants need to have either lived or learnt experience of the issues surrounding low-paid work.
  • You don’t need to be incorporated as a business yet, but you need to have the ambition to become an incorporated entity.
  • We’re looking to support founders who haven’t yet raised investment for their idea, or received grant funding of more than £5,000.

What kind of solutions are we open to backing?

Ideas to support these people 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 of the range of solutions we are open to backing.

How to apply

Applications are now closed but you can sign up to our newsletter to find out when they re-open.

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