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How to apply

Current funding programmes

Social Tech Seed is an open investment programme that offers early-stage investment to entrepreneurs who are looking to develop new ventures using digital for social impact. This programme will provide funding and support to help entrepreneurs nurture, develop and test their ideas. - See more at: http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/how-to-apply/our-investment-programmes-0#sthash.mvFTT9ku.dpuf

The Social Tech Seed grant-funding programme offers early-stage investment to entrepreneurs and charitable organisations that are looking to develop new projects using digital for social impact. This programme provides funding and support to help entrepreneurs nurture, develop and test their ideas.

Challenge highlights:

  • Grant funding, typically between £15,000 and £50,000, to support entrepreneurs in developing their ideas into a robust prototype
  • Projects will benefit from a package of non-financial business support including mentoring, marketing & comms, business development expertise and networking opportunities
  • Funding will be awarded for a maximum period of 12 months
  • Nominet Trust will not require an equity stake or loan repayments
  • Successful projects will retain any IP developed with our funding
  • The deadline for Stage 1 application submissions is 12:00 noon on Wednesday 2nd April 2014


Quick Links

What are we looking for?

We are looking for applications that demonstrate the potential of technology to tackle some of the big social issues in sectors including education, employability, healthcare and the environment.

Your venture should:

  • Already have developed a basic digital prototype, typically having already received a small amount of funding
  • Be looking to develop a first proof of concept utilising the prototype
  • Have undertaken some feasibility testing with small groups of users and/or beneficiaries to illustrate its potential and demand
  • Be responsive to users’ feedback and ideas in both design and development
  • Have experience of the social issue you are seeking to address - either directly, or via a co-designed proposition
Similar projects we have funded

Political Minecraft - An educational tool which harnesses the popular Minecraft game, to help give young people a democratic voice.

a game, controlled by breathing, designed to ameliorate the effect of panic attacks to provide practical support to those who experience anxiety related conditions - See more at: http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/what-we-support/our-partnerships/founders-forum-good#sthash.9vYp1bUv.dpuf
a visual LinkedIn”, visual LinkedIn, enabling young people to record their achievements and collect 360 degree feedback on skills to show off in an employment-ready profile - See more at: http://www.recruiter.co.uk/news/2013/09/tech-for-good-supports-visual-linkedin-and-gamified-skills-website/#sthash.qPtTs9If.dpuf
a new online tool enables young people to make positive career and life choices by identifying and communicating their key strengths. - See more at: http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/what-we-support/projects/strong-points#sthash.jJxbpYrt.dpuf

Bulbshare – A crowdsourcing and co-creation platform to help boost young people’s civic engagement.

Disability Rocks – The Open Access Project is a 24/7 multi- channel ticketing service which will open up the UK’s live event scene to disabled people.

A new social networking web platform aims to encourage people to get to know their neighbours and engender a sense of long-lost community spirit - See more at: http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/what-we-support/projects/meeting-neighbours#sthash.Bus6Teqx.dpuf

By the end of this funding you will have:

  • A more robust, working digital prototype or product/service
  • Piloted it with the intended audience
  • Identified potential routes for further development (to market, towards scale etc) and contacted potential partners to help realise these
  • Evaluated and evidenced the potential of the approach to address a social challenge


  • You will be able to describe and demonstrate the potential of your approach (by bringing together the prototype, narrative and evidence in a way that is suitable to your identified future partners)

Who can apply to Social Tech Seed?

The majority of ventures we invest in are UK-based.  However, we will consider applications from overseas ventures if they clearly demonstrate how they will address social challenges faced in the UK.  We are seeking applications from:

  • Entrepreneurs, teams or organisations who want to apply their talent and technology to address UK social issues
  • Start ups, early-stage ventures or teams working within an existing large organisation and looking to develop a radically new approach

If you are an individual, you can apply for funding but, if you are successful, you will be required to form a registered legal entity before you can receive your first payment.

Find out more about our eligibility criteria

I want to apply, what next?

If you think you have what we are looking for, then submit the concise online application form, including a link to a short 2-3 minute YouTube/Vimeo video outlining your credentials, idea and the social challenge you are trying to address. The deadline for Stage 1 applications is 12 noon, Wednesday 2nd April 2014.

If your Stage 1 application is successfully shortlisted, we will invite you to complete our online Stage 2 application form which must be submitted no later than 9am, Thursday 8th May 2014.

Stage 1 application deadline

Stage 2 applications open 
(invitation only)

Stage 2 application deadline


Stage 2 assessment period

Investment decision

12:00 noon
2nd April 

14th April 09:00
8th May 

May - June

End of June

Please note:

  • Any Stage 1 applications received after 12:00 noon on Wednesday 2nd April will not be considered and will be closed.
  • You will be notified of the outcome of your application within two weeks of the Stage 1 application deadline.
  • If your Stage 1 application is successful, you will be invited to complete our online Stage 2 application form.
  • Stage 2 applications must be completed and submitted with any accompanying documentation required by 9:00 on Thursday 8th May 2014. Any applications not completed by this time will not be considered and will be closed.

- See more at: http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/how-to-apply/our-investment-programmes-0#sthash.5gXPgZas.dpuf

**The Social Tech Seed funding programme opens on 17 March 2015**

If you have a project that uses digital to address a pressing social challenge and are thinking of applying, why not join one of our upcoming pre-application events? The workshops will give you the chance to hear more about the types of ventures we support through the Social Tech Seed programme and give you the opportunity to ask us any questions you have about your idea.

Our projects

Our investments

We support ventures using digital tech for social impact. If you're interested in finding out more about the types of ventures we support, take a look at our current portfolio of projects. more >


News and events

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Read about our latest news, including announcements, funding programmes and project news, you can also find out about any upcoming Nominet Trust events.  more >


Latest research

The Personal (Computer) is Political

In our latest provocation paper, Dr Aleks Krotoski explores the importance of understanding how digital tools are made to help us recognise how they inform our everyday actions. more >

In this paper, Dr Aleks Krotoski explores the importance of such issues, looking at how an understanding of how digital tools are made can help us recognise how they afford, constrain and mediate our everyday actions. - See more at: http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/knowledge-centre/articles/personal-computer-political#sthash.CUkZ1VzJ.dpuf