Who we are
Nominet is an internet company delivering public benefit. Based in Oxford, Nominet manages the infrastructure that supports over 10 million .uk domain names. Nominet Trust was established in 2008 and, with Nominet’s on-going financial commitment, has since invested £30 million in socially motivated tech. As part of Nominet’s commitment to public benefit, the Trust actively engages in initiatives that promote digital inclusion.
Now entering our 10th year, the Trust has supported over 300 imaginative UK start-ups and social businesses driving social change using tech. Initially, we focused on getting more people online and encouraging safe use of the internet. However, as the potential for tech to transform lives became evident, the focus of our activities evolved. We began to support the development of the social tech ecosystem by investing in early-stage accelerators, for example as a founding partner of Bethnal Green Ventures.
Through numerous funding rounds, most recently Social Tech Seed, we’ve developed a strong track record of providing grant funding directly to entrepreneurial organisations using digital prototypes to address social challenges – then supporting the most promising of these to continue their development through Social Tech Growth funding.
Hear about some of our success stories…
Big white Wall
In 2013, we offered social entrepreneur Jen Hyatt grant funding to help take Big White Wall to market. It’s an integrated digital care system supporting people with mental health challenges.
Troo Life Coach
In 2016, we provided grant funding and support for Jen’s latest venture, Troo Life Coach. This mobile phone app – co-designed with young people – brings together neuroscience, behavioural economics, psychology and augmented intelligence to offer personalised support to help teenagers make healthier life choices.
Recognising the transformative power of digital skills to improve the life chances of young people, in 2014 we provided Code Club with grant funding and support to extend their network of volunteer-led after-school coding clubs. Now part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, there are now almost 6,000 Code Clubs in the UK and 5,000 others globally, all working to support the digital economy of the future.
In 2015, we invested in OpenUp Music to develop an innovative, accessible digital instrument, the Clarion, enabling young disabled musicians to play and create music with any part of their body. Following the team’s success in building the UK’s first disabled-led regional youth orchestra, in 2016 we supported the organisation’s growth with further investment to help them extend their service into more UK schools, and to achieve their vision of creating a National Open Youth Orchestra.
Patient’s Virtual Guide
In early 2017, we funded Corporation Pop in developing Patient’s Virtual Guide – an interactive mobile app for children that explores and demystifies exactly what happens during a hospital visit through a fun game. The app is designed to give children a well-informed and positive hospital experience which can boost outcomes and reduce recovery time.
We’re proud to have played a leading role in nurturing the UK’s flourishing social tech movement by supporting socially motivated ventures. You can find a more extensive view of our portfolio here. We’re now building on this work by sharing our vision of a future in which social transformation is the driving force behind tech; a world in which tech achieves its full, life-changing potential.