Mayor backs London’s tech entrepreneurs to tackle capital’s challenges

05 September 2018

Tech firms to address issues including housing, dementia and isolation among vulnerable Londoners


Fourteen tech start-ups have been shortlisted to develop innovative solutions to some of the capital’s most pressing social and environmental problems, as part of the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge.


More than 100 applicants have been whittled down to a shortlist of fourteen companies who will further develop the proposals they submitted in response to seven challenges set out by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, in June.


Later this year, the final seven – one for each challenge – will each be awarded £15,000 to jointly test and refine their ideas with a group of corporate partners.


The seven challenges are:


  • Dementia: Ensuring dementia care works for all
  • Active Travel: Reducing pollution and unnecessary car journeys
  • Electric Vehicles: Preparing London for zero-emission transport
  • Affordable Housing: Ensuring genuinely affordable housing is available for all
  • Financial Inclusion: Helping families struggling on low incomes
  • Loneliness and Isolation: Making London the most socially-integrated city in the world
  • Physical Activity: Making London the most physically active city in the world


The Civic Innovation Challenge (CIC) launched in June as part of the Mayor’s Smarter London Together roadmap, which sets out how he will realise his ambition for London to become the world’s leading smart city.


The Mayor has brought together a range of partners, along with delivery partner Bethnal Green Ventures – including Transport for London, National Grid, Shell, Lloyds Banking Group, the London boroughs of Hackney and Ealing, and a group of London NHS trusts – to offer the companies valuable mentoring and support as they develop their solutions.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s tech community boasts some of the most dynamic and creative businesses and entrepreneurs anywhere in the world.


“City Hall wants to bring that expertise, energy and vision to bear on some of the challenges our city faces – using technology for good, to help tackle problems like air pollution, loneliness, financial exclusion and access to affordable housing.


“We want London to be the world’s smartest city – and harnessing the power of tech and data to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing Londoners in their daily lives in an important part of that.


“I’m looking forward to seeing these exciting ideas develop as our innovators work towards making Londoners’ lives better.”


Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, Jessica Stacey, said: “We were overwhelmed by the quality of start-ups that responded to the Mayor's call to solve some of London's major challenges.


“We're looking forward to working closely with the finalists over the next month as they get ready to develop and test their innovative solutions.”


Director of Transport Strategy at Transport for London, Lilli Matson, said: “It’s great that so many innovators from across London applied to help us tackle the real challenges that cities face in the future.


“We look forward to seeing the final proposals from these start-ups, which will help deliver more homes and offer better options to encourage more journeys to be made by walking, cycling and public transport.”


The Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, said: "We are excited about the Mayor of London's Civic Innovation Challenge at it provides an opportunity for the council and our partners to stimulate some fresh thinking about ways that we might tackle some of our long term challenges.


“We've been impressed by the range of participants and breadth of their ideas, and we're looking forward to working closely with the teams to prototype ideas that could benefit Hackney's residents and community groups.”

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