€1m Thinktech fund to support social enterprise start-ups

22 Jun 2016

Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government Simon Coveney TD with the CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland Deirdre Mortell, the managing director of EMEA Sales at Google Fionnuala Meehan and the director of Google.org, Jacquelline Fuller

Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org has joined forces with the Social Innovation Fund Ireland to create a €1m fund to seed social enterprises that aim to use technology to create a positive social impact.

Successful participants can access a fund of €750,000, which consists of €600,000 in grants and €150,000 in support and mentoring, as well as a package of supports from Google.

Those whose ideas make the grade will also enter into a five-month programme with Social Innovation Fund Ireland with support from Google.org.

Future Human

“Google.org knows that technology has the power to transform people’s lives for the better, and we have seen worldwide the fantastic impact social enterprises, charities and non-profits can have developing and implementing innovative solutions to some of society’s biggest issues,” said Jacquelline Fuller, director of Google.org.

Social enterprises, charities, and other not-for-profits are eligible for participation.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate how they will use technology to make Ireland better and help solve critical social issues in an innovative way.

Scaling potential is paramount

As well as demonstrating how they have made progress towards a measurable social impact, projects need to show how they can be scaled across Ireland and how technology can be used in the form of hardware, software, online platforms or an app.

Thinktech is calling for applications until 31 July.

“This initiative is a first for Ireland and offers a great opportunity to social enterprises, charities and other non-profit organisations to demonstrate their solutions, which should aim to create a measurable social impact that can be scaled all over Ireland,” said the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years