Individual UK entrepreneurs setting up ‘mission-driven’ scalable companies tackling the biggest social challenges in the developed world can access financial support to drive their new ventures.


Zinc exists to build and scale a new way to solve the most important societal problems faced by the developed world. Its approach empowers talented people to redirect their careers and have a large-scale social impact as entrepreneurs, researchers and intrapreneurs.

Zinc focuses on specific ‘missions’, which it believes unites, mobilises and organises the best talent, knowledge and capital that are needed to break through at scale. Within each of its missions, it runs Venture Builder and Academy programmes that help individuals to have impact.

Zinc has three criteria for choosing a Zinc mission:

  • It must tackle one of the great unmet needs in the developed world.
  • The target addressable market must exceed 100 million people in the developed world alone.
  • There must be lots of unexploited opportunities to disrupt, extend and improve existing services through new technologies and insights from research.

Objectives of Fund

The Zinc Venture Builder programme is a full-time, 12-month programme based in London that exists to build brand new companies that tackle the biggest social challenges in the developed world. The programme is designed to be mission-led for pre-team and pre-idea individuals which means:

  • Mission-led: Each of the Venture Builder programmes have a single Mission that tackles a big societal problem.
  • Pre-team: Applicants will join the programme as an individual, form bonds with other members of a cohort and through this, create teams during the first stage of the programme.
  • Pre-idea: Zinc expects participants to come with a passion for the mission, however, they do not need to have a strong solidified idea for a solution or business.

There are a number of opportunities to build impactful scalable ventures within this mission. Zinc has identified nine opportunity for innovation:

  • Strong and supportive families
  • Access to therapies
  • Thriving at school
  • Healthy behaviours
  • Positive beliefs, emotions and skills
  • Fairer life chances
  • Targeted interventions on high-risk behaviours and conditions
  • Positive recreation
  • Relationships and sex

Zinc’s next Venture Builder Programme will start in October 2021.

Status Open
Funding body Zinc
Maximum value £250,000
Reference ID S46549
Category Business Support
Fund or call Fund

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