Startup accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) has managed to rake in £1.3 million from Big Society Capital, Nominet Trust and Nesta. BGV will make use of the new inflow of funds to widen its scope of operations, build new partnerships and to invest in tech for good startups.

Based in London, Bethnal Green Ventures is an accelerator programme for “people who want to change the world using technology.” They are known to invest in and support teams with new ideas, in order to help build solutions to social and environmental problems, routed through an intensive three-month programme. They are pioneering a new way of supporting people to grow sustainable social innovations, brimming with the potential to change the lives of millions of people.

First declaring applications open in March 2012, BGV says it has invested £1.4 million in 86 startups that leverage tech with the goal of addressing important social and environmental issues. The accelerator currently has 56 active startups under its belt, which collectively have progressed to raise more than £23 million in funding between them.

BGV CEO Paul Miller, commented on the raise and the need to expand on the accelerator’s business model, which features a combination of a 12-week programme with a £20,000 investment. He said:

We’ve proved our accelerator model works, but it’s not enough on its own. Startups require ongoing support and funding to scale up their operations, this is especially true for startups focused on social impact.

 He spoke about their developments last year, when BGV was able to expand their offer by being able to invest up to £50,000 in “great teams” after the accelerator stage. He continued:

This year we’re planning a fund to be able to back alumni and other tech for good ventures with next stage capital. This will help to plug a notable hole in Seed-stage impact investment available to startups in the tech for good space.

Tom Bennett, investment director at Big Society Capital, said he was looking forward to working with the BGV team:

Bethnal Green Ventures has consistently lead the way in building early stage technology ventures that are helping to tackle some of the UK’s most challenging social problems. Big Society Capital are delighted to be able to help fund the next stage of Bethnal Green Ventures’ growth.

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