Google competition aims to find UK entrepreneurs
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, and Sir Richard Branson have linked up with Google to find Britain’s most innovative social entrepreneurs.
The pair are on the judging panel of a competition seeking British not-for-profit organisations that could use technology to transform lives.
They will select the most impressive projects as part of Google’s £2m Global Impact Challenge which will see the four strongest contenders handed a cheque for £500,000, as well as computers from the tech giant and help to realise their vision.
Berners-Lee said: "The web’s contribution to economic progress has been much celebrated, but I believe that we are only scratching the surface of its potential to solve social and political problems."
Branson said the competition could lead to a "new wave of innovation".
Applications open today at globalimpactchallenge.withgoogle.com and 10 finalists will be picked in mid-May. A final event in June, with a judging panel including Berners-Lee, Branson and the Google vice-president for northern and central Europe, Matt Brittin.
"I am a great believer in the power of entrepreneurs to solve key problems and improve lives through a combination of free thinking and the intelligent use of technology," Branson said. "Google’s Impact Challenge is a brilliant way to spark a new wave of innovation amongst non-profit foundations and charities and raise the profile of many great ideas in the non-profit sector."
The trio will be joined on the judging panel by Matt Brittin, Google’s vice-president for northern and central Europe, Jilly Forster, founder of campaigning agency Forster Communications, and Jacquelline Fuller, director of Google Giving, the internet giant’s philanthropic arm.