Five ways tech is being used for good

  • Nassin Watson

15 Apr 2020

Technology can be used in so many exciting ways. It can help us create, learn, collaborate, and it connects us to people and places all across the world. Recently, it has become even more important, helping us to stay connected with friends and loved ones and keeping business running during the current health crisis.

At Nesta Challenges, what inspires us the most is how people are creating and using tech in new ways for social good. So, we’ve compiled a list of five start-ups and organizations in the UK that we hope will continue to do amazing things.


1. Beam – tackling homelessness  

There are many reasons why people become homeless, from losing a job and not being able to afford rent, to mental and physical health problems.

Beam is a startup that supports people that have become homeless to build a career with the help of crowdfunding (raising small amounts of money from a large number of people). They use tech to connect homeless people to support services, and to people interested in funding their path to a new career.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Beam has created  a fund for emergency care packages that will provide homeless people and families with urgently needed items.


2. – making cycling more accessible  

Cycling is great for our health and for the environment. aims to make bikes affordable and accessible for everyone, everywhere. They do this by creating a peer-to-peer social marketplace, this simply means an online platform that anyone can use to share and borrow bikes.  


3. ZOE – making good nutrition easy 

The startup ZOE wants to help people understand their bodies, and how they can eat well for health. They are bringing together machine learning and nutrition to develop a product that will help people be more considerate about what they eat. 

ZOE is also helping scientists and public health workers understand COVID-19 with a symptom tracking app developed in partnership with KCL as well as Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals.


4. HelloTomo – supporting better mental health  

HelloTomo is an app that is built around scientific and evidence based techniques.

All the scientific jargon aside, HelloTomo will suggest activities that will help you stay mentally healthy, help you form and keep new habits, and help you receive support and inspire others using the app. 


5. Benevolent AI – creating more effective drugs 

This startup is all about using AI to develop new medicines and treatments. The amount of medical and scientific data published is enormous, and it would be next to impossible for a human to analyse all of it. This is where Benevolent AI uses artificial intelligence to help scientists spot patterns in data and create new and better drugs.  

Benevolent AI are currently working on finding and testng potential treatments for COVID-19.


Tell us what are some of your favourite start-ups using tech for good by tagging us on social!