Find out more details about the Zinc Venture Builder – from what a successful Zinc Founder looks like to how the Venture Builder might work for you as an international Founder or Woman in Tech.
What does a successful Zinc Founder look like?
Zinc brings together cohorts of 70 entrepreneurs, for each Venture Builder. Those who join the Venture Builder are talented individuals, from around the world who are ready to commit to building a new scalable, mission-led business, from scratch. They are all united by the specific mission the Venture Builder is aimed at solving.
Based on experience in backing over 200 founders to date, we put together a list of the attributes we know make a good fit with our Venture Builder and successful Zinc founders. There isn’t one specific template of what a Zinc Founder looks like. However, there are universal characteristics that we assess potential applicants on and look for across each mission:
Ayse was a senior exec in Amazon before joining Zinc. She has extensive experience leading teams and large programmes within some of the biggest and most successful retailers in the world including Amazon and Tesco. Having spent years in executive leadership roles, Ayse decided to step down and channel her skills and experience and passion to solve a problem that was deeply personal for her as a mum- supporting young children’s mental health. She is the co-founder of Assembly (founded in 2022) which empowers parents to help their 4-11-year-olds overcome anxiety and thrive. Assembly offers personalised content and behaviour change support for parents to build emotional and life skills in their children.
Dr Rebecca Love
Rebecca is co-founder of Vira Health, a company focused on extending healthy life expectancy for women. Vira’s first product, Stella provides personalised treatment plans and expert care for women to manage the symptoms of menopause. To date, Vira has raised $14m of VC funding, including from LocalGlobe, Octopus Ventures and Optum Ventures. Before co-founding Vira, Rebecca earned her PhD in chronic disease epidemiology from Cambridge University and worked as a consultant for the WHO, UNICEF and the Mayor of London.
Alex Shapland Howes
Alex started his career as an educator, and became the CEO of the education charity Future First, working with 10% of all secondary schools across the country. He has also served as a trustee of Teach First before joining Zinc to co-found Tandem in 2019. Alex was keen to harness his passion for impact, and scale, and apply it in the commercial sector, to allow innovation and fast-paced and scalable growth. Tandem’s technology enables high quality, efficient, sustainable transport that connects people living outside big cities with jobs, healthcare, other vital services and social connections.
Tandem, to date, have raised £2m through investment from Ascension Ventures, 1818, and the European Space Agency, and serving public and private sector clients including Transport for West Midlands, the University of Warwick, Manpower, Reed and Royal Mail.
Dr. Ahmed Wobi
Ahmed is a medical doctor and an experienced Clinical Fellow with a demonstrated history of working in medical technology start-ups and the hospital & health care industry. Ahmed decided to pursue a path that will allow him to build on his medical expertise and combine it with deep tech to scale his impact and support patients worldwide. Ahmed co-founded Tonus (in 2020)- developing wearable robotics products to help people optimise exercise and get extra strength to overcome their limits.
Dr Trudie Fell
Trudie is a software engineer, with a PhD in medical science and extensive experience in building and leading self-organising tech teams in one of the leading Telco providers in the UK. Having seen the positive effect on productivity and employee well-being, and having experienced the reward of care work while supporting her studies,Trudie decided to apply these principles to the undervalued care industry. She co-founded BelleVie in 2019 with the mission to prove how an innovative operating model using self-managing teams, funded by monthly subscriptions, and underpinned by great technology can fix the current crisis in care. BelleVie has raised to date more than £1.5m of funding through a mix of equity investments and grants.
Backing exceptional talent
Zinc’s mission is ambitious: to back exceptional talent to build innovative commercial solutions that solve society’s most pressing issues. We believe the way to do this is by supporting talent through time, capital and connections; our commitment to this is evidenced through the offer to Founders on our Venture Builder.
Up to £250,000 in investment into your venture, broken down as follows:
Across the globe
Exceptional talent is not limited to the UK or Europe. We strongly believe that diversity of thought breeds innovation and intersects across multiple disciplines and locations. Zinc has the ability to endorse the UK Startup/Innovator visas, allowing us to back exceptional talent from across the globe. With a visa, successful Founders will have the option to innovate securely in the UK for a minimum of two years.
Successful ventures that receive investment from Zinc are not required to remain in the UK once the Venture Builder has finished. Though companies must be incorporated in the UK, we have a number of companies in our portfolio that operate elsewhere.
Tonus create wearable robotics products to help people optimise exercise and get extra strength to overcome their limits. Their subsidiary and second headquarter is in Odense, Denmark
A London-based start-up that provides early-stage diagnostic and long-term care solutions for neurological conditions. They are currently running trials in Saudi Arabia, USA, and soon in Canada.
Tuune is a precision medicine startup that leverages AI and biological testing to match women with contraception. They are currently based out of the US.