The Zinc Venture Builder programme is a full time, 12 month programme 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 & pre-idea individuals which means:

  • Mission-led: Each Venture Builder programme has a single Mission that tackles a big societal problem.
  • Pre-team: You will join the programme as an individual, form bonds with other members of a supportive cohort and through this, create teams during the first stage of the programme.
  • Pre-idea: They expect you to come with a passion for the mission but you don’t need to have a strong solidified idea for a solution or business.

With the help of Zinc, the unique mix of Founders create scalable products and services that target millions of customers across the globe, based on the best social science research, exponential technologies and creative design.

To see the portfolio from Zinc’s previous Venture Builder programmes please visit their About page.

The 2021 mission is “To ensure that every child and young person can develop and maintain good mental and emotional health”.

There are a number of opportunities to build impactful scalable ventures within this mission. Zinc have identified 9 exciting opportunity areas ripe 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

If you are passionate about an area within this mission that hasn’t been included here, apply and tell them what and why it’s important.

The Zinc Programme is based in London over 12 months and offers the following benefits:

  • Receive up to £250,000 cash investment in your new business, plus access to an extensive range of VCs, angel investors and grant-givers.
  • Find a Co-Founder from 70 carefully curated people with a diverse mix of skills, who are all fully committed to the same mission and ready and able to build a new business right now.
  • Join a successful, intensive 12-month programme of support, with 100 experts helping develop the business idea, test the product, build the business, get traction with users and win investment for growth.
  • Be part of a supportive cohort, sharing a free workspace for the first year. 
  • Benefit from a personal development programme, including executive coaching to support you and your core founding team on your entrepreneurial journey.
  • Access the latest research, use a scientific approach to building new products, create new science in the business and set-up collaborations with leading academics
  • Be financially supported through the stages of forming the business, with a stipend of £12,000 for the first 6 months, followed by a £75,000 investment upon incorporation and a £150,000 investment when full Seed funding is secured.
  • Access non-dilutive capital from grant-givers aligned to Zinc’s missions and founders, targeting between £100,000 to £1,000,000 in early stage funding.
  • Join an active Zinc community of over 8,000 people, who offer advice, connections, access to users, funding and hires.
  • Enjoy support for the first 3 years of the new business, in terms of help with accessing funding, building partnerships, building a research thesis and collaborations, hiring talent, solving strategic problems and raising profile.


You will progress through Zinc’s three-stage application process which includes:

  1. An initial written application
  2. A video submission
  3. An assessment day

Successful applicants will then be offered a placed on the programme. Applications for our Venture Builder programme operate on a rolling process and we offer places on a first come first served basis.

The final deadline for applications is Friday 25th June 2021.