YEAR HERE LAUNCHES FIFTH COHORT

Sep 30, 2016 · Year Here, London’s leading postgraduate course in social innovation, has launched its fifth cohort.

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More than just a course, Year Here is a platform for graduates and young professionals who want to build smart responses to social problems – in their own backyards.

Over 10 months, Year Here Fellows learn from, and design with, people at the frontline of inequality – in care homes, hostels and youth services across London. They get expert input from a faculty of more than 60 leaders from organisations like The Cabinet Office, Bain & Co, and IDEO and raise seed capital to launch their own social ventures.

Its Fellows include journalists, engineers, designers and people with a tech background.

New Fellow Sagar Gupta, who founded an audio news app in Silicon Valley in 2014, says:

"My experiences of the tech industry are mixed. Often I was working with bright people using amazing technology, but, I quickly realised their talent was only being applied to 'streamline' or 'optimise' tiny problems.

Now, things are changing: with awesome organisations like Year Here, we can tackle society's biggest issues. Things are even more exciting now we've got new tools: with mobile applications, cloud computing and big data, we can scale our impact quicker than ever before."

The ventures that have come out of the programme have been backed by Nesta, The Observer, the Shackleton Foundation and Bethnal Green Ventures. They’ve collectively generated £500,000 revenue and reached over 1000 beneficiaries – from gang members and homeless teens to isolated older people and refugee women.

2016 Fellow Mursal Hedayat, founder of refugee language tutoring service Chatterbox says:

"Year Here created the space for creative possibility that allowed Chatterbox to come into existence. And tech has enabled Chatterbox to access an online language learning market worth billions from a desk in East London. We are able to deliver our range of linguistic and cultural training services to a global audience using novel applications of existing tech tools. It’s really exciting to be a part of this ‘tech-for- good’ sector."

Anna Hyde, Investment Partner at Tech for Good accelerator, Bethnal Green Ventures says:

"The Year Here experience gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to really understand a social problem, and to develop and test solutions to it. Some of these solutions have gone on to become successful social ventures, which we’ve supported through the Bethnal Green Ventures accelerator programme – such as Birdsong, the online shop for fairer fashion, and Chatterbox, the language learning platform that provides job opportunities for refugees."

Unlike a traditional Master’s degree or postgraduate course, there is no tuition fee. Year Here also offers packages of discounted accommodation and bursaries.

Applications close on 31 st October.

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