Company: Zero Gravity
Founder: Joe Seddon
About Zero Gravity
Zero Gravity is a mission-driven business powering students from low-opportunity areas all the way from school into top universities and careers. Our platform identifies talented students from low-opportunity backgrounds and unlocks their potential. Zero Gravity is packed with features designed to take talent to the top – from mentoring, masterclasses, internships and scholarships, to personalised career opportunities. Our members get totally free access to our membership community of over 20,000 students, all working together to make their ambitions real.
Zero Gravity exists because talent is spread evenly, but opportunity is not. Students from the most advantaged areas of the UK are 6x more likely to secure a place at a top university than those from low-opportunity areas. The UK is squandering the talent of millions of young people worldwide and further entrenching deep social divides. How many great innovations, academic breakthroughs, and transformational leaders across the world have been lost because of the uneven playing field? If the UK could increase social mobility to just the Western European average, GDP would be £39bn higher by 2050.
Zero Gravity was born from Founder & CEO Joe Seddon’s childhood bedroom. After growing up in West Yorkshire in a single-parent family, and attending state schools, Joe defied the odds to win a place at the University of Oxford. Aged just 21 and armed with the last £200 of his student loan, Joe graduated with a clear mission – to start a company that could truly level the playing field, using the power of technology to scale opportunity first across the UK, and then the world.
Zero Gravity has come a long way from its humble beginnings, scaling from 3 to 25 team members and raising ~£4m of equity investment from Europe’s leading tech investors. To date, Zero Gravity has supported 8,000+ students from low-opportunity areas into highly selective universities, including 800+ into Oxbridge. We have also deployed £1.5m of scholarships to low-income students to power their career growth. According to our lifetime earnings model, we are on track to become a social impact unicorn by 2025, boosting the lifetime earnings of our members by £1bn. Aged just 25, Joe was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and recognised with a social impact award from the UK Prime Minister for his services to social mobility.
Our proprietary tech platform is driving systemic change by leveraging the power of technology as a powerful equaliser, unlocking talent with incredible efficacy at an unprecedented scale. Our platform is available to students in the bottom 40% of disadvantage and the top 15% of contextual performance, as measured by our proprietary talent algorithm. We have formally partnered with 20% of UK state schools who have connected the Zero Gravity platform into their data management systems to automatically identify unrecognised talent.
We are now partnering with top graduate employers such as HSBC, KPMG and Morgan Stanley to power top socially mobile talent into top graduate careers, with Zero Gravity doubling our members’ chances at securing top-tier roles. This is social mobility in action.