About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Website: www.sidekickstudios.net

Started: 2009

Based: London

Sidekick Studios is a venturing company set up in 2009 which brings together design, software and business to create start-ups that solve problems that matter. Whether it is creating his own businesses or helping others to create theirs, Adil is a big believer that in this time of constraint, we can create fast, lean, scalable and sustainable change if we embrace the power of thinking and acting like start-ups. In every sector, nimble, digitally native and ambitious start-ups are powering innovation, and Adil's mission is to bring these commercial tools to social issues that matter. 

His first venture was Buddy, a digital tool to support talking therapies in mental health. It allows people to use simple text messaging to keep a daily diary of what they are doing and how they are feeling, helping them spot and reinforce positive behaviours. Most recently, Adil co-founded The Amazings, a marketplace for retired people to sell their experiences, skills and passions direct to their local community. Recently Sidekick Studios launched Sidekick School which is taking everything that the team have learnt about making radical social change, and teaching it to large charities and social organisations by helping them innovate like start-ups. 

Adil began his career in advertising, before spending three years at Amnesty UK as the brains behind the Protect The Human Campaign, the award winning Irrepressible.info anti-censorship initiative with The Observer, and the return of the BAFTA nominated Secret Policeman's Ball. Adil then worked as a consultant, most notably creating a project for V, the young volunteers service, which saw him put a robot inside the Houses of Parliament that would write out messages texted in from young people, for politicians to see in real-time, connecting people with power.