The Nottingham and Sheffield Class of 2016 are about to graduate from the Young Academy Incubator programme, which supports early-stage social ventures working in the field of education. The demo days in Nottingham and London, mark the programme’s finale, and provide an opportunity for the ventures to showcase their progress and plans to potential funders and investors. The 11 ventures have participated in an intensive 12-week structured incubation programme in Nottingham, supported by mentoring and financial coaching volunteers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS, and bespoke development of their social impact model with NPC (New Philanthropy Capital).
The ventures work in key areas of young people’s lives, including formal education institutions, family and friends networks and the communities in which they live. They have huge potential to produce positive outcomes for young people and to help close the attainment gap between those from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers.
To date, the Young Academy has supported over 40 education ventures from across England. Alumni ventures can apply for up to £150,000 of social investment from the Young Academy investment fund and access post-investment support from UBS. Alumni ventures have also been successful in securing external grant funding and investment and have gone on to win places on follow-on development programmes such as UnLtd’s Big Venture Challenge, providing additional support and funding.
Andrea Sullivan, International Head of Environment, Social and Governance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “Tackling education inequality is at the heart of our youth employment work. Our long-standing partnership with the Young Academy supports entrepreneurial social ventures which engage hard to reach young people. These innovative initiatives help to develop skills, inspire change and open opportunities for a successful transition to employment.”
The Young Academy Nottingham and Sheffield Class of 2016 is:
- Element Society offers development programmes for young people and an incubator for youth-led social action and enterprise: www.elementsociety.co.uk.
- Elemental Publishing tackles STEM social challenges using art, games and stories: www.elementalpublishing.co.uk.
- Infused Learning offers young people the opportunity to undertake an exciting social enterprise qualification linked with an exchange programme with schools overseas: www.infusedlearning.org.uk.
- Kidesign seeks to inspire the next generation of architects, designers and engineers though creative projects for 3D printing in education: www.kidesign.org.
- Litmus Educational Company is dedicated to democratising tuition by delivering low cost yet highly personal and effective digital solutions: www.projectlitmus.com.
- Panjango seeks to reinvent careers education for the modern world, enabling students to learn about the world of work in an interactive virtual learning environment whilst developing the knowledge, skills and experience needed to thrive in life after school: www.panjango.online.
- Really NEET Education is developing an innovative exam concept and licence based on the VARK Model to suit learners that don’t fit the mainstream educational mould: www.reallyneet.co.uk.
- Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom programme that helps to reduce levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy: www.rootsofempathy.org.
- Shared Ground Foundation offers specialist services in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion, in order to embed and inspire social cohesion: www.sharedground.co.uk.
- The Politics Project takes an innovative approach to political education, helping to ensure young people know how to use their voice: www.thepoliticsproject.org.uk.
- Waterwall Motilab offers a suite of physical STEM education products backed by teaching resources to inspire all children and empower all teachers in STEM education: www.thewaterwall.com.
Funding for the Young Academy Incubator programme is provided by the Bank of America Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and funding for the Young Academy investment fund is provided by UBS. The programme is match funded by the Cabinet Office’s Social Incubator Fund and delivered by Big Lottery Fund.
The fifth Young Academy will take place in Medway, Kent from September to December for ventures based in London and the South East of England. Applications for the autumn 2016 cohort are now open.
To find out more about the Young Academy, visit our website at www.theyoungacademy.org, follow us on Twitter @YF_Academy or email Programme Manager James Teasdale on james.teasdale (a) youngfoundation (dot) org.