The Young Academy invests in next round of innovative ventures tackling educational disadvantage

Date: 21 November 2017

The Young Academy, The Young Foundation’s innovation programme tackling educational inequalities has announced investments totalling over £200,000 in three ventures it has incubated.

These early-stage investments in Moti-Lab, Infused Learning and Smart School Councils will enable the ventures to grow and increase their social impact in STEM education, access to higher education and democratic engagement respectively. The ventures will also be able to access post-investment support from programme partner UBS.

Smart Schools Councils will use their investment to upgrade their Class Meeting Tool. This will make it easier for schools to engage all of their pupils and develop their skills. It will strengthen their membership offer and encourage more schools to join the Smart School Council programme.

Infused Learning will use their investment to grow the qualifications they offer and the numbers of tutors they employ and students they support. They will also be able to put the structures in place to grow their business over the next five years.

Moti-Lab is using the investment to bring to life the first of its range of interactive products to provide “hands-on” science and maths for children as well as supporting teaching resources.

James Teasdale, Head of Venture Development at The Young Foundation said:

We are thrilled to see these three exciting ventures graduate from our incubator programme and access the investment they need to grow and increase their social impact. Inequality continues to shape many young people’s experiences of education and their future prospects, but these ventures demonstrate that innovative approaches can help to level the playing field. The investment capital from our programme partners including UBS is vital to help them realise their potential.

Nick Wright, Managing Director, Global and EMEA Community Affairs, UBS said:

We are delighted to provide investment to Moti-lab, Infused Learning and Smart School Councils. We recognise that, for early-stage social enterprises, securing financial investment can be a barrier to growth and achieving scale.  We look forward to seeing these organisations go from strength to strength as a result of the training, mentorship and funding support provided through the Young Academy.

ENDS.

Notes to editors:

  1. For interviews and more information please contact lucie.russell@youngfoundation.org tel: 07931 507873
  2. The Young Foundation confronts inequality by working with people to create the changes that will lead to more equal and resilient communities. We find new ways of tackling social problems by working alongside communities, using the tools of research and social innovation.
  3. Smart School Councils is a teacher-led charity that helps young people to become active, democratic citizens. It supports schools to adopt the Smart School Council Model which develops the skills around oracy, confidence and leadership for every pupil, and directly addresses Ofsted requirements on British Values. 300 schools around the world are currently on the programme.
  4. Infused Learning helps adult learners to overcome barriers to continuing education and career progression. By delivering tuition in qualifications such as Access to Higher Education flexibly, online with one to one tutor support at a time to suit the student, they provide a route to higher education and obtaining a degree for people whose circumstances or previous negative learning experiences prevent them studying by other means.
  5. Moti-lab is an innovative product for classrooms which taps into a child’s natural affinity with water to teach most scientific and mathematic principles that appear on the national curriculum. It features a unique magnetic system of modules children can build their own water cascades. The multisensory approach to learning that Moti-lab adopts benefits all children, however it has a disproportionately positive effect on children who are considered ‘less academic’ and those with Special Educational Needs (SEN).
  6. Funding for the Young Academy Incubator programme is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and the Young Academy investment fund is funded by UBS. The programme is match funded by the Government’s Social Incubator Fund and delivered by Big Lottery Fund. To find out more about the Young Academy: Visit our website www.theyoungacademy.org. Follow us on Twitter @YF_Academy