BETT Innovator of the Year award finalists 2019!

by Ben Gill | Jan 10, 2019 | News

BETT Innovator of the Year award finalists 2019!

We are over the moon to be in the line-up for this year’s “Innovator of the Year” Bett Award. We’ve been shortlisted alongside some superstar organisations who are creating some amazing products.

The Innovator of the Year award gives recognition to organisations, platforms and products in the UK that are using innovative methods to advance technology in education.

We are unique in this category as we exist to support and facilitate the emerging digital technological revolution in schools, working alongside other innovators to bring awe and wonder to the classroom.

As well as being a fundraising platform, we offer a systemic answer to a problem and our big dream is to help all schools, regardless of geography or finances, to access all of the amazing tech which is so often just out of their reach.

Here’s a short summary of our application which we think makes for a rather interesting read.

We saw a problem

School budgets are under pressure. In 2017/18, schools’ resource budgets declined by 5% (BESA, 2018) and their fundraising is outdated. As much as we all love cake, you need to sell a lot of 50p brownies to buy an iPad and letters to parents aren’t transparent or easy to respond to.

As a result:

🚀 25% of computers in schools are likely to be marked as ineffective and are often over five-years-old (BESA, 2018).

🚀 Only 33% of secondary and 60% of primary school leaders believe they are equipped with sufficient ICT infrastructure and devices (BESA, 2018).

This means that the digital revolution, which has affected many other areas of our lives, is yet to reach schools. Many students aren’t being prepared for the world they’re growing into.

🚀 By 2022, 1.2 million technical and digitally skilled people will be needed (UK Government, Digital Strategy, 2017).

How can schools prepare students for the future if they can’t even afford to try new technology?

We found an innovative solution

We created a school-specific crowdfunding platform to modernise school fundraising. We support schools through the whole process and also raise match funding from businesses to make it even easier for them to hit their fundraising targets. It’s a transparent process that enables donors to see exactly where the money is going, support the school from wherever they are and donate as much as they can afford (we’ve had donations ranging from £1 to £1,250).

We’ve had great results

Between Dec 2016 – Dec 2018:

🚀  303 projects launched

🚀  65% success rate (Kickstarter’s is 31%)

 🚀 2,000 teachers registered

🚀  5,000 donations given

🚀 67,000 students benefited

🚀  £200,000 raised for schools 

Teachers all around the UK think it’s a great idea

“Such an easy way for our small village school to raise much-needed funds for technology resources. Nothing can be simpler than sharing via social media and donating at the click of a button.”

Ms. N, Innellan Primary School

“Fab idea that allowed us to get some much-needed tech into school at no cost to ourselves. Had improved engagement and outcomes for children and also acted as a great way to engage parents in the campaign.”

Ms. Stawman, Courtwood School

“Rocket Fund was easy and intuitive to use. The team behind Rocket Fund were excellent with communication and help if needed. It’s a great platform for schools to engage their local community and raise funds to buy products that they may not be able to otherwise.”

Mr. Ferry, St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

For more details about the awards and to have a look at the other finalists in our field, or to buy tickets for the event, visit the Bett website.

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