Name: Steam School
Technologies: App development
Partner: Liverpool Business School
Launched in January 2018, Steam School hosts a weekly live broadcast with role models from science, tech and digital media sectors for #TALKTECHTHURSDAYS. The live video podcasts aim to inspire students to raise their aspirations and develop awareness of technological change through showcasing the stories of young innovators and discussing tech trends and scientific breakthroughs. At the end of each broadcast, students are invited to complete a mini challenge using their innate creativity and problem-solving skills in a real-world context.
Since its launch, Steam School has introduced schools across the UK to global innovators, including US-based Astronaut Abby, director for strategy and operations at Google UK & Ireland Craig Fenton, Pepper the Companion Robot and digital entrepreneur Hannah Anderson, who co-founded Social Chain.
Steam School wanted to create a mobile app to enable students to watch and interact with the weekly #TALKTECHTHURSDAYS podcast. It was struggling to find the finance and technical support needed to make it a reality, so Steam School was introduced to Activate for support.
With support from Activate and partner Liverpool Business School, Steam School was granted a 50 per cent rebate of total costs to develop a smartphone app to host the video podcast series. Activate also introduced the company to The Women’s Organisation, which helped it to devise a business plan aimed at creating more employment opportunities for young people.
The app was developed and launched in January 2019, enabling students to join in live from any location, as well as to catch up with previous episodes. The funding is also helping Steam School to carry out data-driven marketing activities, analysing user patterns and raising awareness of the programme.
Steam School is constantly developing the app and is also working closely with The Women’s Organisation to scale the company rapidly through its growth programme New Markets 2.
“Before approaching Activate, I knew I wanted to create an app but was struggling to find the finance and technical support to pursue the idea,” says Jade Parkinson-Hill, founder of Steam School. “Activate has been invaluable because it enabled me to understand exactly what investment I needed to push the business forward.
“As a result, Steam School is set for accelerated growth. We are now recruiting for a team of undergraduate and graduate presenters, as well as a team of freelance producers and content creators from Liverpool John Moores University.”