A staggering £180,000 has been raised for a nationwide crowd funding project which aims to help children’s dreams into reality – with more than £100,000 pledged for the ‘Like to be’ initiative in the past month alone.
Polar explorer Antony Jinman set up the project with the aim of establishing links between the adult workforce and school children. Pupils can see how what they learn in the classroom can be readily put into practice in the real world.
The money raised will help to finance the equipment (and expertise) required to bring some of the world’s leading experts into schools – via the internet. Antony has already introduced polar scientists to students who learnt about the climate from teams who were operating in the hostile sub-zero environment at the time.
Showing the practical applications of classroom theory in science, technology and the arts is the key goal of ‘Like to be’ which cements crucial parts of the national curriculum into the creative imaginations of school children across the UK.
Stakes in the ‘Like to be’ portfolio have been successfully selling at £7.53 per share via the seedrs.com platform (with a minimum purchase price of £15.06). There are now just two weeks of fundraising time left for the crowdfunding project and Antony hopes further investors will continue to buy shares in ‘Like to be’ – so allowing the pioneering project to increase its reach throughout the educational system.
The team envisages that its goals and vision will be embraced not just by local schools but also by teachers from around the country. The scheme has certainly captured the imagination of the business world and, as such, it quickly hit its original target of £150,000. By increasing the amount of investment into the project then it means the range of experts available to talk to children will also rise (as technology will allow more schools to engage and so liaise directly with the top thinkers and doers in their chosen areas).
“The sky is no longer the limit when it comes down to the potential application of what we can now achieve,’ explains Antony.
“We can use additional funds to broaden our technological reach so pupils can engage with people in far flung countries on the edge of the stratosphere. In doing so, ‘Like to be’ will continue to bring classroom learning to life.”
‘Like to be’ is an ‘Ed Tech’ (educational technology) company based at the internationally renowned Plymouth Science Park. The 25 acre site has a large number of outstanding science based companies and technological experts which already assist with ‘Like to be.’
“It’s a cost-effective way to raise aspirations to learn more about career opportunities and for students to learn more about the career opportunities out there,” says Antony.
The money raised will be invested into developing on-line services for the business – which should also see investors benefitting from 30% tax relief from their input. Antony expects a return of up to ten times the amount of the original investment (over the next four to five years).
Financial input also allows for the team to expand further and strengthen links with industries working in the areas of: science, engineering, technology, arts and maths.
“It means classrooms can hear from the best of the best who may be hundreds of miles away from the school and who are unable to travel to the classroom but can still provide pupils with a presentation – and answer crucial questions relating to their specialism,” he adds.
The team has already developed strong links with its founding partner, Network Rail, which has been involved with the project for the past two years.