Bristol tech start-up wins £20,000 to boost skills in developing countries
A Bristol-based software company has been awarded £20,000 to develop a digital training platform for workforces in developing countries.
Learn.ink has developed a new smartphone app that has so far enabled more than 100 organizations in 35 countries to create courses on a range of activities from farming techniques to installing solar panels.
The start-up was founded by entrepreneurs Georgia Barrie and Adam Wills, who after working with farmers in Kenya saw the potential for increased smartphone use in more remote communities to boost local economies.
Learn.ink’s technology is designed to load quickly on low-end devices and have offline capability so that it can be used by people with limited or no internet connection.
The platform’s chat-style interface includes games, challenges, quizzes and sound effects, while allowing employers and training organizations to track learner progress throughout the course.
The company has now received a £20,000 grant from the West of England Growth Hub’s Business Innovation Fund to scale up the rollout of its tool.
It comes after Ms Barrie was previously recognized by government agency Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards, where she won a £50,000 grant, mentorship and growth support to help secure additional funding for Learn .ink.
Ms Barrie, Managing Director of Learn.ink, thanked Innovate UK EDGE Funding Specialist Adele Reynolds for helping the company with its latest funding application.
She said: “It was great working with Adele, she recommended regional and industry opportunities that I didn’t know existed and are pretty hard to find unless you read all the good newsletters.”
“Once we settled on the Business Innovation Fund, Adelle provided fantastic guidance and feedback on our grant application, helping us maximize our chances of success.
“Before the [Women in Innovation] I didn’t really know any other female entrepreneurs. But I am now part of a cohort of 40 women all with very similar backgrounds. It was great to support and advise each other, share successes and even learn from each other’s mistakes.
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