Supporting talent at the Manchester App School
Posted by: Coral Grainger on: February 15, 2010
• In: Business| Creativity| Talent| Technology| innovation
• 2 Comments
There is some serious talent on the streets and in the bedrooms of Manchester. Young people with the kind of creativity we would give our right arm for, Manchester’s future is in their hands.
A teacher I met at the BBC 21st Century Classroom in Salford, told me about his 15 year old student (let’s call him John) who made £5 here, £10 there, by designing My Space pages for his friends. The teacher was frustrated at not having the ability to help John take his digital talent to the next level, nor access to appropriate business start up advice for this teen entrepreneur. When asked what he would do after his GCSE’s, John told the teacher that he’d follow into his father’s shopfitting business, he didn’t consider college, work in the creative sector, or starting his own business as possible options.
To be clear, I am in no way critical of John’s choice. Good design is needed in the physical world as well as the digital (if not more so!). However, I do think the story raises the question of how we best nurture young talent, both in and outside schools.
I like the idea of business advisors having surgeries in schools and youth clubs, helping young people to think about markets for their ideas, before they get squelched by the ‘real world’. I’d love to hear of any case studies where this works (or doesn’t).
We’re lucky to live in a city like Manchester, where projects and partners are aiming to resolve some of these issues. Robots have been built at the MADLAB, and last year Innovation Manchester and the Manchester Innovation Investment Fund supported Creative Open Access – growing the inner geek in some of Manchester’s brightest young people.
Now a new course, also to be held at Cornerhouse, will not only nurture creativity in 18-24 year olds, but also introduce the skills to progress a career in the creative industries
At the core of the scheme, the kids at the App School will develop their ideas for an iPhone ‘app’, and they’ll work on those ideas throughout the programme. In addition, they’ll get training on things such as project management, team-working, presenting their work, and business & financial management. At the very end of the scheme, they’ll be pitching their ideas through to a panel of some of the city’s best creative companies – who, if they like what they see, will be able to offer them internships. If the ideas are good, the companies will actually create the ‘app’ as a joint venture.
If you know of any young people in Manchester, please help spread the word!
The course is being run by The White Room, in partnership with Manchester City Council, MMU, and Cornerhouse, and applications close next Sunday, 21st February.