Learners, customers and routes to market

The application form for Ufi’s latest VocTech Seed call is now open and completed applications must be submitted by 5pm on 25 May 2017. The VocTech Seed fund offers up to £50,000 for projects lasting up to 12 months. VocTech Seed supports early stage new ideas for digital vocational learning - and we’ve already met digital innovators with some great ideas. Our funding can be used to take new ideas forward - supporting technical development, design and testing. At the end of the funding period there should be a well developed demonstrator which can showcase its potential value to investors, customers or large clients and be ready for the next big step forward.

This means that projects need to have a clear idea of who the customers might be. In the world of vocational learning this can get a bit complicated. In Ufi project applications we ask you to tell us about the learners the project will impact and how it could improve learning for large numbers of learners. We expect to see the project tested on learners; and for their feedback to be incorporated into product design. But vocational learners rarely ‘buy’ their own training directly. So, projects need to be thinking from the beginning about their customers as well as the learners. Who is likely to commission or purchase the new product or service? Learners are not necessarily customers, although they are users. Your users might also include learners and their employers or learning providers.

This is why we need VocTech Seed projects to have a clear vision for taking their project to market. Successful VocTech Seed projects must be ambitious about their future growth and this includes having a plan for approaching their chosen market. We don’t just need to see your solutions, we need to see how they will get to the people with the problem. So, if you have a great idea for an innovative digital solution and a vision for getting it to the vocation learning market, we would love to hear about it. Check our introduction to the Fund to find out what you need to do to access £50,000 of VocTech Seed funding!