VocTech Seed 2020: Stage 1 Feedback
Ufi’s VocTech Seed call is our test bed, where the first spark of an idea can be scoped and tested in the supportive funding environment that Ufi provides. It’s for projects that aim to use digital technology in new ways, or aim to utilise well established technologies in a novel way or for a new market, in order to achieve scale, so that more learners can improve their vocational skills.
Our VocTech Seed 2020 call has just reached the point where applicants learn whether they’ve made it through to stage 2 of our application process. The team were delighted with the large number of applications we received from a huge variety of organisations and with a wide range of target sectors and technologies, from right across the UK.
The best applications were really passionate and clear about the vocational learning problem their project aimed to solve and had a clear vision for how this could achieve scale. They showed why this learning problem is an issue, what was new and innovative about their proposed solution, and how they would measure the benefits it will provide.
Successful applications were also clear about who their learners would be. They understood the target market. Strong applications clearly identified how employers and learners would be involved in developing and testing the idea, and had a realistic vision for how many learners would benefit, in the longer term, if their seed project was successful.
Engaging ‘hard to reach’ learners is often a challenge and it was great to see the partnerships between organisations in some applications that aimed to ensure practical engagement with real problems in vocational learning.
The best applications had also explained why the proposed idea was new, backing that up with research into what is already available, and were open about any competitor products in the market. They also demonstrated a well thought through strategy about the potential for for scale and sustainability, explaining how they expected the project to continue after Ufi funding ends
We’re really looking forward to reviewing the stage 2 applications as we build our next VocTech Seed cohort of projects, as we continue in our mission to help more people to gain the knowledge and skills required for work