Dr Yaz Osho* took four of her BSc Enterprise and Small Business Development students to Freeformers’ Upload Lite Festival held in Islington. The event was pitted as “a mini-series to give you the mindset and skills to succeed in the future digital world of work!”
Who are Freeformers?
Freeformers is a profit and purpose business whose mission is to create the future workforce, now. In addition to running the Upload Lite Festival, they transform businesses from within by empowering people with a Digital Mindset and they also operate the one_for1 programme, where for every hour of learning they deliver to a business person, they deliver an hour of learning to a young person absolutely free. They offer so much more, so if you are interested in finding out more Freeformers, click here.
The event took place on a Saturday and students had high expectations and were not disappointed. In the morning we were greeted by the wonderful Kaishia Barnes (Lead Trainer) and an array of Fruits and Juices to feed the mind ahead of the day’s activities. To kick off the event, we filed into a room with the promise that we would learn how to programme a robotic arm – and that’s exactly what happened! By the end of this first activity, the Enterprise students had indeed programmed a robotic arm and had also won a prize for their efforts.
Next, we were greeted with lunch – again, food to help everyone use the ‘little grey cells’ this time in the form of Nuts, Fruits and for those who live dangerously, Biscuits and Crisps.
We were then given food for thought with a talk on ideation, start-up, iteration and APIs (Application Programming Interface). We learnt some important insights into Eric Ries’ book The Lean StartUp. The key takeouts were: build-measure-learn, which is a feedback loop that will set you on a path to producing what your customers really want. In short, you need to build a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVPs) so that you can maximize learning. An MVP is a product with just enough features to gather maximum validated learning about a product (and its customers) with the least effort in order to continue its development.
The next activity was heralded as giving attendees the opportunity to “prototype their own app.” Our students came up with a quite a few app ideas including an app to help people remember what they needed to do through images to a gas price comparison app.
To wrap up the event, selected attendees were picked out by Freeformers’ staff for prizes for their participation and involvement on the day. I was very pleased that level 5 student, Bukola Atofarati (Bukky) won a prize (her second of the day). She was later interviewed on video by Freeformers to talk about why she attended the event and what she had learned from the day.
What did we think?
Overall, it was a great way to spend a Saturday and wonderful to see students so motivated and inspired. Level 5 student, Tapiwa Kanhemba remarked that the event had “brought out the creative side of me, I thought building an app was like Rocket Science, but after attending the event, I realised that anyone could do it.” Thank you to Tapiwa, Bukky, Patsy Durand and Samuel Ojo for attending! Watch this space for the next Enterprise event blog, who knows, maybe we could have a Freeformers Upload Lite at GSM London in the future?!