VOOM 2016: The Explorium crowdfunding journey



Explorium is an innovative education agency that strives to keep the child at the core of the social
business. Set up in Somerset, it hopes to gain local funding to grown its business through Crowdfunding
with VOOM 2016. It has plans to grow, not just nationally, but internationally, in 5 years


Tell us about your business in 5 words…

We’re changing the educational landscape

What prompted you to enter VOOM 2016?

If anyone will get why our social business model needs to grow it will be Richard Branson. I see
VOOM 2016 as an opportunity for us to bring about widespread change to the educational landscape
at a far more rapid pace than we could do without the mentoring, support – moral and financial
– of Richard Branson and the team at Virgin Media Business.

Why did you want to crowdfund your entry as well?

We are a small rural business about to grow. We are in discussion with a local Somerset school
about opening our first centre on a school site and to do that we need to raise funds to enable us
to make that possible.

How has crowdfunding helped your business, and your competition entry?

We have several local businesses that have pledged to support us. They all have one thing in
common – their children come to Explorium and they can see that what we do is enabling their
children explore what makes them tick, where their passions lie and how to play to their strengths
and navigate their obstacles.

All real life skills that they, as employers, know are crucial for our children to be learning early on in
their educational careers.

How are you encouraging votes and pledges?

We have a PR and social media campaign getting underway using print, online and social media
as well as mailing out updates to our email list. We are also involving the children and schools directly
to produce content around a ‘What If…?’ campaign that we are running.

We have a great story to tell and we hope this campaign – by getting the public behind it and going
beyond our crowdfunder target – can show that children, parents and educationalists want a new
debate, want change and that we have a new social business model that can replace the corporate
model of owning academy chains.

What’s the best bit about VOOM 2016?

For us it has come at a time when we need to be big and bold and use this opportunity to raise
funds and increase our local and national profile to widen our customer base and ensure we grow
as a business in our third year since starting up.

The focus of trying to get to pitch to Richard Branson provides us with a really tangible outcome
that we can go flat out to try to achieve.

How far do you want to get in the competition?

I want to be in the final and I want to win both the Grow and the Impact Award as it would enable
me to bring the changes into education that need to happen much quicker than if we don’t win.

I am a changemaker to the core. My father, like Richard Branson, struggled at school through dyslexia
and was told he wouldn’t amount to anything much, but he went on to use his entrepreneurial
talent for the greater good and had a massive impact globally both socially and environmentally.

I have my father’s determination, grit and passion for what I am doing and I’ve learnt that imagining
the impossible is the first step towards making it real.

Where do you want your business to be in 5 years?

We’re currently a small rural Somerset business but I want us to be international – so I definitely
see us having Explorium in somewhere like Kenya, where I spent some of my childhood, towards
the end of these five years.

I’d like Explorium to be a household name, respected and loved for our commitment to our children
of today, who are our adults of tomorrow so that they can achieve the extraordinary things we need
them to achieve – such as deal within increasing environmental turbulence, more political unrest,
and rapid technology advances that are going to radically shift the way we live our lives.

  • Head over to VOOM 2016 to add your pitch today.
Entrepreneurship from across the UK and Ireland represented in the heart of London
VOOM 2016: The LettUs Grow crowdfunding journey