LiketoBe is an Ed Tech opportunity built to disrupt the analogue world of Careers Advice. Using a unique platform and content, LiketoBe connects teachers and students with professionals to provide impartial, real world careers advice.
Much like Tim Peake (the British Astronaut), via technology; our founder, polar explorer Antony Jinman has engaged live and direct with classrooms while on various expeditions. Instant reaction and subsequent feedback, from teachers and pupils alike, demonstrated that technology represents a wide reaching, penetrative gateway to informing and inspiring young minds.
We, realised that this could be relevant to any career and throughout a child’s education, starting with primary schoolchildren, by simply asking “what would you ‘like to be'?”
The aim of LiketoBe's branded networking platform is to enable fast paced, monetised scale up of the concept. We are now seeking to raise a minimum of £150k.
Over 83% of schools have no careers guidance staff. Where, current career guidance is provided, we believe it is ineffective and disconnected from reality; demonstrated by:
• the fact that over 75% of 16-18 year olds have no idea of what they want to do after leaving school
• those who have a clear picture of what they want to do often do not know how to achieve it, often relying on their parents as their source for guidance.
LiketoBe was developed to address and resolve these issues that have prevailed for generations. LiketoBe places employers’ vested interest in education to effective use by providing a secure, online community where all key stakeholder groups are engaged; Students, Teachers and Commerce & Industry.
Unlike any that has preceded them, we believe the 1st generation to benefit from LiketoBe will be aware of what to do and how to do it as they transition from education into their professional lives.
In addition to being a high growth, scaleable concept, LiketoBe should become a potent force for enabling social mobility.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Since 2015 and on a referrals basis, LiketoBe has run a number of online pilots across a large number of schools in the South West with cumulative revenue of c.£150k.* This was achieved from a blended approach of:
• a prototype website (Education Through Experience - ETE) linking schools with university fieldwork and research at Plymouth University and University of the West of England.
• and in partnership with Network Rail building awareness of career pathways that engineering provides.
In the last 6 months, our focus has been in developing LiketoBe into a scaleable proposition that we believe is highly differentiated and safeguarded by LiketoBe branded and owned IP. Key to this are features and functionality built into the platform that provide a distinctive and compelling user experience for all 3 key stakeholders; Students, Teachers and Commerce & Industry.
LiketoBe has also participated within a number of start-up initiatives inclusive of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, Seedbed Program and Entrepreneurial Sparks (Bristol).
“There is a massive skills shortage of engineers across all sectors here in the UK, not just the rail industry. Network Rail sees LiketoBe as a great opportunity to engage with young people and demonstrate what opportunities are available to them, whilst helping to raise aspirations towards STEM careers.” Jane Austin Head of Engineering Network Rail.
* Based on unaudited management accounts.
We intend to apply freemium principles whereby a basic user profile can be set up at no charge with a simple matrix of options for companies and individuals to upgrade to monetised subscriber packages.
Subsequently, once established, we believe the capability to track how aspirations evolve throughout young people’s education will generate and capture new and valuable insights. This should provide LiketoBe with an additional revenue streams.
Use of proceeds
Funds raised will help ring-fence Liketobe’s market advantage via enhanced functionality of the web platform and should bring on stream sales and business development resource.
The company currently has an outstanding director's loan of £38k. Funds raised will not be used to repay the loan.
The aspiration is to embed LiketoBe throughout education in the UK with content encompassing any conceivable career that exists today and in the future within Commerce & Industry.
As such, the target market covers 8.2 million young people attending 24,372 schools that employ over 400,000 teachers (Department of Education, 2012), with currently a further c.2.3 million higher education students and c.30 million professional people working in over 5.5 million businesses.
Once established within the UK, we intend to replicate the business model internationally.
Characteristics of target market
LiketoBe fits within the innovative, emerging market space that is Edtech, (Education Technology). Technology can be expected to continue to play an increasingly important role in shaping and delivering Education.
Education technology is becoming a global phenomenon, and as distribution and platforms scale internationally, the market is projected to grow at 17.0% per annum, to $252bn by 2020.
Over the past two years we believe we have developed a reputation in the South West for linking scientists and engineers into schools. We aim to build on this experience and concentrate on developing brand awareness for connecting STEM* related careers into hard to reach rural and schools in social deprived areas across the South West.
We have built partnerships in both education and within the engineering sectors which we can further develop. Network Rail has already helped introduce us to other engineering and construction companies. We believe developing these partnerships will create further opportunities within the first 12 months following this fundraise.
During years 2 and 3, post fund raising, we aim to provide schools and higher educational institutions with access to wide ranging content and professionals, encompassing numerous career pathways, (not just STEM) for young people to be stimulated and inspired by.
*Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Edtech is a relatively new but fast emerging market space. Current participants include FutureLearn, SCool, U Explore and an increasing number of new entrants can be expected to appear.
We believe Liketobe is highly differentiated from any existing offering: access to real-life, impartial careers advice via a secure, online environment is to our knowledge a unique proposition that should be safeguarded by the Liketobe’s own brand and IP.