“Genius” product backed by Innovate UK
The marketplace enabling over-stretched community organisers to arrange online activities with struggling providers
Recognition is a rare luxury in the early days of being a startup founder. Amidst the occasional and delightful praise from a customer, there is an endless onslaught of challenge, skepticism, quizzical looks and failures. These are ultimately hugely valuable experiences, as they build our gumption, grit, and resilience.
But sometimes it’s also really nice to feel very proud of what you’ve achieved, and to meet other people who believe wholeheartedly in what you’re building.
Which is why we were so chuffed to have won funding — and some fantastic feedback — from Innovate UK, an incredibly well regarded funder.
“This [solution] is really innovative, in a time of great flux within the the arts and activities industry. The idea of fusing community leaders enabling them to organise and arrange online activities with providers who are struggling is genius.” “[The More Human team] come across as good custodians of a small portion of the public purse — dedicated to creating something that will genuinely help small groups and communities to avoid reliance on the tools provided by huge multinational companies whose motivations are usually quite suspect.”
Oh yes. That feeling there — that is most definitely pride.
The past few months, since we incorporated in April, at the start of the first national lockdown, have been not just an emotional roller coaster, but also an amazing learning experience. We supported thousands of individuals in dozens of communities and interest groups to regularly socialise online, and when possible, in-person. We launched our first product that enables organisers to quickly and easily build and sustain a programme of events, without the hassle or upfront cost. And we learned that activity providers everywhere — be they self-employed, small businesses, or international franchises — are struggling to make ends meet in light of social distancing restrictions. I’m so proud of the start we’ve made in pursuing our purpose, to create real, strong communities by serving the humans that build them.
And now this funding will enable us to create a step change in our activity; what we can build, the range of communities we can serve, and the number of activity providers we can support.
It is also a real honour to contribute to sustainable economic recovery following the challenges posed by the pandemic, and to support communities and activity providers, small businesses, voluntary organisations, and non-profits through these tough times. By enhancing our events-as-a-service platform for community organisers with a new added marketplace of activity providers, we will enable small businesses in the hardest hit sectors (leisure, entertainment, hospitality) to find new audiences and recover revenue through online events. Not just enabling more people to connect with one another, but also helping more people to pay the bills.
We’re on the cusp of a new chapter of incredibly exciting developments — including establishing new partnerships and making our first ever hire. All in service of a world where belonging and face-to-face connection is on demand, for everyone.
And in the spirit of our values of community, honesty, inclusion, and collaboration, we believe that the best route to the biggest impact over the coming months and years is brilliant partnerships. Together, as a community united behind a common purpose, and with strengthening connections, we can achieve so much more.
So if you or anyone you know is an individual or organisation looking for ways to support community connectivity and regular events, take the burden off organisers’ shoulders so they can do more of the human stuff (at a time when we all need to be kind to ourselves and the people we know), or that support community and interest groups to find new sources of income or make the transition to socially conducive online activities, please reach out. We would love to talk to you.
If you’d like to follow our journey, support us, or join us for the ride, please get in touch! Contact us at www.more-human.co.uk
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. Find out more at www.innovateuk.ukri.org