About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Rocket Fund: Launching stage 2 - the 1 Mile Project

Following a successful first pilot of Rocket Fund, we’re now launching stage 2: the 1 Mile Project. We’re partnering with Edspace, to bring Rocket Fund to London's Tech City.

What is the 1 Mile Project?

The 1 Mile Project is the second stage of our Rocket Fund pilot, aiming to support the 61 schools within a one-mile radius of EdSpace (a co-working space dedicated to education, based in the middle of Tech City) by bringing them together with the 4,000 businesses around them.

We want to test whether businesses will be prepared to match fund school crowdfunding projects and if locality has an impact on propensity to give.

See a map of schools in the 1 Mile Project below.


Why are we doing this?

  • To bring communities together: to enable people to support their local school

  • To empower teachers: so they can buy what they think will have the biggest impact on their students' education

  • To advance education: by enabling everyone to access the latest products

What do we want to test with this pilot?

  1. Our third major assumption for Rocket Fund: Will corporates/organisations also support schools? (On Donors Choose, the US crowdfunding site that Rocket Fund was inspired by, 50 per cent of funding comes from corporates and foundations and we feel this support is vitally important).

  2. A go-to-market strategy for Rocket Fund: focusing on specific geographical areas. We think that people are more likely to donate to school projects they have a connection with. Beyond personal connections, we think that a geographical connection (ie: the school nearest your home or office) will be the next key factor that inspires people to donate.

How you can get involved

To celebrate the launch, we’re holding an event on 2 March at Hackney Community College.

Come along from 6pm to 8pm to hear about the recent educational transformation in Hackney, the range of exciting things going on now and how you can help a local school in the future.

Schedule and speakers

  • Introduction: Sophie Bailey - Founder, Edtech Podcast

  • Transforming primary education: Michelle Thomas - Executive Head, New Wave Federation and TeachMeet organiser

  • Transforming secondary education: Martin Buck - Head of Secondary, Hackney Learning Trust

  • Using creative public spaces to unleash imagination: Ben Payne - Co-Director, Ministry of Stories

  • How teachers are creating their own coding and robotics curriculum: Toby Martin Hughs - Education Product Manager, SAM Labs

  • Launching the 1 Mile Project: Ben Gill - Product Manager at Nesta and Launch Pilot at Rocket Fund

For more info and tickets click here: www.nesta.org.uk/event/rocket-fund-1-mile-project-launch


Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Senior Programme Manager

Ben was a Senior Programme Manager in the Innovation Lab's Education Team.

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