Emojo win Digital Advantage 2016
Against all the odds the £5000 Digital Advantage 2015-16 enterprise competition has been won by Chorlton High School with their app to create and share your own customised Emojis – called Emojo.
The innovative digital skills programme Digital Advantage, designed and developed by The White Room, and funded by Manchester New Economy and GMSA City Deal, has successfully completed its first year delivering essential digital skills and enterprise knowledge to 10 Schools and Colleges in Greater Manchester. It concluded with a pitch and prize day at Manchester Creative Studio School and was won by a group of 14-15 year olds from Chorlton Hight School.
They we were the only non-sixth form school and ran Digital Advantage as an after-school club during the winter and spring terms. They overcame the challenge from a number of leading colleges and sixth forms from across Greater Manchester to win the £5000 prize and ongoing business development support.
The Digital Advantage Judges
The judges – Katrina Gallagher from Digitangle, Duncan McCoombe of Network Young and Andy Lovatt, MD at The White Room were unanimous in their decision and praise for the Chorlton Team and Emojo, their App. “They have a great product that they had even managed to prototype, a great presentation that has us all wanting more and the passion and team work to make it happen.” said Andy Lovatt at the presentation. “But also all the teams have had the chance to participate in a groundbreaking programme and will have gained considerable knowledge and experience along the way.” Indeed many have already taken up apprentice opportunities in the city and others have gone onto further study with greater experience and improved skills.
Since the award there have been presentations at the school and plans put in place to take the product to the next level and finally into the marketplace. Digital Advantage was developed to raise awareness of the creative and digital sector and to pull people through to alternative routes into the industry such as apprenticeships. To that end Swedish games development trainers Playground Squad have agreed to task a team of there apprentices to develop a working version of the app. The Team from Chorlton will work with Playground Squad to develop more features and functions and to get it ready to launch. Alongside them, a Team from Sharp Futures will script and develop a film pitch to go on the crowd funding site Indigogo.
Getting the team to work alongside new entrants to the industry will bring the realisation of a career in the sector ever closer. They will really be exposed to the talent, processes and technologies that all come together to create a successful App. Anne Marie Mackie, Head of Media at Chorlton High says “Winning the prize was fantastic and this further support is an amazing opportunity for the students to get real experience of working in the industry and getting their App made. It will really inspire all the students at the School to grasp the opportunities there are in the creative and digital sector in Manchester right now.”