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CE Live 2016 Speaker Bios - Declan Cassidy, MakerClub

Declan Cassidy is CMO at MakerClub. He has set up and sold two previous companies in the arts and events sector and has worked on campaigns for Ikea and Diageo. He has a solid background in digital marketing. When he’s not tweeting, blogging or blabbing on about MakerClub, Declan is walking his unruly dog on the Sussex Downs. 

MakerClub creates products and experiences that let people remake the world around them through technology. They are developing the world’s first e-learning platform for 3D printing and the Internet of Things, creating their own hardware and high quality interactive content while basing it on an engaging educational framework. They are teaching the art of invention to the next generation, inspiring creativity and fostering tomorrow’s big problem solvers. 

MakerClub are Creative England’s UK Creative Business Cup Winner 2015, Winner of a European Global Play & Learn Innovation Challenge 2015 and a Creative England 50 company 2016. They recently secured £50,000 through Creative England’s Creative Business Loan scheme. They intend to use this to release their first set of educational products to the consumer market. They are developing a browser based learning platform created to give young people an accessible gateway to engineering and 3D design. Their holistic approach uses proprietary hardware, control via a mobile app and high quality interactive content delivered via a web browser. The lessons are taught through robotics kits that can be customised and 3D printed. This combination of technologies paired with a pedagogically sound teaching structure is currently unique. 

The kits contain electronic components including a microcontroller of our own design, access to our platform and the necessary 3D printable files. Users are taught how to customise the body, how the electronics work and how to program the product through video, interactive games and mini-projects. Once they know the basics, the open ended nature of their microcontroller and the limitless possibilities that 3D printing provides allows users to create their own inventions and products by attaching additional sensors and outputs as well as creating different casings. These can then be shared and downloaded by other community members. 

The company has completed early feasibility testing and have now begun widespread trials in schools and other learning centres. 

MakerClub has developed two commercial launch products, a robotic arm and a remote controller car – they intend to release these in March 2016. This funding will allow them to commercialise and market their products across the UK. They will be expanding their team, finalising the interactive courseware and putting a solid marketing campaign in place, both pre and post launch. The next 12 months sees them refining these products and gaining momentum with a flurry of marketing activities leading up to a beta release in March 2016, followed by a general release in September. The Creative England loan will specifically cover staff acquisition marketing and sales. 

They are being aided by the PR team at Nominet and the Media Trust in marketing and promotion. Read our guest blog with MakerClub and exclusive interview with Declan.

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