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CreateBase – the venture enabling kids to access enjoyable tech education

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24 March 2021

CreateBase is on a mission to give the next generation the skills, tools and confidence necessary to unleash their inner technology creators, and realise their future potential. They are currently building a digital platform that teachers and parents can provide to children to teach tangible technical skills through play.

Created by students at the University of Auckland, the start-up was formed to address the current critical moment in time where an evolution in New Zealand’s technology education needs to happen. In order to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, and to build capability in people to address the grand challenges the world faces, the next generation needs to be empowered to be innovative and technically capable. The recently released Digital Skills for our Digital Future survey found declining levels of New Zealand student interest in computer science subjects. At present there is growing concern about the lack of technology graduates and NZTech reported almost 80 percent of digital tech teachers in schools have never worked or experienced how tech is used in industry. Together this paints a portrait of a country unprepared for a technological future.

CreateBase hopes to empower, inspire and educate students by providing practical and engaging learning experiences that enable new and existing technology creators by guiding them through the creation process. CEO Carl Velasco says “CreateBase was born out of a frustration for the deficiencies in today’s technology education systems. We believe that many people have the potential and the desire to be technology creators; however, there is room throughout the education sector to better support students in exploring and fostering these desires. As such, the core team of CreateBase banded together to create offerings that we wished existed when we first started developing interest in areas such as physics, mathematics, coding, and the broader field of technology.”

The team comprises nine University of Auckland undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students who are studying business, engineering and science. The diversity of the group has been key to their ability to access a range of knowledge and points of view in developing their venture.

The start-up were finalists in the Velocity $100k challenge, delivered by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, when they were first developing their idea and found the experience incredibly helpful. Carl says “This competition incentivised us to focus on drafting a business model for our idea, allowing us to examine its viability in a business context. During the ten-week programme, we engaged with key stakeholders and potential customers to help us define our business model, and develop a customer-centric mindset.”

Accessing the support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem has been crucial for CreateBase to hone their concept. After the Velocity programme, the team won a nation-wide competition to represent New Zealand on the global stage for Red Bull Basement University 2020.  After rounds of intensive mentorship from a range of talented innovators and entrepreneurs, CreateBase pivoted from their initial idea of a physical robotics kit to instead look to offering digital tools that will allow greater accessibility, variety, novelty and the opportunity to deliver new releases. 

Carl says their biggest lessons have been the importance of a synergistic and adaptive team, clarity of vision, mission and core values and the importance of strategies and plans in order to manage the chaos and uncertainties involved around start-ups. “In a start-up environment, multiple objectives are being pursued in parallel. Without clear strategies and plans, these objectives can rapidly diverge, resulting in undesirable outcomes.”

In going through the market validation process, the team have found that technology education is of concern worldwide and that one of the strengths of their approach is equity. “Our focus on digital offerings will allow us to deliver high-quality and personalised technology education that is affordable and accessible.”

Carl says “CreateBase is launching a Kickstarter campaign within the next 2 months. And a few weeks after that, we will launch our offerings globally. If you’re excited by what you’ve read and what to join us in a new era of tech curriculum, visit our website or signup to our newsletter to stay in the know!”

www.createbase.co.nz/

Velocity Team 2020
Velocity Team 2020

social media

24 March 2021

CreateBase is on a mission to give the next generation the skills, tools and confidence necessary to unleash their inner technology creators, and realise their future potential. They are currently building a digital platform that teachers and parents can provide to children to teach tangible technical skills through play.

Created by students at the University of Auckland, the start-up was formed to address the current critical moment in time where an evolution in New Zealand’s technology education needs to happen. In order to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, and to build capability in people to address the grand challenges the world faces, the next generation needs to be empowered to be innovative and technically capable. The recently released Digital Skills for our Digital Future survey found declining levels of New Zealand student interest in computer science subjects. At present there is growing concern about the lack of technology graduates and NZTech reported almost 80 percent of digital tech teachers in schools have never worked or experienced how tech is used in industry. Together this paints a portrait of a country unprepared for a technological future.

CreateBase hopes to empower, inspire and educate students by providing practical and engaging learning experiences that enable new and existing technology creators by guiding them through the creation process. CEO Carl Velasco says “CreateBase was born out of a frustration for the deficiencies in today’s technology education systems. We believe that many people have the potential and the desire to be technology creators; however, there is room throughout the education sector to better support students in exploring and fostering these desires. As such, the core team of CreateBase banded together to create offerings that we wished existed when we first started developing interest in areas such as physics, mathematics, coding, and the broader field of technology.”

The team comprises nine University of Auckland undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students who are studying business, engineering and science. The diversity of the group has been key to their ability to access a range of knowledge and points of view in developing their venture.

The start-up were finalists in the Velocity $100k challenge, delivered by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, when they were first developing their idea and found the experience incredibly helpful. Carl says “This competition incentivised us to focus on drafting a business model for our idea, allowing us to examine its viability in a business context. During the ten-week programme, we engaged with key stakeholders and potential customers to help us define our business model, and develop a customer-centric mindset.”

Accessing the support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem has been crucial for CreateBase to hone their concept. After the Velocity programme, the team won a nation-wide competition to represent New Zealand on the global stage for Red Bull Basement University 2020.  After rounds of intensive mentorship from a range of talented innovators and entrepreneurs, CreateBase pivoted from their initial idea of a physical robotics kit to instead look to offering digital tools that will allow greater accessibility, variety, novelty and the opportunity to deliver new releases. 

Carl says their biggest lessons have been the importance of a synergistic and adaptive team, clarity of vision, mission and core values and the importance of strategies and plans in order to manage the chaos and uncertainties involved around start-ups. “In a start-up environment, multiple objectives are being pursued in parallel. Without clear strategies and plans, these objectives can rapidly diverge, resulting in undesirable outcomes.”

In going through the market validation process, the team have found that technology education is of concern worldwide and that one of the strengths of their approach is equity. “Our focus on digital offerings will allow us to deliver high-quality and personalised technology education that is affordable and accessible.”

Carl says “CreateBase is launching a Kickstarter campaign within the next 2 months. And a few weeks after that, we will launch our offerings globally. If you’re excited by what you’ve read and what to join us in a new era of tech curriculum, visit our website or signup to our newsletter to stay in the know!”

www.createbase.co.nz/


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