By Angela Prentner-Smith, Founder and MD of This is Milk
Way back in 2020, whilst I was on maternity leave with my daughter Neve my phone pinged. Actually it was more than one ping - it seemed every channel I’m active on was pinging me with a notification of a Civtech challenge. Those in the know were poking me to have a look at the Scottish Digital Academy’s challenge ‘How can digital help invent the future of immersive learning?’
Truthfully, I was just a few weeks post-partum, surviving a pandemic, and parenting a 6 year old, who was just starting to get his life back – the last thing on my mind was spinning up a technology business.
But still... the messages kept coming, and eventually at the request of my team, I joined an 8pm call one Wednesday night and we generated a bunch of ideas on a Mural board. This was the start of what is now ‘Neve’ - an immersive learning platform with inclusivity at its core.
We just kept winning the rounds of Civtech... and the zeitgeist for inclusive learning was calling. So here I am now with a 6-year-old consultancy business, a 3-year-old training arm, a 7-year-old son, a 1-year-old daughter and a 3-month-old technology platform.
And for the 1st time in the 6 years of This is Milk, we are raising investment –to take our pilot platform to full commercial scale and achieve our vision of creating a more inclusive learning experience for everyone.
Raising investment is something new for me and for This is Milk.
I’ve always been a bit more of the struggling artist type – determined to make of the world what I can with whatever resources I have to hand. Relishing in a bit of struggle and resisting help at all costs. I can’t say it was easy, but I sure learned what not to do, and what really matters in business.
A few years back, I learned the hard lesson, that asking for help is always more powerful than offering to help. Mobilising people around a cause and letting them be part of it, is well, leadership, for lack of a better word.
And this is what the team here at This is Milk are doing now. We’re asking you to join us, become part of our community of supporters and investors.
Why? Well we want to continue to build a learning platform that is inclusive to the core, and future fit. We’ve already got two paying customers, and a profitable consultancy and training business. But everyone needs help sometimes.
We aren’t just looking for big investors. We believe in equality of opportunity, and communities. So even if you aren’t Warren Buffet with millions in the bank if you’re passionate about what we do and are interested in investing, we’d love to talk.
So what’s in it for you?
Well you get a share in This is Milk, which has doubled its turnover year on year for the last 3 years, and until we started funding the technical development had a net profit margin of 34%. So even before we ventured into bleeding edge neuroscience and AI, we knew how to grow sustainably, and how to make money.
We’ve also been through the early dramas of starting, and running a business. We’ve got the war wounds and the lessons to show for it.
We’ve also proven our ability to pivot, diversify and a launch a new business from within a business... 3 years ago we launched This is Milk training.
We’re also award winning, award nominated and most recently I was commended by Glasgow Business Awards as Entrepreneur of the Year.
So you get a share of that success, and the opportunity to back a project with a purpose. That purpose? Build the learning platform for the future. One built with human differences at the core, with inclusivity built into the values and with the possibilities afforded to us by the latest technology and neuroscience.
Why should you believe in us?
We are the people with the problem. We are trainers, educators, and a bunch of changemakers that went left when everyone else went right. We know the problem space of education, and we know the problem space of exclusion from learning, and we understand this from both sides of the fence. So who better to solve our own problem, than passionate, quirky people who know possibilities and know the value of the time spent in the problem space and its environments. Problems are best solved by the people with the problem with the space to solve it.
We've also have been fearless, tenacious and adaptable – we started a business with the odds against us and pivoted that business through many waxes and wanes. We’re fit for the future, ready to take on the unknown. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re willing to take the chances, to experiment and to forge a new path for inclusive education.
Beyond that we know digital, and we’re focussed on changing the course of the future of education.
Who better to take on that challenge – than a small group of committed people, ready to change the world?
Find out more about Neve and register to invest here.
If you'd like to chat to the team more about investing, email us.