The Ealing Pioneers Fund, launched by the Ealing Council and managed by West London Business, was a £1  million pot, shared by 12 select businesses based in the borough to boost economic growth and job creation in the region. Go Create Academy, one of the winners, offers creative media courses and qualifications.

With backgrounds in TV, radio and music, Peter and Susan, the founders recognised a lack of specialised creative skills which inspired them to set up their business in February 2020. They started delivering unique courses, such as vlogging, podcasting, mobile film making, creative sound and media production. They were clueless about the rise in demand the global pandemic was gonna bring about soon. Peter said, “Pre-COVID, we were very niche and highly specialised. During the pandemic every academic institution in the word suddenly had to go online.”

Susan Hickey, co-founder adds: “A lot of the educational institutions we were working with were very traditional in their thinking. Tech adaption is usually a slow process. One of the good things of the pandemic was that tech adaption fast forwarded 10 years just in one year.”

Go Create Academy started helping one of the schools in the university working with younger people to deliver online exams. They needed a safe examination system for children to also include relevant safeguarding, which the founders couldn’t find on the market. They then embarked on a research project to see whether technology like artificial intelligence (AI) can help develop a safe system to regulate exams, without unnecessary data obtaining and sharing. They started a developing a system, which they piloted in October 2020 when they ran the first live AI invigilation online. They found it to be more efficient, easily spotting if there was a cheating attempt.

Susan added, “After a few more pilots, last year we realised that we have developed a reliable quality control system ticking many boxes for education institutions when running exams online. We are really proud of it.”

Peter continues: “Our work with the university empowered us to become in essence our own examination board, so we can respond to the needs of the market really quickly. We are releasing the world’s first beatboxing exams later this year and have created the world’s first beatboxing notation system.”

The grant funding will help Go Create Academy to further develop the artificial technology to mark exams. It’s currently not an end-to-end solution. They would like students anywhere in the world to be able to enrol, take their exam and receive digital certification. The funding will also be used for training in new skills areas.

Source: aroundealing

The Ealing Pioneers Fund, launched by the Ealing Council was a £1  million pot, shared by 12 select businesses based in the borough to boost economic growth and job creation. Ealing Distillery, one among the winners sells hand-crafted gin locally in the Borough.

Ealing Distillery, launched in 2019 by Simon Duncan and Amanda Duncan, sells hand-crafted gin locally in the Borough. Distilled in traditional copper still named Felicity, the gin is in the super premium category which means it uses the finest botanicals as well as the London dry gin distilling process.

Since its launch, Ealing distillery has also won two international gold medal awards – International Wine and Spirits Competition (WSC) and The Gin Masters. Amanda had bene working at a public relations consultancy in Soho for 25 years, helping it grow to 140 members of staff while Simon started his career in marketing, and then set up a software business from home, helping small and medium sized businesses to set up their own websites.

Amanda says, “We’ve always wanted to run a business together and decided that creating Ealing Gin would be it. We decided to take the leap and go for it and now we are both working full time at Ealing Distillery.”

Wondering how the gin is made? Amanda shines a light on the process,

“We hand weigh all our beautiful botanicals to very precise measurements and our own recipe. We then carefully place them into Felicity our still along with neutral grain spirit (pure alcohol made from wheat here in the UK) and pure filtered water from our own filtration system. The ingredients steep for a minimum of 24 hours before it is switched on. It takes around six hours to distil one batch. As a small handmade batch maker, we produce a couple of hundred bottles with each batch. By gin standards, that’s tiny, but it means that every batch is guaranteed to be super-high quality.”



While the duo manages the business on their own-from e-commerce and website to content creation and accounting to making the gin in itself, they do have a part-time staff helping them with sales and marketing. They hope for to build a bigger distillery in the heart of Ealing, for people to visit and experience Ealing and to also see how the gin process works. The believe the pioneers grant will accelerate their ability to do that. They want to use the grant to build the brand and business up, raising awareness in Ealing and beyond its borders.

Source: aroudealing


Ingka Group and H&M have joined forces to launch an exciting new design venture for creatives and makers. Piloted in London, Atelier100 is a unique incubator programme for creatives to inspire each other, grow their businesses through mentorship and create commercially viable products at a new store which will open in Livat Hammersmith this May.

The venture aims to identify and nurture rising creatives in a location based and local environment. For the pilot, creatives and makers living in a 100 km radius of London are invited to apply for their place in the Ateleier 100 programme between 7 and 24the April. Twenty applicants will be choses to join the programme and they will be mentored by leading experts in the field of design. The mentors will provide hands on guide to help and develop the creatives’ skills and knowledge. There will also be group sessions on key business skills, on breaking down barriers and building your network, as well as one-to-one bespoke mentoring on growth.

Marcus Engman, Chief Creative Officer at Ingka Group said, “We are two creative and curious brands with closely-tied values and a shared aim: to find new and diverse ideas for the future. That is how the idea for Atelier100 came about. We want to take a new approach to the longstanding ways of reaching and engaging great talents. Through this proactive new initiative we hope to find, attract and develop the creatives of tomorrow.

Camilla Henriksson, Global Brand Innovation Manager at H&M said, “We see this as the start of a very exciting adventure. London is bursting with brilliant ideas and creative people, we want to meet these creators where they are. Opportunities in arts, entertainment and recreation have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. H&M and Ingka Group see this as an opportunity to engage directly with creatives and makers, to give them the visibility that they deserve and to support them in taking their business to the next level.

Find more details about the application by visiting