GenieBubble is the brainchild of a family based just outside Guildford in Surrey. It is an easy to navigate website with educational resources from world class British Institutions that allow time pressured parents to easily find content to help the learning and development of their children.
After struggling to find learning activities for their daughter, then aged 5, during the early part of the first lockdown in the UK, Suzanne and Angus (based in Surrey and already running a successful business) came up with a solution to their struggles. They created a vision of a website which would bring together learning and development activities from many world class British institutions and organisations in one place. These activities would be easy to search by topic, age group and duration. Once any one activity was completed, the website would automatically suggest alternative activities, saving parents the time and effort of searching for more.
Hearing that Innovate UK were offering grants to businesses offering solutions to issues raised by Covid, Suzanne and Angus applied for, and were accepted for, a grant. And so GenieBubble was born (named by their daughter in their garden through a fit of giggles, which still makes them all smile to this day).
Suzanne said of the journey so far: “I had become a bit overwhelmed with the number of links to activities – some were good, some not so good, but it was taking so much time to sift through them all that I was struggling to do my own work from home or just get a few moments time out. It got to the point where I thought ‘there must be a better way than to write a list of links…’ There is so much great content out there, from some great organisations. But I just wanted a simple recommendation to give me some guilt-free time whilst our daughter was learning something she was interested in – mainly so that I could do some work – and perhaps search YET again for a supermarket delivery slot and some elusive toilet rolls,” Suzanne said Suzanne added “I thought that if I was struggling with this – other people would be too.”
“Getting everything ready for launch has been time consuming – this is, on top of running our other business and like many families right now, running ‘school at home’ for our daughter. But we feel it can be useful to other parents – especially with half term fast approaching.”
“They will find some fab content from trusted organisations – hopefully if it can lower anxiety levels of parents (and their children) it will all have been worth it! Every child deserves to have easy access to resources such as these, to help them find their own interests and flourish, and it’s our mission to enable that to happen.”
The site soft launched in January 2021 to friends and family to gauge reactions and ensure that any improvements needed could be made. Feedback was very positive with early users making comments such as
“…a fabulous resource which parents are crying out for, especially in another lockdown,”
“I’ve have just been checking out your fab site! I have just made a little video to show my Facebook followers too. I love the design and content, so engaging. Thank you!,”
“You’re definitely scratching an itch” and
“Lots of very interesting information in one easy place and split into easy categories, I like the concept and the ease of use.”
The site was officially launched in the first week of February 2021 and you can find it here Remarkably, the site has not only drawn visitors from the UK, but from places as far as Canada, The Philippines and Australia!
Suzanne and Angus also hope that the site will raise the profile of the brilliant UK organisations whose content can be found on the site. Suzanne comments “the site brings together content from many well know museums, institutions and galleries etc but the really wonderful thing is that it will also feature content from smaller, regional organisations with the hope that this will bring them more traffic – virtually and also ‘in real life’ once lockdown is eased.”
Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK said: “It’s not just doctors, nurses and scientists that have been at the frontline of the pandemic, but parents too. When Innovate UK launched its funding competitions to support businesses with fresh ideas to meet the crisis, we were not just looking for health solutions but for those that looked at how Covid had impacted society and the economy too.”
“Few people would have thought just a year ago that so many parents in the UK would be home schooling their kids. We were looking for great ideas that addressed this new challenge and GenieBubble is a fantastic example of the smart projects that are helping Britain get through this.”