GenieBubble turns Innovate UK grant into website for lockdown kids

Family in the country

GenieBubble, the brainchild of a Surrey-based family, is a website for time-pressured parents to help the learning of their children.

During the first UK lockdown, Suzanne Hazleton and Angus Lyon struggled to find learning activities for their daughter, then aged five.

As a solution, they created a vision of a website which would bring together learning and development activities from many leading British institutions and organisations in one place.

These activities are easy to search by topic, age group and duration. Once any one activity is completed, the website automatically suggests new activities, saving parents the time and effort of searching for more.

The launch of GenieBubble

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.

The site soft launched in January 2021 to friends and family to gauge reactions and ensure that any improvements needed could be made. The site was officially launched in the first week of February 2021.

The site has not only drawn visitors from the UK, but from places as far as Canada, the Philippines and Australia.

Wanting simple recommendations

Suzanne said:

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.

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.

Smart projects

Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK said:

We are all aware and grateful to the vast numbers of key workers that have been at the frontline of the pandemic, but let’s not forget all the 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 children.

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 pandemic.

Top image: Credit: GenieBubble

NOTEThis is the first phase of our new website – let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.