Samford STEM educators wowing the UK

Published 5:00pm 20 June 2022

Samford STEM educators wowing the UK
Words by Jodie Powell

Samford-based STEMPunks is forging new ground in the United Kingdom – as part of a delegation of Australian companies attending London Tech Week and as a finalist in the prestigious UK PIEoneer Awards.

Co-founder Michael Holmstrom spent last week meeting business leaders, entrepreneurs, start-ups and government officials as part of a bid to expand the world leading STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education program into the UK market.

Attracting thousands of attendees in person and online, London Tech Week brings together the world’s most inspirational founders, global leaders, senior investors and rising stars to collaborate and discuss the vital role of technology in society.

Michael says it’s the perfect arena to raise interest in STEM Punks TV – a world-first streaming space for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“We’re raising capital for this world-first platform for STEM TV.

“It’s all content we have produced ourselves – we’ve done that ourselves during COVID - it’s high value content.”

STEM Punks co-founder Fiona Holmstrom says Michael’s trip was an unparalleled opportunity.

“They want Australian businesses to operate in the UK,” Fiona says.

“The ed-tech space is a growing market over there.”


Samford STEM educators wowing the UK

The British Government’s Department of International Trade invited the Australian contingent, organising exclusive meetings to help them fast-track expansion into the UK, where start-ups and scaleups raised £29.4 billion last year.

The Australian London Tech Week 2022 contingent was chosen under four subsectors - Future Technology – including artificial intelligence, big data and cyber security; Educational Technology; Digital Health – including med-tech and medical devices; and Financial Technology.

In a statement from the British Government, British Consul General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Asia Pacific (Australia and New Zealand), Louise Cantillon says the UK tech sector was valued at £764 billion (A$1.34 trillion) this year.

“After signing the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement earlier this year it is fantastic to see such a big and dynamic cohort of Australian tech scaleups join our London Tech Week mission” Louise says.

“(Last) week the UK Government published a new Digital Strategy.

“A key focus of this policy demonstrates the UK’s commitment to improving the tech ecosystem to ensure that the UK remains one of the best places in the world to start and run a digital technology business.

“This includes improving access to finance, another step forward in making the UK the best place to list an ambitious technology business.”

Global audience

Michael says it’s important for STEM Punks to explore new markets to allow the business to reach its potential.

“We have always been a small business thinking big,” he explains.

“We reach a global market with world-leading STEM education content.

“One of the issues in Australia, especially in education, it’s such a conservative market - it’s a vast country with a small population.”

Local talent

But he says the business is committed to the Moreton Bay Region - where the STEM Punks was born in the garage of the Holmstrom’s Samford home - because it’s crucial to create career pathways locally and keep talent in the region.

“ We’re very proud to be in the Moreton Bay Region – we have worked hard to create a scalable business,” Michael says.

“Our desire long term is to build a stronger base in the region.

“We love the region and want to stay and grow in it – we want to retain skills in the region – it’s one thing to educate, but we need to get them to stay here.”

The PIEoneer Awards celebrate innovation and achievement across the global education industry and STEM Punks is short-listed in the Digital Innovation of the Year – Learning category.

The awards are announced in September.

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