Innovation Showcase: Actiphons

Simon Austerberry

Innovation Showcase: Actiphons

Simon Austerberry is the company director of Actiphons, a programme that aims to help children become more active while learning phonics. He tells BQ about why he has entered the business into Innovation Showcase at Venturefest Manchester.

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Describe your business in no more than 100 words

Actiphons is a unique and innovative Children’s TV Programme and Teaching Resource that aims to inspire and motivate children to learn their phonics through playing fun sports and physical activities. Acting as an early intervention measure we therefore seek to help combat the ever-growing rise in obesity levels whilst helping our illiterate society. 

What prompted you to enter the Innovation Showcase competition? Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with.        

Actiphons wanted to share their vision of more children accessing and participating in sports, allowing them to make healthy lifestyle choices from an early age whilst making reading fun and engaging. Through Venturefest we aim to raise this awareness and gain support for this area of concern. This can be achieved by Actiphons USP. Linking phonics and sport together to create an alternative approach to teaching two fundamental areas of a child’s education.

How would you describe that to a novice?

Actiphons helps children to learn to read and write through playing fun sports and physical activities.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

1.       Obtaining a TV Broadcaster

2.       Raising the final finance to produce the initial 26 episodes

What are your biggest professional achievements to date?

1.       Creating a unique TV format that will inspire a generation to read whilst keeping active.

2.       Raising over £1M for production fees.

How do you feel about exhibiting to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest Manchester?

Even though presenting is now a regular occurrence, nerves always play a part. However, this makes sure I prepare for the day thoroughly so I can give the best possible account of Actiphons.   

What would winning the Innovation Showcase mean to your business?

It would reinforce that the idea we had two years ago was worth pursuing, and that aiming to raise children’s literacy skills and participation rates in sport can be achieved together.  

Where do you see your company in five years time?

Actiphons will be a global brand consisting of a Children’s TV Show that has relating merchandise and is a recognised Teaching Resource.

What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?

If you don’t give up you can’t fail!