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Winning idea sees development of game to improve understanding of the homeless

St Martins were invited to attend Sync the City 2019, an innovative event held in Norwich over 14th-16th November.

The idea is to build and launch a start-up business in just 54 hours. Two prizes are offered – £1000 from a public choice and £3000 from the judges’ choice. It’s a cross between The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den.

We had been gifted the idea of a board game ‘Getting off the streets’  by Rich Woods of Exobytes, which he developed following a Hot Source debate around homelessness and changing attitudes towards our client group.

The event started with 33 people pitching their idea in just 1 minute. St Martins were voted through to the final 12 and then the hard work began at 9pm on Thursday night!

We were lucky to have our professional brand guidelines ready to work with and Rich’s amazing game. This idea was developed into ‘Reality Check’, a gamification app to improve attitudes and perceptions towards homeless people. The app allows you to follow the journey of someone who is homeless and experience what they do.

ALL we then had to do was build and launch an app based on the game by 5pm Saturday! The next 44 hours were chaos!

Hard work ensued with little sleep, air con that refused to switch to heating, coffee by the gallon, computers crashing due to an overload and there were tears of frustration as the clock ticked down.

Nicky King, our Life Skills Co-ordinator explained, “We had to describe our venture in a five minute pitch – Saturday afternoon was four hours of getting this word perfect. Me trying to get to grips with a new language of technology… that was tricky! To say I was terrified is an understatement!”

Despite the nerves, the pitch worked and the St Martins project won the public vote hands down! Nicky said, “The real tears flowed then from us all.”

“An amazing team of tech and marketing experts (Katherine, Beccy, Rich, Alex and Petros) put their hearts and soul into working with me on this.”

Watch this space for updates as we work on getting both the app and a board game designed, tested and launched in the next 12 months.

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