Back in the early days of Freeformers, we would hold weekly, informal evening gatherings of tech enthusiasts called TechJam. They were designed to bring together people with a like-minded passion.
The idea was to kickstart digital inspiration, ideas and skills in a relaxed setting, allowing networking to help partnerships to form and blossom.
Sessions were held in places such as Timberyard, the Mozilla offices, Google Campus and, wait for it, the back office at Freeformers. During 2013 and 2014, more than 200 people were actively involved.
And they included Daniel Botcherby, Michael Bohan and Jonathan Holt who came up with their own app idea called TubeNav. It would become London’s first official interactive tube map combining the iconic image with an extensive list of places to visit and events to attend.
Daniel said: “Freeformers and TechJam gave me the chance to meet other amazing developers and add them to my network.
“I remember being shown the possibilities of SoundCloud and playing around with its APIs. It was then I realised there was so much potential to pull data in from other sources.
“TechJam gave me the chance to share business ideas and to build my confidence to look at new ideas.”
The success of TechJam went on to inspire today’s one_for1 work, in particular our Upload Live digital festivals.
They offered an inclusive space to everyone of all ages to find out more about the possibilities of technology and were very informal, but led by our trainers from Freeformers.
Those attending were encouraged to come with a project in mind to build, and if they didn’t have one, we helped them to begin coding their very first online CV or ‘About Me’ webpage.
TechJam supported our wider vision of ‘filling the digital skills gap in the UK’ and the success of TubeNav proved it could spawn tangible and much-needed digital products or services if like-minded individuals were brought together in the right environment.