7-18 August



Young People

20, aged 12-18


updating shortly...

ABOUT #AcornAccelerator2017

Acorn Aspirations is running a 2-week accelerator where young people aged 12-18 will collaborate with mentors from London’s TechCity community to develop tech start-ups that tackle social problems in their local communities and worldwide.

#AcornAccelerator2017 will bring together teens in technology for a 2-week extravaganza of problem-solving and inspiration. We consider ourselves an “un-school” because we encourage students to operate in a way that, in most educational institutions, would be branded “cheating”: a combination of collaboration and independent learning. Teens leave with an angle of compassion that means they won’t just code for the sake of code; they will focus their passion to more useful ends. They will have gained skills in communication, delegation, pitching, adaptability and human-focused design – skills valued in any industry.


The skills gap is costing the economy around £63bn a year in lost income.’

– Digital Skills Report, 2016

‘Almost 50% of employers have a digital skills gap, which includes specialist technical roles.’ Digital Skills Report, 2016‘The benefits [of greater digital skills and inclusion] are huge. In this new report, in terms of productivity, there is a benefit of £358 million for individuals, and £243 million for government in additional revenue.’ – The Economic Impact of Basic Digital Skills and Inclusion in the UK , 2016

It is believed that young people lack soft skills:

‘Nine in ten employers believe job-seekers should focus on soft skills just as much as their grades… Yet 60 per cent of young people think businesses only care about academic grades’ – Duke of Edinburgh, 2017

‘60% of managers claim the new graduates do not have the critical thinking and problem solving skills’ – Forbes, 2016


At At Acorn Aspirations we believe teenagers should be part of this technological transformation and have an opportunity to create technology alongside the most innovative minds and tech creators. We know that young people learn best when they are equipped with the right tools and environment that nurture their creativity.

We design learning experiences that nurture entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity in young people. We develop future leaders – leaders that will be making tomorrow’s world a better place. We prepare young people for the jobs that do not yet exist. Young people that learn through our programmes WILL BE the ones to create those jobs.

Join us. Learn with us. Reinvent education with us!

Hackathon Keynotes & Judges

Gary Stewart

Director, Wayra

Gary Stewart is the Director of Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future_ (UK). He is also an associate professor and the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at IE Business School, Madrid. Gary co-founded, a Barcelona start-up that raised over €4M in funding before being sold to an Australian competitor.

Elodie Draperi

Co-founder, GiveVision

Elodie is co-founder of GiveVision, which is on a mission to give greater mobility and independence through technology to people suffering from sight loss.

Pete Trainor


Pete Trainor is a digital designer, bestselling author, accidental polymath, mental health campaigner and founder of Nexus CX in London. He talks all over the world on data driven technologies and the effects on their audiences.

Rod Banner

Agent of Change

Rod founded technology marketing group Banner Corporation and built the team that grew it into the largest Business to Business agency in Europe. Having attracted most of the world's top tech companies as clients, the company was bought by WPP and Rod left in 2009.


Speakers & Workshops

Sponsors & Supporters

Become a sponsor


We do not provide laptops, so please bring your own.
YES! We will provide lunch 🙂
Acorn Aspirations is a social impact company, which aims to inspire young people aged 11-19 into the world of technology and entrepreneurship. We are on a mission to bridge the digital skills gap and nurture the next generation of digital talent to fill the jobs required by the tech industry.  
GSMA, The Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AF
You will learn how to turn your ideas into a basic working version. Things you'll learn:
  • How to decide which of your ideas are worth working on
  • How to decide what features the user needs to get them from A to B
  • How to sketch your ideas
  • How to build your idea using rapid prototyping tools
  • How to pitch your idea
  • Basic coding skills & UX - HTML, CSS and Android studio
Awesome! Send us an email to 🙂

Podcast: Emily Atkinson, Director of Girls In Tech; Cathy White, Director of GeekGirls Meetup; Elena Sinel, CEO of Acorn Aspirations, Mike Butcher, Editor-at-Large of TechCrunch