The Studio DEN (Digital Entrepreneurship Network) is a programme across Merseyside to help turn young people into creators and not consumers. The objective of the project is to build commercial acumen with and allow young people across the Liverpool City Region to learn how to conceive, design, plan, develop and launch their own digital products.

The Studio DEN was set up to enhance our project-based learning at the studio. The DEN focuses on teaching students product development skills and trying to change their mindset from consumers to creators; from watching Youtube videos, to running their own Youtube channel; from playing games, to making them; and, from reading comics to drawing them.

It focuses on six stages through idea generation, prototyping, project management, development and testing, to launching a product. Each student will get a chance to work in a team; learn invaluable interdependent team working skills, and help to develop their own product. At each stage, the students will receive input from industry leaders through masterclasses, workshops and mentoring, to try and reflect what goes on in the real world. At the end of the year, all projects will be launched at the annual showcase where students present their projects to industry professionals as well as friends and family.

We also run external DEN taster events during the year where external and prospective students get to sample some of the DEN activities and hear from our current students about the work they have been doing. This provides the chance to work with outside people – again, a life skill in the modern outsourcing world, giving external students a glimpse into the world of the studio school.