WHERE do you go if you want to learn new skills? There’s no shortage of professional training programmes for people who want to turn themselves into a better cook or a cocktail maker.
Blink Collective is offering something a little different. The start-up provides a platform for people with an interest, whether it is sausage making or escapology, and teach others how to do it.
Blink “graduated” from the Ignite100 digital accelerator programme in Newcastle late last year, and has already collected more than 600 listings for courses across the UK. It has offices in Newcastle and London.
While there are some professional experiences on the site, the thinking behind the business is that people with an interest in a certain area will be able to brush up on their teaching skills, meet people and maybe turn their hobby into a money-spinner.
On the other side, people who want to learn a skill can do so in an informal way with personal guidance from an enthusiast.
“The public is waking up to see that learning new skills and trying activities that are a little different to what they are used to is more gratifying and life-enriching than chasing material possessions,” says Blink founder Peter Kindness.
“New experiences and spontaneity are fun, memorable, character building and, above all, good for the soul.”
Experiences include a Northumberland sausage course, an introduction to wilderness cooking and preparation, and a collaborative effort down in Surrey where visitors can learn cooking skills from a top chef and then pick some project management skills from a leading consultant while they’re eating their meal.
What’s more, non-culinary experiences include workshops on photography, football skills and even escapology.
Business development executive Michael Raven said: “The idea is to encourage guests to pick up a new experience and pursue it as a hobby or even become a host themselves down the line.
“A lot of people already have a passion and don’t know how to share it. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert to host. If you’re passionate enough, that will make the course interesting and worthwhile.
“Of course, the dream is to have a second income and do something you’re passionate about. But the idea is centred on the experience economy, where you’re buying things to do rather than just buying things.”
The business is particularly focused on food and drink experiences, but it aims to expand its range.
Users can search an interactive map on the site for the chance to learn near them, or whittle down the list by clicking on categories entitled Make, Learn, See and Do. Blink’s team approves each experience before it is uploaded.
Kindness said: “When people experience new things and learn new skills, they grow as a person. We think Blink can be a great place for people to find and share those experiences; a marketplace with real value.”