What is Maker Boot Camp?

Maker Boot Camp is a two-week project for creative young people aged 16-30 to give them inspiration and practical support in developing their own creative business ideas.

It will be held at the Wavemaker maker-space, Mitchell Arts Centre, 40 Broad St, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4HG, from Monday 14th to Friday 25th May.

You can register to take part in the whole project, or drop-in on sessions one day at a time if you prefer.

It’s free of charge, and lunch is provided. For those who register for the whole project, we will also pay travel expenses.

Maker Bootcamp is delivered by Wavemaker and Advantage Creative, with thanks to the Nat West Skills & Opportunities Fund, who have funded this project.

What will it be like?

Each day runs from 10am to 4pm and includes:

  • Inspiring talks from creative mentors about how they built their own creative business, and the important lessons they learned along the way. There will also be workshops with business coaches on areas such as building creative portfolios and digital tattoos!
  • One-to-one support and advice from our team of mentors and coaches to help steer participants on their career path or shape their business idea, as we move into week two of the project.
  • Flexible ICT training sessions to help you get to grips with software and platforms that are most useful to you and your creative practice.
  • Make, Play, Learn and Grow sessions in the Wavemaker maker-space, with expert help from our maker team on our creative ICT software packages and maker equipment.

Meet the Mentors



Darren Teale is the founder of Emmy Award winning international film production company Junction 15.


Darren will talk about his initial inspiration and how he first started out as a filmmaker and will share some of the things he has learned through building his own creative company.



Denise O’Sullivan is a British designer based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. She is MD of Denise O’Sullivan Ceramics and Design Ltd which designs and makes British ceramics.


Denise will talk about how she built her own ceramics design company, and the brand values that underpin this and share some of the insights she has gained from building her own creative enterprise.



Ben McManus is the creative talent driving the development of Wavemaker, the leading digital inclusion and skills hub for hard to reach young people and makers in North Staffordshire. They will be talking about ‘digital tattoos’ and how you are perceived online, and this could affect you in the future.



Cath Ralph, formerly Chief Executive of Burslem School of Art, is now Executive Director at international outdoor arts organisation Walk the Plank.


Cath will provide insights into some of the key learning points for start-up creative businesses that she has gained through her own experience as a creative industries professional, and her experience of supporting creative start-ups at Burslem School of Art.

How to apply

Maker Boot Camp will be held at Wavemaker, Mitchell Arts Centre, 40 Broad St, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4HG, from Monday 14th to Friday 25th May.

There are two ways of taking part:

To sign up for the whole two-week Maker Bootcamp experience, register here


Or if you can’t commit to the full two weeks, you can join us for a day at a time. Come to the Mitchell Arts Centre for 10:00am and you can register on the day.

If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact us on makerbootcamp@wavemaker.org.uk.