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The Wrap: Jeff Coghlan, Founder of Matmi

Each Friday in The Wrap, one of the North’s leading media and creative figures will be giving us their take on the news covered by Prolific North over the last seven days.

This week it’s the turn of Jeff Coghlan, the founder of Matmi.

For those who are old enough, seeing that Factory has bought the rights to Mr Benn will have raised a few smiles with a dose of pleasant nostalgia. I loved how he escaped into a virtual world by simply going into the costume shop, trying on a mystery outfit and entering the world as his newly discovered avatar – what magical adventures he had. Now we can do the same with VR. This gives me an idea; what abut Mr Benn in VR? I am really looking forward to seeing some new episodes and I’m sure that Factory will make the animation much better this time around (which shouldn’t be too hard).


Something right up my street (as a gamification specialist and a bit of an animal!), is the Knowsley Safari app from Intelligent Mobile, which follows the growing trend for location based digital engagement that enhances the physical world. I agree with Rachel Scott  that the “enhance not distract’ strategy is the way to go. The app looks pretty good, uses audio to guide you through the park and has a deeper level of engagement with the added bonus of a quiz.

Also this week, news that Morrisons are planning to ban ‘fake farm’ brands from their shelves is a welcome move and their support for UK agriculture in the #farm24 social campaign helps build trust between their suppliers and their consumers. In the days of social transparency and with millennials seeking more responsible and sustainable brands, more businesses will need to wake up to the fact that they need to be open and honest with their customers. Matmi also see this a top priority for the future and though our work with the ICAEW and the UN Global Goals, we’re aiming to create opportunities to make companies more culturally relevant by putting people and the planet at the forefront of business, leading to increased profits and a happier world.

Contrary to popular belief, us Brits including myself, love the idea of not having to queue, a new app called Viper from three Mancunian entrepreneurs allows people to jump the queues at their favourite bars. The app has extra functionality to enable you to book your favourite booth / VIP area and pre order drinks so they’ll be ready when you arrive.  They should extend the functionality allowing users to order from their table, pay for drinks and split the bill. Saying that, I can’t imagine I would use it as most of these fancy bars probably wouldn’t let the likes of me in anyway (with my scruffy trainers and wild hair)!

Another one of my passions is the world of IoT (Internet of Things), I really like the idea of the IoT enabled Asthma inhaler from Aerobit, who have just won another round of investment via the Future of Health accelerator at MediaCity. IoT promises to revolutionise healthcare and it’s fantastic to see these great initiatives coming from our friends at the Landing, keeping Manchester at the forefront of healthcare innovation.

I’m also really excited to see that Back in Time is getting a new series on BBC 2. Although the TV is now my 2nd screen, the last series had me absolutely hooked. It’s amazing to see how simple innovations can completely transform our world. In the next few years, it will be completely revolutionised again and we will look back again and laugh at how primitive we once were, maybe via a brain implant and not the TV?

And finally, going back in time, I’m pleased to see that Tony Warren’s life and career will be celebrated in Salford with a new exhibition at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Let’s hope the exhibition is as innovative as Coronation Street (back in the day) was for its time.

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