Curating creativity: why we invested in BBC Maestro

Have you ever watched in awe at Marco Pierre White’s skills in the kitchen? Been gripped by TV dramas such as Line of Duty and wondered how writer Jed Mercurio plots out each twist and turn? Or even thought about embarking on your own business venture, and wondered how serial entrepreneurs such as Peter Jones do it?  

Downing Ventures portfolio company BBC Maestro has taken online learning to a completely new level. It has curated the top talents in various fields to educate and inspire people to explore their creativity.  

Cultivating creativity 

Covid-19 brought about significant challenges in several sectors, none more so than the arts. Various lockdowns ensured the public had limited opportunities to experience them and even shut some productions down altogether. BBC Maestro acted as a rallying cry for creativity, enabling it to flourish and thrive in the comfort of our own homes.  

The courses offered by BBC Maestro are taught through a series of digital tutorials by an internationally renowned expert in their field. Each course is personally crafted by the “Maestri” as an intimate and informative experience that makes learning accessible for all participants. Their courses are designed to provide practical skills, insight and inspiration.  

The courses are filmed in 4K resolution and broken down into 20 to 40 easily digested lessons accompanied by downloadable course notes filled with hints and tips. The courses can be viewed on most devices with an internet connection and a web browser, such as tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. 

Enriching the minds of students everywhere 

One of the biggest advantages of online learning is convenience. Students can arrange their diaries according to whatever is easiest for them. This presents an invaluable opportunity for professionals who are looking to upskill themselves while managing a regular job. 

It is also much more cost-effective for students. Instead of commuting to the course location on a weekly or monthly basis, students enjoy the luxury of getting the same teaching experience but in the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, some courses require materials such as costly textbooks. With BBC Maestro, all materials are available online at no extra cost.  

The possibilities are limitless 

Digital learning is undoubtedly the future. While the pandemic highlighted the necessity of online learning, it has shown consistent growth for the last decade. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the e-learning market was worth an estimated $250.8 billion. However, the sector is predicted to hit $457.8 billion by 2026. While this statistic incorporates all types of e-learning, BBC Maestro is operating in an important subsector of the ecosystem and will undoubtedly reap the rewards of its plethora of inspirational courses.  

Michael Levine, Managing Director of BBC Maestro said: “BBC Maestro offers the ultimate platform for anyone who has a dream or a passion that they’ve always wanted to work on. Whether you want to write a best-selling book or TV series, become a songwriter, learn to act, cook like a Michelin-starred chef, or become an entrepreneur, these lessons provide a rare opportunity for novices and experienced amateurs alike to hone their craft and learn from the very best in the world.” 

Richard Lewis, Partner at Downing Ventures said: “BBC Maestro has developed a unique platform that connects people to some of the most extraordinary creative talent out there. We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that BBC Maestro offers consumers and have really enjoyed assisting the team as the platform continues to grow and launch new content over the coming weeks and months.” 

Upcoming courses:  

Mark Ronson – Music production 

Baroness Doreen Lawrence – Finding that inner strength 

Sir Tim Rice – Performing and writing musical theatre 

Helena Bonham Carter – Acting 

Heston Blumenthal – Ingenious cooking at home 


Find out more about the BBC Maestro courses here, and find out more about Downing Ventures here.