Our story

BETT 2017

Our review and reflections of BETT 2017!



Our time within the mighty Excel centre at this year’s BETT Show seems like yesterday. It wasn’t, but we’ve only just come down from the high that was a great four days at the world’s leading education technology show.
Here we are, we look impressive, right? Our stand showcased the possibilities of pi-top, including interactive exhibits, such as Sense-Hats, a self-built heart rate monitor and plenty of pi-top laptops and pi-topCEEDs for visitors to try out and play with.


One great thing we enjoy every year at BETT is having the opportunity to meet such a diverse range of new people, and this year was no different. From teachers and students to education and technology media, it’s great to introduce pi-top and our movement to the education space. We even had royalty approach us – Prince Andrew, the Duke of York swung by our stand too! Our co-founder Jesse also caught up with the BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones to talk about pi-top. Here’s a tweet he posted of Jesse afterwards:



Winning pi-tops

We also ran a competition on our stand which gave visitors an opportunity to win their own pi-top prize packages, including pi-topCEEDs, speakers, laptops and more. Entrants had to simply take a photo of themselves within the big pi-topCEED frame, and tweet it. Here’s a selection of tweets from the event:

@GetPiTop thanks for taking me through the kit #pitopforSTEM fingers crossed for the win!

Twas great sampling the pitop: it may just be the game-changer we’ve been waiting for @Getpitop #pitopforstem

@GetPiTop with #pitopforstem fun and games at#Bett2017

Went to @GetPiTop and all I got was this awful picture taken!! #pitopforSTEM



pi-top winning!

We were all so delighted when pi-top was named ‘EdTech Startup Company Of The Year’ at the BETT Awards 2017. It was a great way to end the first day of the show, and after all the hard work our team has put in the run-up to the event, and the rest of the year!


Jesse’s speech


The penultimate morning of the show saw our co-founder & CEO Jesse take to the stage for his speech on “Making STEAM a reality for the classroom” in the main BETT Arena. The interactive speech tested the audience’s attention span by encouraging them to track specific pi-top images with a specially designed pi-topPROTO board.


On the same day, we also had Cyber Ready Girls with Baker McKenzie join our stand. The four young girls were playing on CEEDuniverse and were accompanied by our friends  Dyann Heward-Mills from Baker Mckenzie, Robert Dowell from the National Museum of Computing and Pat Ryan, the founder of Cyber Ready Girls. It was a great pleasure to have that inspiring troupe on the stand.

BETT Show seems to get bigger and bigger each year and attracts a range of influencers from the industry. This year, in particular, we saw an increase in international attendees, which is great. For us, it’s the best place to see how education is evolving. BETT is really exciting to be at and it enabled us to see just how far we’ve come since the last show, both as a company, and the range of new products and improved pi-topOS.
Thanks again to everyone who supported us the event, and everyone we met a spoke to over the four days. Another great BETT Show, we’ll see you next year!



pi-top BETT 2017 competition

BETT 2017 is around the corner and as previously mentioned we have some fun activities planned, including our pi-top BETT 2017 Photo Competition. Join us at our stand and take a fun photo with our huge CEED cut-out frame. Then upload it to your Twitter including pi-top’s handle @GetPiTop with the hashtag #pitopforSTEM. It’s simple! You’ll be in for the chance to win one of 19 amazing prizes. (Terms and Conditions apply)

This competition raffle is only open during the BETT Show times between 25th-28th January 2017. The competition is open to BETT 2017 visitors aged 18+.

Come find us at F460 to enter the prize raffle – good luck!

How to participate

  1. Come to stand F460 (near STEAM village)
  2. Get your badge scanned by a team member
  3. Take a fun photo with the huge CEED Frame
  4. Upload to Twitter tag @GetPiTop using #pitopforSTEM
  5. We’ll be in touch with the winners! (See below for more details)

For the chance to win one (1) of 19 prizes:

  • 1 x  Mystery Box (High Value)
    • Winner raffled out after the show. The mystery box prize will be revealed at the show. It will be raffled out at the end of the show* from all scanned badges who also tweeted us with the hashtag! We’ll be in touch the following week and it will be shipped to your preferred address directly.
  • 10 x 30min twilight sessions (webinar CPD) (Value £50)
    • Raffeld out after the show. Date and times arranged the week post-show*- we’ll be in touch with winners and announce them after the show.
  • 8 x pi-topCEEDs with Pi and Proto (Value £130)
    • Winner’s raffled out during the show. Raffling out one (1) unit twice a day at BETT 2017. Winner’s will be re-tweeted (RT’d) at 11:30am and 3pm each day. Make sure you stick around! Pick up your prize from our stand F460 shortly after with your tweet as prove or we’ll be in touch. Entries can roll over from previous day.

*Show duration: 25th – 28th January. Winners that are announced post-show will be contacted around the 31st January 2017.

Competition Rules Overview 

  1. This competition raffle is only open during the BETT Show times 25th-28th January 2017.
    1. Closing date is the 28th January 2017 at 5pm
  2. The prize draw/competition is open only to BETT 2017 attendees and participants aged 18+.
  3. Multiple entries by the same person will not be accepted.
  4. Valid entries must have complied with all the entry requirements steps.
    1. Get badge scanned by pi-topTEAM
    2. Upload a picture with CEED frame to Twitter
    3. Tag @GetPiTop
    4. Use #pitopforSTEM
  5. The prize is non-transferable
  6. The winners are selected at random by raffling
    1. Post-Show: 10 x 30min twilight session webinar and Mystery Gadget Box winner’s will be contacted post-show to arrange online webinar sessions
    2. One (of the total eight) pi-topCEED(s) will be raffled twice a day during the BETT show 2017. Winner’s will be re-tweeted at 11:30am and 3pm each day and will be able to collect their prize shortly after. Entries can roll over from previous day.
  7. Any personal data submitted with consent will be kept confidentially by pi-top for marketing purposes and will not be shared with any other third party.


Read the full Terms & Conditions

See you there!


pi-top Holiday Competition: Santa’s Little Helper Functions Game

Happy Holidays everyone!

pi-top Holiday Competition: Santa’s Little Helper Functions Game
‘Tis the season and we’ve prepared a fun little game for you. Santa’s workshop is a mess! Program the RoboElf to collect all the presents and put them under the Christmas tree while avoiding any obstacles.
Don’t miss your chance to win a free pi-top or pi-topCEED with Raspberry Pi 3 and a combination of add-on boards by playing and entering the raffle!

Competition guidelines

  1. Login to the Santa’s Little Helper functions mini-game via the website

  2. Start playing! You have to complete 5 or more level’s to be entered into the raffle.*

    Competition deadline: on Monday 12th December 2016 at 12pm GMT. 

    *Participants who have completed 5 or more levels will be entered into a raffle and winners will be announced & contacted the following week after the competition ends. Terms and conditions apply.


It’s been a busy & exciting year here at pi-top. We started shipping pi- topCEEDs worldwide, created more add-on boards, improved pi-topOS and much more. So now, we want to thank our amazing community for all of your support this year! Finally, don’t forget to order your pi-top product or find us at one of our authorised resellers to get your pi-top in time for holidays!


Much love,


Community: Here come the champions!

Community. It’s fair to say that it’s thanks to the amazing community of volunteers and evangelists that Raspberry Pi has been such a huge success with over ten million Pis sold around the world. Teachers, technicians, hobbyists and even children have embraced this little computer to make it a huge success.

Here at pi-top, we love to celebrate community and I feel so lucky that my first official task for the company was to identify 14 UK and European community members who deserve a little bit of recognition for all of their hard work and support getting people interested in Raspberry Pi and supporting the teaching of computer science.

So, without further ado, we’d like to invite you to meet our new pi-top champions; individuals or groups who we think deserve some thanks for all their effort and hard work. We’re in the process of sending them ten pi-topCEEDs each in the hope that they will be able to use them at their events to help spread their love of computer science. Champions will also be able to loan their kit out to deserving local community groups so find out who your local one is and get in touch to see if they can help you with your event too!

We think these guys are a fantastic representation of what the Raspberry Pi Community is all about and I hope you join with us in offering them a big thank you for everything they do!

Thanks for reading,


Featured banner image credit to Andrew’s Blog (Photo taken at Mozfest 2016)


Spencer Organ


Chemistry and physics teacher, Raspberry Pi enthusiast and Certified RPi Educator from the West Midlands with a passion for running workshops and building fun, educational, and practical things with the Pi!


Nic Hughes

nicNic is a self confessed IT geek. He is a class teacher, Head of Computing at his school, Primary CAS Master Teacher, CAS Hub leader, a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator and works as an educational consultant for 3BM. He loves to explore different ways to teach programming and is a massive fan of physical computing and robotics. In the past he worked alongside the education team in Redbridge as a AST for ICT, running training, supporting schools and writing curriculum. He has been lucky enough to speak at a number of conferences over the years about his work with robots, physical computing and the application of Games Based Learning in the classroom. He is eager for more teachers to learn about Computing and how to teach it effectively in their lessons. Follow him @duck_star on twitter and he has a blog at nicholashughes.blogspot.com.

Claire Garside



Claire is an educator working with teachers, schools and communities in the North. In Hull she’s also involved with the #ConnectedHull project and at Leeds University has been part of the research team looking at the impact of Maker Ed in schools. You’ll also see her at the Raspberry Jam events in both cities.


Claire Dodd

claire-dClaire is a Girl Geek, originally from West Yorkshire but now residing in Salford. She is the Training Manager of MadLab (a grassroots, digital, innovation organisation), organiser of BarCamp Manchester (a 2-day, free to attend, annual geek unconference) & Founder of CodeUp (free & friendly adult coding tuition). Claire is also a blogger, geek, not a werewolf, volunteer zombie, and three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

As a qualified trainer and Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, Claire often delivers digital skills workshops to both children and adults through her work. Whilst delivering her Raspberry Pi workshops, Claire has often found that finding venues with monitors compatible with the Pi is a huge barrier, and means that she has been unable to deliver as many workshops as she would have liked.

As a PiTop Champion, Claire now plans to use the Pi CEEDs to take her Raspberry Pi workshops out and about across Greater Manchester without having to worry about venues having compatible monitors!

Les Pounder

450px-les2Les is an author and maker working with many different single board computers and micro controller, but Les specialises in the Raspberry Pi and its use in education. He writes for magazines such as The MagPi, Linux Format and Linux Voice as well as blogs for Element 14 and tech radar . He enjoys tinkering, hacking and learning new skills which he shares with children and adults via the many events that he organises and attends as a STEM ambassador.  Les has worked for clients such as BBC, Raspberry Pi Foundation, University of Salford and The University of Manchester.

Les writes up his ace adventures on his blog http://bigl.es

Andrew Mullholland527px-Andrew.jpg

Andrew Mulholland is one of our younger champions ;). He’s a 20 year old, 3rd year Computer Science student currently studying at Queens University, Belfast. In his free time outside of university, he leads the monthly Northern Ireland Raspberry Jam. On top of this, he is also lead developer of PiNet, a free and open source system for managing Raspberry Pis in schools, used right across the world.

Alan O’Donohoe


Alan O’Donohoe has more than 20 years experience teaching and leading Technology & ICT in schools in Northern England. He converted to Teach Computing in 2010, starting from zero (with no qualifications in Computer Science), he first introduced Computing into his school in Preston, then supported many others to do the same.

In September 2015, Alan joined Exa Education, Bradford based multi-award winning supplier of broadband to schools to enable him to continue to support education, technology & Computing through advice, training and events. He is currently building Exa Foundation to inspire and engage digital makers, support the teaching of Computing and promote safe, secure and appropriate use of technology. http://exa.foundation

Craig Steele

Craig.jpgCraig is digital learning specialist and leads the CoderDojo Scotland network, having set up the first Dojo in Scotland at Glasgow Science Centre in 2012. His previous experience includes creating an interactive coding experience at CBBC Live, working on the development of BBC Make It Digital’s micro:bit and Hackstage Pass game, and co-writing a book introducing children to programming. He has a BSc in Computing Science from Glasgow University and has previously worked for Decoded, within the STEM Qualifications team at SQA, and at Hewlett Packard. Craig was nominated as one of the “BBC Make it Digital Ones to Watch 2016”.


Laura Sach

450px-Laura.JPGLaura loves Computer Science. As a teacher she worked with students of all ages from Nursery to Year 13, enthusing them with her passion for all things digital. She has provided support and training for teachers from across the country and co-founded CAS #include to provide opportunities for students from a diverse range of backgrounds to experience digital making. After becoming a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator in 2013 she has become a huge fan of the Pi, and hopes that Pi-top will help her bring more exciting opportunities to children in the South West.

Mike Trebilcock

600px-MikeT.jpgMike is Head Geek at I am Digital, an exciting new Digital Academy being created with Cornwall College and local industry.  Mike is also Business Systems Project Lead for The Cornwall College Group, one of the largest further education colleges in the UK. Mike spends most of his spare time, when not running, on educational engagement and outreach for Software Cornwall – a network of tech companies in Cornwall. He works with primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities as a CAS Barefoot volunteer and STEM ambassador to help setup code clubs, create work experience opportunities and helps organise monthly tech jams, giving young people the chance to explore and learn tech.

Joe Moretti

Joe1.jpegJoe is an Apple Distinguished Educator with over 30 years’ teaching experience directly in the classroom. He has taught in primary, middle, secondary, further education and higher education institutions. Originally a music specialist his role developed during his teaching career to curriculum innovator, IT pedagogist and all round guru of innovative technologies.

Although he has a reputation for innovation this is not at the expense of the most important aspect of IT in education: delivering a motivating and engaging learning experience. All of the innovation, all of the ‘wow’ and impact of new technologies counts for very little if we are not able to identify how we are improving the learning of our students.

Over the past ten years Joe has embraced developments in various mobile technologies; iPad, Raspberry Pi, Augmented Reality, iBeacons, the new coding curriculum and, of course, music. Along the way he has delivered successful workshops in all Apple’s education technologies. He is able to draw on this extensive experience to help schools identify which technologies and innovations fit best in their developing IT strategy and assist in their implementation.

Michael Horne/Tim Richardson

800px-MikeTim.jpgMichael Horne and Tim Richardson co-run Cambridge Raspberry Jam, which also includes Pi Wars and Potton Pi and Pints. They have a passion for getting kids involved in coding which is why CamJam holds workshops at every event and they are looking at ways they can use both CamJam kit and pi-top equipment together to increase their educational work. They received their first Raspberry Pis in mid-2012 and have since learned electronics, soldering and Python programming. Mike is a web developer by trade and Tim is a performance architect. They live in Potton, Bedfordshire with their respective long-suffering wives and kids.

Makerfaire Berlin, Raspberry Pi Jam and Mozfest: a snapshot of what we’ve been up to this month

It’s been a busy month for us here at pi-top, we’ve attended several events and met a great range of inspiring people. This month saw the pi-top team heading to Germany for a second time this year, this time attending another Makerfaire in the bustling city of Berlin as Gold Sponsors.  

The event highlights the innovations and creative projects from the maker community, and this month’s event in Berlin was no different, with a colourful mixture of amazing projects, talented makers and inspiring inventions – from robots breathing fire, to a full size R2D2!

Whilst we were rarely able to leave our booth as we were often busy talking to attendees that stopped to meet us, or companion companies who were also exhibiting at the event – it was great to see familiar faces again after the previous Makerfaire in Hannover earlier this year. When we did get a chance to take a look around other booths at the event, we checked out Pimoroni, our fellow maker and educator friends from the UK, who had a real treasure trove of fun goodies at their booth, making it into a ‘candy store’ for makers, which we thought was pretty cool. One highlight of the event was being awarded the ‘Maker of Merit’ ribbon! Which praises creativity, ingenuity and innovation for our Makerfaire project.

We also caught up with James Mitchell, the organiser of the Raspberry Jam Berlin, who was also at the faire – this time with a spinning tardis and Twitter photobooth. Earlier this month, one of our friends, Nic Hughes held the very first Raspberry Jam meetup in East London, which is for fellow Raspberry Pi enthusiasts to come along and talk with other like minded hobbyists and developers. We enjoyed attending the event and ran a CEEDuniverse workshop in Digilab’s big workshop room.

To close this month, we’ll be heading to Mozfest in London on October 28th-30th, where we’ll be holding a range of workshops for the attendees. You can keep up to date with all of our news and events our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Here’s a few photos of the team from the Makerfaire in Berlin:


New pi-topOS update October 2016!

Firstly, we want to say a huge thank you for all of the great feedback from our community that we’ve been receiving. It is with their help that we were able to make this update possible.  Our software team have been busy making some brilliant improvements to our operating system (OS) pi-topOS!

What has changed? 

There are a large number of new features and improvements to the new pi-topOS. Some of the key features are as follows:

  • Includes all of the benefits of the brand new Raspbian release (2016-09-23) (Raspberry Pi Foundation blog post here)
  • Smoother transitions between dashboard and desktop modes
  • Improved configuration wizard and dashboard tour
  • pi-topCODER now fetches online worksheets (which will be updated and expanded) – these can be stored locally, so you can access them anywhere!
  • Updated pi-top hardware interaction
  • OS stability and usability improvements
  • CEEDUniverse has lots of new features – the whole world and menus have been redesigned and there are several new mini-games to check out!

Overall, you should feel it running more smoothly.

We have done our best to ensure that updating your current SD card is as smooth as possible; however, due to the large number of updates (particularly those coming from the latest Raspbian release), we highlyrecommend downloading the image from our website (as described below).

How do I update? 

You can download the latest pi-top SD card image from the link below:

To install the OS, we recommend Etcher by Resin.io. It is the easiest and safest way we’ve found to install any operating system to your (micro)SD card! Plus, you can install directly from a zip file.

Once you’ve flashed your microSD card with pi-topOS, you can simply plug it back into your Raspberry Pi and go!

What happens after you download it?

You will be taken to the Welcome screen, where it will take you through the setup, show you around the dashboard, and that’s it – you’re ready to go.
Need some help? 

If you are having troubles downloading or the new pi-topOS please don’t hesitate to email us via support@pi-top.com – thanks! 🙂

Hi All,

As mentioned in our latest Indiegogo update: we have a software update for you all!

In the pi-topCEED video you likely noticed our learning game CEEDUniverse and we hope you are excited about the concept of an engaging game that intertwines real learning in a fun adventure. We are now ready to give you a sneak peak of how far CEEDUniverse has come since we launched the campaign 🙂 We have also integrated sound into the game! Look out next week for our video update on the pi-topSPEAKER!


Apologies for the delay in shipping emails we will be sending them out today and we have made our big website update where amongst other things you will have a login portal where you can update and finalise your shipping as a pi-topCEED Indiegogo backer. The email you receive will have instructions on how to go through the process.

Our next updates will focus on the general pi-topOS improvements and our brand new Raspberry Pi lesson plan integrated code editor. We have kept it slightly under wraps so far but we are very excited to show you this new feature bundled in pi-topOS!

As a side note – we have improved our freight shipping boxes – don’t they look pretty!


Importantly the rigid corner design and honeycomb panels are recyclable and will reduce shipping damage to a minimum 🙂 whilst also reducing the amount of EPE Foam we have to use to protect the devices in transit by 90%. Part of why we design as much as possible that goes into all of pi-top is so we can reflect our company values on our supply chain.

Thanks all and keep an eye on your inbox’s!


pi-top Team

Indiegogo update 9 for pi-topCEED

Hi All!

It has been a busy few weeks here at Pi-Top HQ, and we are excited to share these shots of the pi-topCEED and the new more space efficient pi-topCEED Hub. We have some final tweaks to make to the hinge mechanism and case before we pull the trigger and start CNCing the mould when Ryan goes back to Shenzhen on the 18th. We hope you are excited by the improved design!

All is going smoothly for April delivery and we are really happy about the way this product is going forward.

We have also chosen 5 complimentary Acrylic Slice colours which we will be showing off early next week and soon after we will hold the colour vote for the $130,000 stretch goal!

We will be checking back with you soon!

All the love,

Ryan, Jesse & the pi-topTEAM


The new design provides easy access to the ports on the Raspberry Pi.


You will be able to choose between green and grey closer to the shipping date.


The power button has been integrated into the case.


The case is 30% thinner than our original!


The modular rail is now made of steel! The big change here is that all the addon boards will have small magnets so they are super easy to swap in and swap out. We have tested this extensively and it’s a fantastic way to add whatever functionality you wish to your pi-topCEED.

Unfortunately Indiegogo doesn’t let us put gifs in these updates but you can go here to see our newest addon board (pi-topProto) magnetically connecting to the rail and easily sliding into the modular connector.


The hub size has been reduced by 17mm, which adds plenty of space for any addon boards to go into the rail.

Huge thank you to all our backers 🙂 We are working hard to make pi-topCEED as great as it can be!

Hello world: pi-top starts blogging

Hello world,

Welcome to our new blog. We are pi-top. We want to see a world of makers creating real hardware product. Our aim is to make affordable technology that anyone can use to learn, play and create!

“Ryan and I started all this in my living room in London. We had days when we had to choose between buying more 3D printing filament or buying something other than pasta and tomato sauce to eat (we chose the filament every single time). Now we have a great office in London and a team of twelve people. Without our backers and community, our lives would be so different and much less fulfilling, and for that we are forever grateful.” – Jesse, pi-top CEO

On the 8th of December, 2014, pi-top closed its first Indiegogo campaign with 217% of the initial funding goal. If you haven’t heard, the pi-top is a Raspberry Pi powered DIY laptop. Since the successful campaign, we have improved the design, software and hardware of the pi-top to ship worldwide to 47 countries!



We are very proud of what we’ve achieved with our backers help. From our CTO Ryan Dunwoody’s five month stay in Shenzhen to get pi-top off the production line and into everyone’s homes, to our pride in the improvements we’ve made over the last year. (Image left: Ryan with the first production pi-top in China)



“When people give you their trust to produce something new, you must give everything else up.” – Jesse, pi-top CEO

The rewards are immeasurable – as you can observe via the images (below) sent to us by our backers through our Twitter.

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Now, as we move into our second year, we hope we will be able to continue improving, continue making, and continue bringing pi-top and our newest product, pi-topCEED, to as many people as possible.


(Image: left green pi-top and right grey pi-topCEED)

We will be using this blogs for Our Story – to make updates on our recent progress, some Food for Thought – covering industry topics (STEM, Education, Entrepreneurship, etc.), and Building – where we’ll be writing about some cool projects for pi-top and pi-topCEED. We hope you enjoy!

Upwards and onwards,

Your pi-top Team