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Matthew Cortland: Bringing Magic to Life with Science, Technology, and Design

Matthew Cortland: Bringing Magic to Life with Science, Technology, and Design

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Matthew Cortland, the co-founder and chief executive wizard of The Cauldron Co. Let’s learn what’s happening at The Cauldron Co. and how Matt is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Matt, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through The Cauldron Co.?

Matt: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! At The Cauldron, we strive to make magic real through science, technology, and design, and bring the things from imagination to life. We invent working magic-wand technology that lets our guests become wizards and interact with science-based food, beverage, and retail. We design and operate a chain of interactive restaurants called "The Cauldron" where our guests have fun and feel like kids again.

Spiffy: You know, I might have to join them! What motivates you to do it?

Matt: My mission in life is to make magic and fantasy an everyday part of our world, and most importantly to make magic wands real! As a former high-school reading teacher, I love encouraging an interest in STEAM and learning through hands-on fun with our tech, drinks, and inside of our venues.

Spiffy: What is the impact of this work?

Matt: Our work helps move the needle forward for innovation in magic-wand technology. We use this to inspire adults to reconnect with an aspect of childhood, and, through computer programming via our magic-wand platform, develop learning resources to help adults and teachers encourage hands-on interaction.

Spiffy: Very cool! Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Matt: We just opened our 7th venue (the most powerfully magical number) in Chicago, USA!  This is our largest venue ever, and is located in an iconic bank vault. Alongside that we were just issued our 7th patent for our magic-wand technology.

Spiffy: Magic number 7 all round! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Matt: We want to empower YOU to take our technology and make come to life whatever is in your head. What do YOU want to work with a magic wand? Our most recent invention is "The Wizard Smart Switch," which is a magic-wand-activated smart plug. Plug any electronic item into it, like a reading lamp, a christmas tree, or a radio, and control it with your magic wand!

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Matt—it’s been an honor!

Matthew Cortland is the co-founder of The Cauldron Co., a British entertainment company that brings magic to life with science, technology and design. As a former reading teacher turned technology inventor, his mission is to make fantasy real and make imagination and creativity a part of everyday life. (Nominated by Gaingels. First published on the Ladderworks website on July 28, 2023.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.