27. Luke Cato, CEO at Real Direction

Name: Luke Cato

Company: Real Direction

Website: https://www.inforeal.co.uk/




About Luke Cato and Real Direction


Real Direction is a world first pioneering force in immersive education, crafting high quality interactive short films, tools and games that engage and educate young minds about society’s problems including violent crime, gang culture and county lines. Fuelled by a passion for positive change, we leverage cutting-edge technology to create a transformative space for young people, empowering them to make informed decisions and navigate away from dangerous and life changing situations. What drives us is the relentless pursuit of pushing the boundaries of technology for positive societal impact, breaking cycles of crime, and creating safer communities.


Real Direction is unveiling a new digital platform that will redefine the educational landscape. Our approach to collaboration with our frontline customers has propelled our technology forward to align precisely with their needs, amplifying the impact we can deliver. Our cutting-edge digital platform is designed to elevate the capabilities of our frontline customers, empowering them with engaging content to navigate even the most challenging topics and offering unprecedented context and data insights for recommendations and intervention.


Our commitment to revolutionising the approach to youth safety has already been recognised by frontline services. In the last 12 months, over 4,000 young people in the West Midlands have experienced Real Direction’s interactive resources and, most importantly, our approach has led to safeguarding disclosures from young people, creating demonstratable evidence of our approach. Real Direction engages our most at-risk young people, creating a safe space for them to open up about their challenges and seek the support they need.


Our success stories are backed by testimonials. Nikki Penniston, Head of Delivery at the West Midlands (Police) Violence Reduction Partnership attests to the tangible impact of our resources: “WM VRP has been using the resources provided by Real Direction within schools across the region since late 2022. The resources receive consistently excellent feedback from teachers and young people. There is a demonstrable impact during the workshops where the films are being used, both in terms of raising their awareness of the risks associated with county lines and violence, and how they can gain support when they are at risk. Some young people are seeking support during/after the workshop because it provides a valuable opportunity to open up discussion for them.”


Our visionary founder Luke Cato draws from personal lived experiences of overcoming adversity, having been permanently excluded from school and arrested multiple times as a teenager in Handsworth, Birmingham. This personal connection allows us to empathise with those struggling in the grip of gang culture and to empower them through our interactive urban films and workshops, seamlessly blending with the digital world familiar to today’s youth. Luke is a beacon of positive change. As a black tech founder, he has defied stereotypes, gaining recognition from major media outlets such as ITV, BBC Radio 1Xtra, and regional media. Real Direction has not only captured attention but has secured significant investment to fulfil our vision of becoming the go-to platform for the most downloaded urban content in the UK.