Week 1: Scoodle made it to Oxford!

Tim Cook opening the Oxford Foundry

If you’ve watched the TV show ‘Silicon Valley’, you’ll know that startups are full of crazy (and occasionally wonderful) experiences. You never really know where one conversation can take you, even after 5 seasons.

We haven’t quite been around for 5 seasons. It hasn’t even been a year actually. But with a lot of hustle (it’s on our blood), we’re incredibly psyched to be part of a programme like OXFO LEV8. This is the University of Oxford’s first incubator so we knew this was a big deal. I don’t know how they arranged it, but the foundry was launched by Apple CEO, Tim Cook. But hey, it is Oxford 😉.

As a platform that works with students, Scoodle is the first startup in education to join the University of Oxford’s incubator. We couldn’t be happier. Because we’re at the heart of shaping things for students in the future 😃.

Our journey so far has been incredible. We were just a few university students when we first had the idea for Scoodle, university fees were expensive, so we used tutoring as a way to pay our tuition fees. We had to, since we didn’t take student loans. We had two choices:

  • Drop out of university
  • Find a way to pay for our degress

You know what? This was the greatest feeling ever. For the first time in our lives, we used business to solve real problems. I mean, they were problems that we faced directly. But hey, that’s how the good stuff always starts 😎.

We’re still learning, but there’s so much that we can share with others. But here’s the thing, there’s so much more to learn, too. This is why OXFO LEV8 is such a big deal. We get to learn from people that are way ahead of us in the game. They’ve already received backing from the likes of Reid Hoffman & Biz Stone. These are the guys who built Twitter, Medium & Linkedin! It’s crazy to think we will have direct access to some of the greatest minds in the world of tech.

As part of our vision, we want to make Scoodle the go-to place for learning. So, we thought we’d take some of our advice, and make an effort to share what we learn during this programme.

Wait, what is Scoodle?

Scoodle has one core vision.

Everyone has the ability to teach something, and the desire to learn something. Scoodle brings the two together.

Our platform is simple. We help students learn anything. Here’s how it works:

  1. Students ask questions on any subject (academic or otherwise)
  2. We’ll send these questions to really talented tutors
  3. Students can follow up either by browsing other answers or by booking sessions directly with our tutors.

Before joining Oxford, we were able to build an iPhone app, an Android app and this lovely website. And now, we’re taking over the woooooorld 🌎. Actually, we’re building an amazing platform that students use everyday, but the world is our next target 👀.

Scoodle in the app store

New friends

We arrived in Oxford around lunch time, where we had the chance to meet some of the other amazing startups. The biggest value of an incubator is the people. Startups can be lonely. It always helps to have a network of like-minded people that you can share ideas with. Have a look and check them out for yourself!

The first LEV8 batch at the Oxford Foundry

Veratrak - www.veratrak.com

Veratrak is a blockchain-based enterprise software, purpose-built to drive efficiencies in the pharmaceuticals supply chain.

Util - www.util.co

Util provides responsible asset managers with data and metrics to make more sustainable investment decisions.

Pod health

Pod Health provides patients with convenient access to quality, technology-driven healthcare, focusing on diagnostics.

Metronome - www.metronome.energy

An energy technology company, essential to eliminating any need for future fossil fuel capacity.

Ecosync - www.ecosync.energy

EcoSync optimises the performance of buildings and reduces their energy consumption by software-hardware integration.

Breath0x

BreatheOx is developing a home monitoring system to predict and prevent asthma attacks.

Boresha - www.boresha.tech

Boresha Technologies manages working capital loans for informal supply chains in emerging markets, using proprietary digital ledger technology.

enRecover - www.enrecover.co.uk

enRecover Healthcare makes the surgical journey for patients easier.

Propmatch - www.propmatch.co.uk

Propmatch enables buyers and sellers to make smarter decisions in data-driven real estate transactions by using location intelligence.

Fancy dinners

With about 12 hours notice, we were invited to a formal dinner. For those who have never been to one of those, it takes place in a 500-year-old university building and everybody has five different types of forks.

Unfortunately, we didn’t quite pack our ‘formal attire’. In our defence, the last thing we expected was to wear suits on day one. In true startup fashion, we rushed off to buy blazers that we would probably never wear again. But in true startup hussle, we returned them the very next day.

The greatest thing about the dinners, though, is the calibre of people. I mean, it’s not every day that your first conversation is with someone who has sold their company for many, many millions, and your second is with the dean of the business school, Peter Tufano.

The amount of knowledge and expertise is insane. And we know that every successful company needs a support network. That’s why we’re making an effort to share what we learn over the next 6 months, in the hope that this becomes a great resource for many founders to come.

Our expectations

We want to build something that students really, really love. Every conversation we have will help make that possible. It’s that simple!

Next week we’ll talk about a session with the former CEO of Best Buy Asia, a bunch of C-suite guys from Ernst Young and Unilever, and how we used this to draw up a plan for our next 6 months.

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Until next time!