First up, we hear from Tutora CEO and co-founder, Scott Gladwood.
What’s Tutora’s elevator pitch?
Tutora helps students of every age find the best tutor to help them reach their learning goals. We cover every subject and every level, with over 10,000 tutors across the UK. Whether you’d like to learn in your own home or through our dedicated online classroom, we can help!
How did the company get started?
I was working as a primary school teacher in Sheffield and was often asked by parents to recommend a tutor. I never knew where to look, and ended up taking on students myself.
From there, I was inundated with requests for help, so I spoke to Mark, a long-time friend and technology analyst for an investment firm, who suggested we could create something to solve the problem. That’s how the idea of Tutora was first formed.
What are you looking to get out of Northern Stars?
We’d like to tell everyone – students and tutors – how we can help them! Being recognised as a Northern Star will hopefully shine more light (forgive the pun) on our business, which we hope will help us make contacts who can help to facilitate our further growth.
Of course, it’s also a great opportunity for us to put Sheffield on the map as a great hub of tech startups. With two great universities in the city and a host of fast-growing tech businesses, it’s fantastic to be able to secure more coverage for the city.
What’s your biggest business challenge?
For us, the biggest challenge is always to make sure that we truly understand our users so that we’re always pushing forward to meet their needs.
We do a huge amount of work to interact with learners and teachers so we can completely empathise with their needs. By making that our core philosophy, we believe that it helps us to develop a truly great service.
What was it like to pitch in the Grand Final?
Pitching in front of so many people, especially when there are four judges ready to fire questions at you, is always going to make you feel a little nervous. Mixed in with those nerves, however, is an excitement about having the chance to spread the word about Tutora.
I’ve pitched at quite a few events now, so I’d like to think I’m getting a little better on showing the excitement over the nerves!
Where do you see your company in two years’ time?
It’s hard to imagine where we’ll be in two years’ time, given that we’ve only been going for two years to date! We’re hugely ambitious for the future of the company, both within the UK and internationally.
Ultimately, I’d love to see us providing a platform that can help people in many different countries find the help they need to learn anything. That’s our aim and we’re doing all we can to get there.