TeachKloud is a Cork-based cloud edtech management platform that allows preschool managers to work smart and cut time spent on administration to improve the quality of teaching delivered by all staff.

Founded by Dr Wendy Oke, TeachKloud recently announced a €750,000 investment that will enable it to address a market estimated to be worth €215bn by 2025.

Identified as a High Potential Start-up by Enterprise Ireland, TeachKloud’s Early Years Management System is a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. Accessible via web browsers it enables educators to streamline all aspects related to managing their business, comply with regulations and communicate with parents.

“In Cork, we’re super lucky because we have a tight-knit and well-informed ecosystem”

“Operating and teaching in a childcare service involves extensive manual work in terms of managing child enrolments, fees, records about children and parents, communicating the overall progress of children and documentation for compliance with regulations,” Dr Oke explained. “In addition, tracking attendance, safety audits and staff management are tedious and time consuming but mandated by regulations.”

The digital future of education

screenshot of TeachKloud service.

TeachKloud is an intelligent and customisable management application for childcare services. It helps childcare services in transforming manual and compliance procedures like risk assessments, covid-19 return to work forms, enrolment, child fees, parent communication, tracking of attendance and staff records into a simple digital process.

Dr Oke explained: “The power of a quality early education took my grandfather from a makeshift hut to a supreme court judge. His mother always prioritised education and would often go hungry so that he could attend school. As a direct result, the value and power of education has been ingrained in our family’s history and directly inspired me to obtain a degree, masters and PhD in early years education.

“It was during my studies and while working in early childhood services that I discovered that despite the dedication and quality of teachers, they were spending more time on paperwork and less time focused on child development. I started TeachKloud to support teachers in complying with regulations, documenting quality practice and to improve parent communication. I saw a big problem and wanted to solve it.”

Screenshot of TeachKloud in action.

Cork is a start-up powerhouse

When it comes to entrepreneurship in Ireland, Cork often takes centre stage often because of the global vision and ambition of founders from the city and region.

“In Cork, we’re super lucky because we have a tight-knit and well-informed ecosystem with support from incubators like the Rubicon and an institute focused on entrepreneurial actives like Cork IT, in addition to student-focused incubators for leaders of the future, like Student Inc,” Dr Oke said.

“Generally, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices are proactive in giving advice, mentoring supports and grants. I’d love to see more investments from Irish investors into Irish companies, so that Irish start-ups can continue to compete internationally.

“We closed a €750K round in January. I am always looking to build relationships with investors and like-minded people. We hope to raise again in 2021 to continue driving scale.”

The biggest lesson that Dr Oke has learned so far is to value teamwork. “Having the right people around you is integral to success. As a sole founder, I thought I could do it all by myself and was slow to delegate. However, when you have passionate and hard-working individuals around you, it makes the journey much sweeter and your customer offering much more compelling.”

Her advice to fellow founders is to “be your greatest sceptic.”

She explained: “You’ve founded a company and so, believe that it will sell and that your product or service is needed. However, before you throw everything at it, gather data. Decide if this data supports or discounts your theories and be honest in your interpretation. Customers and potential customers are your greatest resource. Be your customers best friend, iterate and improve constantly.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 3 July, 2020

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