Founder: Matthew Leeper
Business Launch: 2021
Education Evolved began with a single goal of making education and educational experiences accessible. We do this through a variety of ways such as offering an inexpensive subscription service with has an ever growing library of research seminars, 360 tours, educational business spotlights, and more, and through lifelong learning courses we open to the public which are taught by academics and experts in the field. We also partner with higher education institutions to make bespoke virtual study abroad programs, and create custom course content. Further, we offer our subscription plan to institutions who are interested in expanding their cocurricular offerings to their students.
Where did the idea come from?
My own experiences with studying abroad, both short term during my undergraduate program and as an international student, inspired me to develop a company which works with academics and higher education institutions to bring these experiences to a wider audience at a reasonable cost to make the experiences more accessible. I also hope to encourage students and lifelong learners to expand their horizons and to travel to Scotland and the rest of the U.K. either as a student or to learn on their own.
What support or advice have you received?
My journey starting this business began with a discussion with friends. However, I quickly realised I needed more expert input and I then turned to Student Enterprise at the University of Glasgow. As a student and then alumni I have been able to access this incredible program which has enabled me to network with other start-ups led by students and alumni from the University of Glasgow. Further, Marion and her team provide me with support and opportunities to secure funding, attend workshops which help me understand how to run my business efficiently and effectively, and even sponsored my visa to stay in the U.K. while I work on getting Education Evolved started.
What is the best and worst thing about running your start-up?
The best thing about being a start-up is the fact you are always learning and responding to new information. The ability to be agile and being capable of releasing new iterations of your service to your current customer needs is both challenging and exciting. The worst part about being a start-up is the roller-coaster of emotions you can go through. Some days you feel on top of the world and some days you have to force yourself to see the silver linings of the storm clouds (problems) that sit on the horizon. However, with enough resilience, the worst aspects can be turned into the best.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Throughout the journey of starting Education Evolved there have been several challenges. The biggest of these challenges has been working to increase brand awareness and creating enough content to begin marketing the service to a wider portion of our target market.
What does success look like for Education Evolved?
For Education Evolved, success means that we are fulfilling our goal of making education and educational experiences accessible to those around the world. Signs of this goal being reached includes people attending our free seminars and interacting with the experts, public engagement on our learning platform between learners and the course leaders, people accessing and using the materials which we make available in our subscription service, and working with institutions to connect the experts, academics and business leaders, and their knowledge from across the U.K. to their students.
What would be your one piece of advice for students?
My one piece of advice for those who are beginning their own stat-up journey is to not be afraid of making mistakes. You can always come back and correct your mistakes, but it is better to make multiple, small iterations of what you offer as you move forward. To your existing customers it shows that you are constantly working to become better, and by creating a better service or product you begin to gain new customers.