Founder: Alasdair Ireland
Business Launch: 2018
Hoolr is a technology company that makes a coach’s life simpler. Individual coaches, coaching companies and enterprises use the company’s software to manage coaching, automate routine tasks and bring data together. Businesses that use Hoolr are able to focus on delivering world-class coaching while the technology handles the rest.
Where did the idea come from?
Personal experience with a problem encouraged Alasdair to launch his start-up. The initial iteration of the business was a marketplace app that allowed university students to buy and sell their secondhand textbooks safely and at the best price. Alasdair believed that if students at the same university could connect to buy and sell entire reading lists at once then the pain of buying new books seperatly each year would be deminished. The business grew into online teaching platform for secondary schools that would connect teachers and pupils securly when a pupil could not get into school. The business then pivoted into the world of coaching.
What support or advice have you received?
Hoolr benefited from advice from the Student Enterprise Services and funding on the Santander Summer Programme. Additionally, Hoolr was involved in the TechStart programme run by the School of Computing Sciences. This programme was led and funded by Mark Logan and involved mentoring opportunities for Hoolr.
What is the best and worst thing about running your start-up?
The best thing about running a start-up is the fast pace. An essential piece of running a start-up is to grow at speed. Constantly searching for new ways to innovate, grow the product and grow your customer base creates a unique thrill. One of the most difficult things about running a startup is finding balance. If your business is your priority you will find yourself thinking and working on it non-stop. Finding a balance and ways to switch off for periods of time is very important.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Hoolr's biggest challenge was pivoting the business during the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, Hoolr served as a platform for schools to deliver teaching remotely to pupils who could not get into school. As national lockdowns took place, schools shifted all of their workings onto Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. This forced Hoolr to sidestep into another industry where remote working was essential but the tools were not readily available- Executive Coaching.
What does success look like for Education Evolved?
Hoolr's mission is to give people access to world-class coaching. Success for Hoolr involves empowering coaches globally to make a difference coaching. Hoolr aims to be the essential tool for coaches, coaching organisations and enterprises to manage all of their coaching.
What would be your one piece of advice for students?
Go for it and don't be afraid to fail. Listen carefully to feedback and use it to plan your roadmap.