Women entrepreneurs abound in the world, but they don’t seem to get the same amount of recognition as their male counterparts. As a serial entrepreneur with a focus on technology, I’m always excited to learn about and, in this case, work with other technology focused female entrepreneurs like Zoe Peden, co-founder of Insane Logic in our One Million by One Million Premium program. Insane Logic is an education technology (EduTech) startup that provides interactive communication products for the education and health sectors.
Zoe Peden spent the first nine years working in the education and academic publishing industry in product development and editorial. In 2007, she started as a senior manager at The Makaton Charity, a U.K.-based communications charity that owns a proven language program consisting of sign language and symbols that aid language acquisition and development to build effective communication skills. It is primarily used for children and adults with learning disabilities but can also be used for unimpaired preschool children.
Makaton had been around for more than 35 years and was used across mainstream primary and special schools throughout the U.K. to great success. All the resources were on paper and in VHS video format and customers were begging for a more mobile version.
She left the charity in 2010 to start building a prototype of the language program on the iPad and formed Insane Logic with her friend and technical co-founder Andrew Jackman.
Zoe and Andrew released Insane Logic’s flagship product MyChoicePad a year ago, targeting schools and the speech and language therapy markets. Since then, MyChoicePad has taken over Zoe’s life.
MyChoicePad is an alternative toolkit for language development and communication that enables children and adults with learning or communication difficulties to build confidence to communicate and interact more effectively with peers, teachers, employers and co-workers, and parents.
In September 2011, Zoe was selected as a Big Venture Challenge Winner in a competition run by the U.K. charity for social entrepreneurs. The competition aimed to find the 25 most investable social entrepreneurs in the U.K. All the winners received a grant and three years’ support to help them scale their businesses. In 2012, MyChoicePad was a finalist for Innovation in the Technology4Good awards.
Insane Logic was selected to be in Telefonica’s first U.K. business accelerator program, Wayra, in June 2012. As a result of this recent seed investment, the company is starting to build out its very small team.
Currently, the company has 1,100 paying customers spending an average of £120, and 5,000 customers on the free version of the app. Forty percent of all downloads have taken place in the past three months. The company is now getting the word out about how MyChoicePad can help language development and provide access to alternative communication for the 1 in 10 children in the U.K. who enter school with speech, language and communication needs.
Zoe and Andrew are looking to build partnerships in the education and health sectors to increase distribution for MyChoicePad. They are also extending the brand to a more mainstream audience with the release of a series of three game apps around building effective language development by using sign language, symbols and pictures. They are aimed at the parental market, specifically for parents with children under five years old, in addition to the special needs market that Insane Logic has with MyChoicePad. The first game, MyChoicePad Memory, should be out in the U.K. App Store in September 2012.
The company’s challenges are around finding the right partnerships to expose the brand to a broader audience. U.K. parents, teachers, kids and speech pathologists love the product, but Zoe and Andrew need chart a path to be heard above the noise of the bottomless pit called the iTunes App Store.
This segment is a part in the series : Women of 1M/1M