How Teacherly scaled up to support 11,550 new teachers during a time of crisis
We caught up with Atif Mahmoud, founder and CEO of Teacherly, an educational technology company founded in the United Kingdom, recently accepted into the Hub71 Incentive Program. The startup provides a seamless teaching experience for teachers by providing the best technology for teachers and teams to plan, teach and educate the next generation.
Atif shared how Teacherly had to scale-up practically overnight; shed light on why it chose Hub71 for its Middle East headquarters; and how it provides support for students and teachers during the COVID-19 lockdown that is happening across the globe.
Teacherly was founded in 2015, how did the concept of an online platform for homeschooling and online education come up?
As a former teacher myself, I experienced first-hand the pain points around lesson planning and the workload associated with preparing and consistently delivering high quality curricula content. I struggled to find a technology tool that allows teachers and the educational system to optimize their jobs.
Simultaneously, we saw a shift in the corporate world towards online solutions that allowed for greater productivity and connectivity to streamline activities and to monitor the progress of projects.
The public (and private) education system desperately lacks connectivity, yet it often requires close collaboration amongst teams. So, we created Teacherly – a connector of minds.
Because of COVID-19, education has had to broaden its reach beyond the school walls. Remote learning is an emerging trend globally but through Teacherly – teachers, students and parents can now have direct access to the resources and expertise that they need to bring knowledge and learning into the home.
How much has your business grown since the pandemic and what have you done to scale accordingly?
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to take Teacherly to the next level. As a result, Teacherly’s market share has grown massively. There is high demand of user-friendly and sophisticated education platforms that can streamline lessons to users in the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.
As school began to shut down all around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Teacherly were there to support 11,500 new teachers, 3,000 new students and 80 new schools – and that was all in the space of a month.
How does Teacherly help teachers and students?
Teachers use video and audio-based resources to engage students, they also use our inbuilt video conferencing feature to deliver live lessons in a safe and secure manner, even in rural areas with low bandwidth and connectivity. Teachers can assign lessons and track progress in real-time.
What is one interesting fact that relates to your business that no one knows?
My workforce is 60% female. Our leadership team is 80% female. Our engineering team is 50% female. This is the effect of having two amazing sisters, three nieces and two daughters!
How do you approach hiring new tech talent?
Normally… I would invite hire prospects for lunch or dinner to see if I can sit and talk to them about work and other things that interest them. I evaluate them based on their values to see if theirs match ours both personally and professionally.
What markets do you hope to enter in the next 12 months?
When we finally settle into Hub71, we look forward to working with the Abu Dhabi education market. Then, we would like to become market leaders in the UK, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and Asia. We launched in the US earlier this year – so watch this space!
What advice would you give anyone who’s considering starting up for themselves?
Success will not come quickly – it requires patience and persistence. My advice – build your network with future expansion plans in mind, and that’s why we chosen to have our Middle East headquarters at Hub71.
Visit www.teacherly.io for more information and follow them on @teamteacherly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin.
To apply for the Hub71 Incentive Program, click here.