Mylearnadfriend, a platform that helps companies provide training to their employees, is entered into Innovation Showcase at this year's Venturefest Tees Valley. MD Tony Abbott talks to BQ about his business and the challenges that come with innovation.
Describe your business in no more than 100 words
Mylearnadfriend Ltd (MLF) is an online Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that allows e-learning platforms to quickly and easily create, brand and sell multiple training courses and certifications to training providers. It will also allow training providers to create their own single instance courses and deliver these courses directly to trainees.
The breadth, depth and quality of the learning experience created for the trainee is excellent and the look and feel, ability to add multiple content types - multiple choice, drag and drop, 360 views, video and other interactive content - places the trainee experience as world class.
What prompted you to enter the innovation showcase?
Mylearnadfriend has invested over £170K developing the platform. A vast amount of quality work has been achieved to date and we want to share this innovation and good practice globally.
Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with.
The UK Government requires the training industry to deliver training to over 3 million Apprentices by 2020. The NHS has a shortfall of staff and needs to train hundreds of thousands of people annually. Because of the large numbers of people requiring training there is a need to make training more accessible and more cost effective while providing an enjoyable learning experience.
For legal reasons this training must be documented and conformation of learning and understanding retained. This requires organisations to deliver SMART Education using interactive on-line learning materials and End-Point Assessment Tools (EPAT). mylearnadfriend’s platform has been developed to meet this need and enable organisations to deliver world class on-line learning and End-Point Assessment.
How would you describe that innovation to your grandparents?
This application enhances traditional teaching such as chalk and talk and enables learners to access education 24/7 anytime, anyplace, and at the their own pace.
What are the best and worst parts of trying to be innovative in your business?
Using on-line tools to train people means we can have a far greater reach and reduce the cost of training by 80%. However, the education sector is slow to adapt to change.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
There are forces at work in the education sector that are preventing the introduction of new technology because of the fear of losing jobs.
Where do you get support and advice to help you run your business?
We utilise the services of Government funded organisations such as: Digital City, Tees Valley Combined Authority, UKTI, Teesside University and Funding organisations such as Northstar Ventures, FW Capital, UK Steel Enterprise, EV Mercia.
What does being chosen for the innovation showcase mean to you?
The Innovation Showcase will help raise awareness of our world class product to suitable partners and potential investors to help roll it out to a global market.
Where do you see your company in five years’ time?
We strongly believe that we will be a global software tool supplier and the first choice for training providers and the education sector.
What would you tell businesses who are hoping to be more innovative?
Grasp the opportunity to be innovative. Demonstrate to your clients that your products are future-proof and their business is safe with you.