Telling a story of innovation in language learning

Educational software startup One Third Stories develops bedtime stories that start in English and end in a different language.

The revolutionary concept, aimed at children aged 5 to 8 anywhere in the world, has attracted nearly £36,000 in Kickstarter crowdfunding and strong partnering interest from a global publishing group.

Alex and Jonny with Book

The Bedford-based company, recently named Virgin Startup of the Week, uses its Clockwork Methodology® to gradually introduce foreign vocabulary in familiar contexts.

Raising finance
One Third Stories approached Kirsten Masson, the Enterprise Europe Network adviser in the East of England, based at St John’s Innovation Centre, for support around a global innovation strategy and securing clients to reach new markets. The founders, Alex Somervell and Jonny Pryn, also needed help in finding partners to trial the product and raising finance to take their products to market launch.

EEN’s Innovate 2 Succeed programme provided the framework for a strategic review addressing barriers to growth, as well as help with defining unique selling points and understanding revenue options. It also involved critiquing pitches for potential investors and support with their crowdfunding campaign. EEN made introductions to potential partners and to parent groups to test content.

Language learning initiative
The Spanish Embassy and the German Göethe-Institut have recently partnered to support the language learning initiative. Later down the line the company will look to expand their range of stories to target other languages, including English as a second language.

Alex said: “We are a small startup and need all the personal, down-to-earth advice we can get. Not only are we getting practical advice but it is also opening doors to a network of people who may be interested in investing or supporting us in some other way.

“The EEN guys have genuinely made a big difference to One Third Stories.”