Alex Somervell and Jonny Pryn are the two young entrepreneurs behind One Third Stories, whose vision is to inspire language learning in the UK and beyond, by making language learning as simple and fun as reading a story. The duo launched their first book via Kickstarter. Their goal was to raise £10,000 over 30 days, but their revolutionary concept, aimed at children aged 5 to 8 anywhere in the world, attracted nearly £36,000 in Kickstarter crowdfunding and strong partnering interest from a global publishing group.

They are best friends, yet represent opposite ends of the language learning spectrum. Jonny, grew up in the UK struggling to learn French, while Alex grew up bilingual in Paraguay, South America. They founded One Third Stories while at university, with the aim of making learning a language as simple as reading a story. Utilising their innovative Clockwork Methodology ®, they gradually introduce foreign words in familiar contexts, to make children simply read their way into understanding a different language.

“I was the victim of a British system of learning languages that is broken,” said Jonny Pryn, CTO at One Third Stories. “It’s our hope that our stories will enable children to embark on their language learning experience in a positive way.”

Their first book, available on Kickstarter in both hardback and app form, has been inspired by contributions from over 1500 children and will provide parents with a chance to embark on a magical language learning adventure with their little ones.

“We are delighted to hear that One Third Stories has achieved such a positive response to their fundraising campaign,” commented Kirsten Masson, Enterprise Europe Network advisor based at St John’s Innovation Centre who has been supporting One Third Stories through their Innovate2Succeed programme. “It’s great to see young entrepreneurs from the East of England developing an innovative approach to change language education through technology and stories. Alex and Jonny have been a pleasure to work with and we have been delighted to support them with their business planning and fundraising.”

“We are a small, start-up and this is the time where we need all the personal, down-to-earth advice we can get,” commented Alex Somervell, CEO at One Third Stories. “The Enterprise Europe Network is providing us with this type of necessary support through the Innovate2Succeed programme. 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. You guys genuinely made a big difference to One Third Stories so I’ll always be grateful.”