“Jump In, Feet First, & Don’t Look Back.”
Interview with Isabelle Waring, Founder of Paideia
This is part of the EdTech Female Founder (#EFF) interview series brought to you by SuperCharger Ventures.
What inspired you to start your EdTech Founder journey?
I spent over a decade working in education and saw, first hand, the problems that families face day in day out as they navigate a child’s unique educational needs. I realized that both parents and children needed a product at home that supports the child’s learning at school, brings clarity to the education process and is enjoyable for the child to use. Not only that, it was clear that having reliable information and content all in one place is really important to stressed out caregivers. That’s why we created Paideia, which is a start-to-finish solution, removing the need to create a piecemeal education support system. Most EdTech that is available right now has been built for schools with education support at home being an afterthought; Paideia has been built with the family as the central focus point.
Describe your company in one sentence.
Paideia is a digital learning platform backed by science offering a start-to-finish learning pathway to exams.
What should an aspiring EdTech founder know before initiating their startup journey?
Be obsessive about your primary user: their satisfaction and improved learning outcomes are really the only metrics that matter. I really believe that this is what has allowed us to maintain a 100% retention rate.
What has been the most difficult moment as a founder and how did you overcome it?
We haven’t had one moment that springs to mind, which is all down to the amazing team I have working with me. For me, personally, I have an ongoing struggle with prioritizing tasks and time. I’m finally learning to say ‘no’ and committing to tasks that are truly a priority.
What can the EdTech industry do to improve the gender gap?
The gender gap is one of those issues that is both highly complex and painfully simple at the same time:
1. Invest in women like you do men, especially women of colour who are a minority within a minority. And when I say invest, I mean actually spend time and money on women rather than just committing to improved opportunities;
2. Give women a platform and listen to what they have to say. Women should be heard in all areas of tech (and beyond), not only in those designated as female-focused; and,
3. Stop holding men to lower moral standards than women. Women are expected to make money whilst nurturing people, saving the planet and being an outstanding role model. This should be expected from all business leaders but I rarely see the same standards being applied to men.
Can you tell us about a role model of yours?
My great grandmother, my Grandma Fox. She worked in a factory and lived a traditional, working class life, but she always supported me to work harder and aspire for better. Her quiet determination inspired me to work relentlessly no matter the obstacles.
Can you tell us an example of when you had to pivot?
Our pivots so far have been fairly small because we only launched to the public in September 2021. We’re working through developments at the minute that may result in a pivot, but I’ll keep my lips sealed for now!
What will you consider as success in 5 years from now?
I imagine it will be the same as it is now: every time I receive a message of success from a caregiver, child or educator — however big or small that success may be — I know we’re on the right track.
Looking back, what advice would you have liked to have received before starting your company?
Jump in, feet first, and don’t look back.
To know more about Isabelle Waring or Paideia, visit their company site:
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