“ More Than 75% Of Teachers Are Women, And Yet Most Tech Founders Are Men.” ; Interview with Yvonne Soh, Co-Founder at Noodle Factory
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’ve always been passionate about education. Personally, I consider myself a lifelong learner. Coupled with my inner tech nerd, creating an EdTech solution is something I’ve always wanted to do. But what really got me and my co-founder started on this, was when we were trying to find a solution to solve our own challenges as educators.
Describe your company in one sentence.
At Noodle Factory, we provide AI-powered automation to help educators scale personalised tutoring and exam prep.
What should an aspiring EdTech founder know before initiating their startup journey?
EdTech is not really ‘sexy’ nor does it necessarily create big buzz. It also takes a long time to build a good EdTech product that can truly solve educational challenges and sales lead times and adoption rates take a while too. So be patient and make sure you believe in what you do, and keep sight on your goals.
What has been the most difficult moment as a founder and how did you overcome it?
We took a long time (about 18 months) to raise our seed funding, and after so many applications to different programs, emailing and speaking to so many investors, there was a point where I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finally, I decided to take a deep breath, use a more structured approach, got comfortable with rejection, and simply persisted :D
What can the EdTech industry do to improve the gender gap?
More than 75% of teachers are women, and yet most tech founders are men. What the EdTech industry can do is to ensure that more women are involved in the design and development of EdTech solutions.
Can you tell us about a role model of yours?
The late Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She was such a go-getter, yet soft-spoken, and has overcome so many obstacles, broken down so many barriers and made such an impact.
Can you tell us an example of when you had to pivot?
We started the company focused on corporate education and really pushing the idea of conversational learning as a way to engage learners. When we went out into the market, we found that customers could not understand what value we could bring. So we pivoted our messaging and focus to be on what problem we could solve (rather than trying to promote a new way of learning). As we spoke to more customers, we found that higher education and also K-12 faced even more challenges that could be addressed by our AI platform. And so we pivoted our focus on the student experience, to rather, how we could use AI to help educators manage their workloads.
What will you consider as success in 5 years from now?
I hope to have grown the company to where we have educators, students and institutions from all over the world using and benefiting from our platform. Apart from that, I really love building our team, and I hope to have grown the team — both individually from our existing team to see their develop through their career with us, and also to increase the amount of talent in our company.
Looking back, what advice would you have liked to have received before starting your company?
Time management is a constant challenge for startup founders. Looking back, it would have been great if someone had advised me on how to more effectively manage priorities in terms of what is important vs what is urgent, and how to say no to the ‘wrong’ clients, meetings and contacts. In a way, every experience shapes who we are and we do learn from every interaction, but at the same time, it’s hard to get back time that is lost.
To know more about Yvonne Soh or Noodle Factory, visit their company site:
Or you can follow their social media accounts:
Linkedin @Noodle Factory | Twitter @noodlefactorysg|
Instagram @walternoodlefactory |