University Enterprise Centre supported business Tutora raises £150,000 to help learners

Enterprise-resized.JPGA business working out of the University of Sheffield's Enterprise Centre (USE), set up by a Sheffield alumnus, has raised £150,000 through crowdfunding.

University of Sheffield graduate and Co-Founder, Scott Woodley, had the idea to start Tutora whilst working as a Primary School Teacher in the city.

“I was asked by a lot of parents to recommend private tutors, and I didn’t know who to recommend, so I took a few students on,” said Scott.

“After becoming frustrated with teaching, I left to set up my own tutoring company, but received so many requests for tuition I couldn’t fit in any more students.”

At that point, Scott got in touch with childhood friend Mark Hughes, who was working in Edinburgh as a Technology Analyst, and they came up with idea for Tutora.

Tutora.co.uk is an online platform that allows students to search for nearby tutors, select their favourite and then book lessons. They provide opportunities for many of Sheffield's own University students to earn money by teaching the subjects they are studying.

“Many of our tutors are current students. Tutoring offers them a great way to earn an excellent hourly rate, whilst timetabling lessons around their own studies. Passing on their expertise is also a far more enjoyable way of earning an income than many other roles currently on offer to students,” said Mark.

The founders are currently working out of USE, which is designed to help start-up companies founded by students and graduates flourish.

“The support we have received from the University has been fantastic. It's amazing to see the efforts the staff of the centre have made to help us get the business to this point. If anyone connected to the University is looking to start their own tech company, it should be your first point of call,” stated Scott.

The pair launched the Tutora website in August last year, initially planning to focus the business in Sheffield. It’s popularity with parents grew rapidly, however, meaning they were soon matching learners further afield.

Incredibly, the crowdfunding campaign was due to last a month, but was completed in just four days, as investors rushed to purchase shares in the company. This is the fastest ever EdTech fundraiser Crowdcube have completed.

“It’s something everyone can understand,” said Mark. “A quarter of children in the UK have received tuition, and finding a great tutor is really tricky. We solve that problem for parents and students.”

The two also point to Sheffield’s wider tech community as a great source of support to date, and would encourage any would-be entrepreneurs in the city.

“Sheffield has a fantastic tech community, with companies solving real, everyday problems. It’s something we should celebrate and hopefully a sector that can really flourish in the coming years.”

To learn more about Tutora or to become a tutor with them, visit the Tutora website.

Read more about the University's Enterprise Centre at the USE website.

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