Edsmart was founded in 2014 by Fiona Boyd and David Eedle, who grew tired of filling out endless school paperwork for their three children. In our latest episode for ‘A Place for Business’ web series, we had a lovely chat with Fiona, who not only is an entrepreneur, but is also an author and broadcaster.
The belief in what can be made better is what brought Fiona and her co-founder to pay more attention to the education sector. They want schools to run better, digitalising the way they operate.
Improving education has always been revolutionary. Fiona mentions that learning management systems empowered personalised learning, which is extremely hard to do. However, because they can only go so far, there is so much about how schools do the admin work that needs to be addressed and that’s the pain they are trying to solve.
The admin side of schools are the ones left behind, with no technology focused on digitalising processes. There are so many people working in schools doing a great work face-to-face that, in their opinion, should not be struggling on the backstage, whilst trying to sort all stacks of paper to complete a process.
Fiona can be described as a true entrepreneur. Before Edsmart, she co-founded ArtsHub, an independent online resource dedicated to the world of the arts. This business was setup many years ago, and back then redefined how the internet could change and help diverse industries.
As a woman in a male-dominated environment, such as technology, she has always found it challenging to conquer her own space. In the discussion between running your own business or sticking to a corporate lifestyle, for her there isn’t a right answer because each person knows what will work best for him or for her.
The challenges of entrepreneurship do not stop with investors or customers. During our chat with Fiona, she has also shed a light on the relationship between start-ups and government. On her experience dealing with them, she has found some difficulty when approaching and demonstrating to federal or local government how something can be done differently and more efficiently. Of course that it changes from place to place and from time to time, but start-ups in an early stage might struggle more to get a meeting or an opportunity to demonstrate their solution.
To wrap up our chat, we’ve talked about the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. For Fiona, not only it was an opportunity to feel proud of her team and all the hard work they have always put into the solution, but also from the parents and school admin. She feels like they promptly pivoted the way they were using the system and were able to figure out by themselves how to make something work for their new reality.
From a sales perspective during lockdown, Edsmart started experiencing early renewals for contracts. This is a great sign of how the solution works and it’s becoming a fundamental piece in the way schools manage their business and how they are ready to embrace digital solutions.
We would like to thank Fiona for taking her time to share her story and how Edsmart is revolutionising education.
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