Scholarcy powers more efficient research
Scholarcy was conceived as a result of the real-life experience of its founder, Phil Gooch, while he was researching his PhD. It’s an online summariser and knowledge extraction tool that aims to make everyday research faster and more productive. Scholarcy reads any type of document – from research papers to web articles – in any format, and transforms these into responsive summary flashcards, which users can save, share and annotate on any device.
Receiving wide-ranging support from Machine Intelligence Garage
Like many who join Digital Catapult’s programmes, Scholarcy’s founders were looking for specialist support from those who had worked with or run tech startups to help get its new business off the ground. Scholarcy participated in one of the early Machine Intelligence Garage cohorts with an open mind, keen to make the most of the opportunities and resources available.
At that time, Scholarcy had a fully operational consumer app and a range of potential target audiences. The team was looking to refine and prioritise its target markets, develop effective B2B and B2C propositions and attract funding to be able to launch its service to these markets.
From a technology perspective, Scholarcy found the Amazon Web Service (AWS) credits very useful, and is still using them for further product development. Spending 16 hours with a machine learning researcher also proved to be a valuable benefit in helping the Scholarcy team to improve specific models.
Effective positioning and pitching
The founders appreciated the practical aspect of the investor pitch training day, acquiring techniques that helped to clearly structure and articulate Scholarcy’s proposition. Being able to rehearse, refine and polish its presentation with a public-speaking expert elevated its pitch.
The 2019 Machine Intelligence Garage Investor Showcase sparked interest in Scholarcy’s product, resulting in follow-up discussions and invitations to apply to other accelerator programmes. Scholarcy has since received seed investment of £200,000 from a corporate investor.
Ongoing acquisition of commercial insight
The sales and pricing workshop for SAAS and the interactive workshop on overcoming objections and developing sales support materials have proven useful to Scholarcy.
Overall, the benefits of Machine Intelligence Garage and working with Digital Catapult have been significant in improving its business modelling and strategy, as well as acquiring commercial skills and practical solutions. The Scholarcy team also values the collaboration and support it has received from the Machine Intelligence Garage team, as well as the camaraderie and interaction with other startups.
“The biggest thing that Digital Catapult has given us is practical support. Other accelerator programmes have been useful in terms of training, but they don’t have that same practical bent. I’m grateful for the wide-ranging, hands-on support we’ve had from the Machine Intelligence Garage team.
“This learning experience was instrumental in preparing and refining our pitch.” – Emma Warren-Jones, Co-founder and COO, Scholarcy
Enhanced its machine learning models
Refined its proposition
Benefitted from PR and marketing communications workshops
Has since attracted seed investment of £200,000 from a well-known corporate investor