I turned my back on my startup; What I learned.

Alistair
Alistair
Feb 8 · 2 min read

Hedgehop was a university project that I decided to carry on once I finished my degree. The point of the service was to encourage kids to learn about other languages and cultures. I wanted to ensure the service would work in the real world, so I trained as a TEFL English (Teach English as a foreign language) teacher and headed to China where I would spend the following year testing Hedgehop.

Students learning about the countries of Europe.

The service worked well and the kids loved a smoother process of learning individually and in teams using a touchscreen whiteboard to gamify the service.

During the time, I realized that this would be able to change the landscape of classroom learning of English in non-native countries. By tracking student progress, not only do the students receive a better education but also the parents are better able to track the progress of their children.

This service digitalizes all the classroom material, saving both the schools and parents money.

This was a learning curve, I had planned on creating an exploration tool for children to become more knowledgable about the world we live in. However, I soon realized that this just wouldn’t be financially viable in original form and would need to be morphed into an educational tool for learning English for it be successful.

I had never planned the service to be an educational tool primarily for learning English. There are plenty of good competitors in the market such as Duolingo that have a ‘for schools’ element. After some time, I decided it had led me away from a career on the web, and away from my true passions.

It seemed unlikely, from my time researching and developing that Hedgehop could evolve into what I originally intended. I, therefore, took a step back and decided it was time to focus my attention once again on the next step in my career. It was a hard decision to make, but the right one. I tried something, it didn’t work out quite how I would have expected so have decided to move on focus on other prospects that better fit my abilities.

UI Designer, Tech Evangelist, Travel Enthusiast and Medium Columnist.

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