Yesterday’s Student. Tomorrow’s Teacher.
We are often told about the disruption brought by technology to a number of industries, particularly those notorious for being a bit sleepy. It is a bit hard to go back to taxi cabs are tasting the sweet surrounds of an Uber with Mount Franklin seemingly on tap. But when one thinks of disruption does education spring to mind?
For one Scots Old Boy it certainly does. In the truly Scots entrepreneurial spirit, and one might go so far to say the Scottish love of education, George Harper (’12) was part of a revolutionary push that might just raise the marks of the entire state. We sat down with George to hear a bit about his latest start up.
Zachary: George — can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to in the educational technology space after your graduation?
George: Of course — I am one of the founding members of a company called HSC Hub, soon to be called Atomi, that makes syllabus based videos for senior school students. I’d describe it as a ‘Netflix for the HSC’ with the mission being to make education easier with something students actually want to watch. Since the company’s inception in 2012, it has grown from a vague idea into a website with over 30,000 members on which 25% of the state’s HSC cohort have an account.
Zachary: That is certainly very impressive, I found myself a devotee of HSCHub’s lessons on J Curve theory at the darkest moment of my ATAR quest! Are there any other Old Boys working with HSCHub and did your experience at Scots encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities?
George: We also have on board are old boys James Hill (2013), Gyan Ainkaran (2015) and Dominic Cooper (2015). Through their positions teaching mathematics and science, they are able to disseminate the knowledge they gained at Scots to students all around the state. As you note, Zach, Scots currently uses HSC Hub in some departments. As a recent graduate, I have been a first hand beneficiary of Scots’ focus on equipping its graduates with entrepreneurial and innovative skills. I remember running a snow cone stall on Small Business Day in Year 9, and discovering what I now know as the ‘Rule of 3’; everything in business takes three times longer and costs three times more than you expect it will. The rule applied with ice, flavored syrup and a dodgy machine, and it applies just as much out in the real world when it comes to web fees, wages and marketing expenses. But, besides a healthy dose of realism, if you’re thinking of entering the world of small business the first thing you need is a great idea. The best ideas are those that center around a way to make things a little bit less complicated for people, or a way to make them happier. Through the breadth of experiences you are offered at Scots, you should hopefully develop an awareness of the needs of others, and the more you do this the more business ideas you will have.
Zachary: Thanks for your time George, do you have any final words of wisdom for our Old Boy community?
George: It’s been a pleasure. As parting advice, I encourage you all to keep a lookout for these great opportunities and don’t be afraid to take the leap with them. Good luck!