Meet the Northern Stars finalists: Solutionpath powers smarter students and universities26 Oct, 2016
On 17th November 2016, our Northern Stars final will take place in Manchester. Among the 20 companies pitching will be six from the recent regional heats. As the final approaches, we’re highlighting the winners of those events.
DTP Solutionpath was one of the two winners in Newcastle, so we spoke to the company’s Director, Richard Gasciogne, to find out more.
Hello Solutionpath, what’s your elevator pitch?
We help universities and colleges become more successful, and students become more determined learners. This is done using big data, machine learning and mobile technologies.
We use institutions’ own data to identify students who are at risk of withdrawal, and show students what ‘good’ looks like so they can take more positive pathways to success.
What’s it like to be a startup based in York, Leeds and Manchester?
I’m personally based in York but we benefit from having accessible innovation cities across the North. We can tap into lots of expertise and leverage Leeds and Manchester.
The way we’re set up reflects a modern enterprise, with different skills coming together from different areas. Our development base is in Manchester, while our money is in Leeds.
What are your plans for the future?
In the short term, we’re focused on customer acquisition in UK. We’re three and a half years old and have bootstrapped to profitability. We turned over £1 million last year. So, longer term we’re building a platform for growth, recruiting to scale out by making sure we have the right people in place.
Why did you enter Northern Stars?
There are few platforms out there that allow you to shout from the rooftops. Northern Stars is an opportunity let people know about what we’re doing. It also lets us meet likeminded people. In business it’s important to have a network of people who’ve had similar experiences, and It’s good to share and learn from each other.
What was it like to pitch?
It was quite nervewracking. I’m used to presenting, but this setting was very different. It was a visceral atmosphere – being judged by a panel in front of your peers.
Having three minutes to convey something complex is a real challenge. That said, having to focus on our core message has really helped me.
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