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How Pobble did it – building an edtech startup

I recently spoke with Jon Smith, co-founder and CEO of Pobble, about the edtech entrepreneurs journey: from the initial idea in the classroom through all the challenges of building a successful edtech company.

Pobble is an approach to teaching writing, combing exciting lesson ideas, engaged pupils, a genuine purpose to write, and reliable writing assessment.  Tens of thousands of teachers use the Pobble platform every day to plan and deliver exciting lessons, and to connect with classrooms all over the world.

On this podcast, Jon talks about the simple idea and chance which got Pobble started. He talks about the impact a real life project had on the children in a classroom in the UAE, in terms of the excitement and engagement from the students.

When building a startup, Jon talks about the challenges of hiring the right people, changing direction and of course convincing people to pay for a new idea. For Jon, a clear vision and resilience are key to overcoming these challenges and listening closely to your customer feedback is core to getting the product right.

Jon advises budding entrepreneurs to get out and speak directly with customers. Personally running the front line sales operations in your company is the only way to refine your value proposition. There are no shortcuts.

Fundraising, though time consuming and a big drain on resources, forces you to really examine the assumptions you have made about you business.

For Pobble, 2019 is about making new partnerships, getting more schools on the platform and a new release of the platform making it better for teachers who are and always will be the core of schools and learning.

You’ll find the interview in full at our Future of Schools podcast page, or on SoundcloudiTunes or Stitcher.

If you want to find out more about Pobble, go to their website at