How YES got Giglets started on their exciting entrepreneurial journey
Giglets Education, as it is today, was founded in 2011 by Craig Johnstone and Karsten Karcher. Both are Alumni of the University of Strathclyde, where they met through the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network.
Giglets Education is an award winning EdTech business whose product is a disruptive web based software called ‘The Learning Cloud’. The Learning Cloud changing the way reading, literacy and language learning is taught in schools around the world. With a belief in delivering meaningful, inquisitive and fun content to a world-class standard.
Prior to this. Craig had begun his entrepreneurial-journey as a result of getting involved with the Young Enterprise Scotland Company Program during his 6th Year in 2007 at Loudoun Academy, East Ayrshire. This experience with a group of school friends lead to the generation of a traditional publishing company which with fellow students Craig was MD of whilst studying International Business with Marketing at University.
Throughout Giglets journey as a hobby/student business at university to what it is today support from individuals and organisations in the Scottish entrepreneurial eco-system has been a welcome theme. Young Enterprise Scotland has been unwavering in their support throughout Giglets life in various guises. Young Enterprise Scotland made sure that when the team from the previous business went to university we were put in contact with Business Gateway, what was then PSYBT, East Ayrshire Council and so on. This ensured that they had an arsenal of support at their disposal to help ensure commercial success.
Since Craig and Karsten founded Giglets Education in 2011 it has been a roller coaster ride as with any start-up. Along with their committed team of three, they have pivoted once or twice on their product. Their ability to identify what pivots were required and how the product should be shaped was as a result of excellent customer understanding but also down to the input from support organisations like Young Enterprise Scotland.
Craig left his full time job at Procter & Gamble to lead the business in September 2012, when Giglets joined e-spark. Since then they have gone from strength to strength with some particularly notable achievements:
· Won £46,500 from ScotEDGE in June 2013
· Won the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce’s Most Promising New Business of the Year and Entrepreneur of The Year in June 2013
· Won Entrepreneurial-Sparks High Impact Business of the Year 2014
· Created 5 new jobs in Scotland
· Distribution in 52 markets
· Won contracts with the Welsh Government and Irish Language Bodies
· Since launching The Learning Cloud at the Scottish Learning Festival in Sept 2014 secured 120 schools in Scotland alone with others in markets including Australia.
Giglets Education is really only at the beginning of its journey, having now identified their real proposition: a scalable business model and a product with a potential for industry change.
When asked what aspirations there are for Giglets Education, CEO and Founder, Craig Johnstone responded with conviction: ‘With the creation of The Learning Cloud my team and I have the ability to create a world-class EdTech business, turning over tens of millions of pounds from right here in Scotland. Karsten and I want to grow Giglets Education internationally, whilst ensuring we are an organisation that people want to be part of, headquartered here in Scotland, if not in fact in Ayrshire.’
Giglets Education has a global mindset but one with purpose and a sense of duty, Craig adds that, ‘I was and still am lucky enough to benefit from a wealth of fantastic people in the Scottish eco-system who gave up their valuable time and experience to help me turn my vision into reality. It all started with Young Enterprise Scotland when I was 17 and one of my commitments is to make sure that we never forget that and take the time to give back to those setting out on their entrepreneurial journey today’.