Rockstar Group Case Study – Brainbook Ltd
Contact name: Gary Smith (CEO)
Brainbook Ltd is an entrepreneurial start-up company specialising in health and educational software. The company incorporated March 2013 and is already releasing its first mobile application (Dyslexia Toolbox) this month.
The vision is for Dyslexia Toolbox to become a solution and everyday tool for dyslexic people. The business has an excellent understanding of the target market as the team behind it including the founder are all Dyslexic. They already have the support of the British Dyslexia Association who have agreed to recommend the app, provide free marketing and give a direct link on their website.
The company aims to work in collaboration with educational departments. Dyslexia Toolbox provides reading/writing tools where individuals choose their own colour/fonts to suit their difficulty and a unique camera overlay to digitally enhance words.
Notable market dynamics are Brainbook’s excellent value for money at £1.99 proving their ethical approach of promising not to exploit dyslexia sufferers so that everyone can afford to use it.
Dyslexia Toolbox’ is available for individuals to buy and covers the whole spectrum range of Dyslexia.
Gary had no business experience, no qualifications and was Dyslexic.
Taking the business from just an idea to the developers to build was a huge challenge, planning the business at every stage and launching the product whilst having to understand all the business Jargon.
Gary knew that using a mentor was the only way the business could progress further and a mentor would bring real life experiences and the business knowledge he didn’t have. Working alone Gary realised that a mentor would offer him support, constructive feedback and the encouragement he needed to make his business a success and guide him through the challenges that businesses face. Ultimately Gary knew that a mentor would help him to take his initial idea from a concept to a reality.
Both challenges were dealt with in a very ‘reflective way’ with in depth talks between mentor and the business (mentee).
The Mentoring Relationship:
The mentoring relationship has been a ‘perfect match’. The right choice was made in the initial matching stage. Meetings are once every month with additional email support given when needed and success was achieved through working together.
The mentoring relationship evolved progressively and well right from the start and has been equally rewarding. Mentoring is still on-going every month with support from email/phone when needed and to update.
The Solutions and Results include:
- Obtaining specialist support which resulted in the company gaining a top Dyslexia expert.
- Clearer understanding of business with goals/ targets met.
- Received endorsement from President of Linux International “I am supporting Dyslexia Toolbox I think it is a great project and an interesting solution.”
- The support of British Dyslexia Association who agreed to recommend the app, provide free marketing and a recommendation link. Proof “We at the British Dyslexia Association would be more than happy to promote the launch through our various media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and our membership magazine.” Dominic Llewellyn-Jones, BDA
- Receiving support from major organisations including BDA (British Dyslexia Association), DITB (Dyslexia Is The Business) O2 UK (Telefonica) and financial sponsorship from FHC (Future Home Care).
- Guidance on public speaking and communication which led to Gary presenting at O2 Arena, streamed to over 20,000 people in the Arena/online.
- Application successfully granted onto the Apple development programme; gaining traction with successful Beta testing
- Getting the developers to understand Dyslexia and turning it into a technical point of view.
- Business is sustainable as its modular; planned release of 10 new features sold in addition to existing app and introducing subscription service and readily adaptable. Product has potential to be sold internationally i.e. USA and Worldwide.
“The mentor was able to help me at every stage of my business and set realistic expectations, and action plans each month. As a dyslexic person I needed everything to be put into perspective and Chelsey would take the time to understand me. It helped to see the world through Chelsey’s eyes as a successful business woman. Chelsey has helped me with my business tenfold and given me the confidence and boost I needed – Inspirational”
“Having business jargon thrown at me from all angles, I often felt confused and when my doubts circulated and whenever I thought ‘I’m not sure about this anymore or felt I was on my own it was my mentor Chelsey that sorted that out! Chelsey was a big factor in overcoming this and supporting me in becoming a success.” Gary Smith – Brainbook Ltd.
Benefits of mentoring:
- Having an experienced entrepreneur share their own experiences to learn and saving many costly mistakes
- Accelerated learning/ access to resources
- Increased confidence
- Offered support, feedback, accountability
- Goals were achieved far quicker.
- Offered different perspective.
- Someone I could trust.
- Lifelong knowledge to pass on to others.