CASE STUDY: EZ Education, SETsquared Bath member and DBAH participant

Education Tech company hoping to scale up their business

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The Digital Innovation Business Acceleration Hub (DBAH) is part of a number of hubs supported by the University of Bath and SETsquared Bath who are part of the SETsquared partnership - the No. 1 Global Business Incubator.

The hubs are funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and provide 12 hours of bespoke business support. The support is tailored to the specific need of the business and can provide 121 mentoring, coaching, workshops or research collaborations through the University.  Over a three year period, the sector specific hubs provide expert advice for start ups, SMEs or business seeing growth that are located in the West of England region.

The DBAH programme launched in 2018 and provides support for businesses who are innovating digitally in specific sectors, which include social care, residential care, human health and wellbeing, audience engagement, entertainment and creative media, AR/VR and immersive technology, enabling technologies - data, machine learning and AI. Since launch the DBAH has already received a significant amount of applicants seeking the business support available.

There are a variety of businesses currently on the programme, all at different stages of their business journey. The DBAH recently caught up with one of the companies currently on the programme to find out about their business journey and how the support they’ve received has helped them.

EZ Education Ltd was founded in 2012 with the aim to build confidence and raise standards in maths through personalised content via their learning programmes.  Founders Nicola Chilman and Tom Minor are experienced classroom teachers and educators, and their insights into how children learn as individuals are the basis on which EZ Education’s programmes were built.

Doodlemaths adaptive learning platform is #1 in the app store for early years Maths

Doodlemaths adaptive learning platform is #1 in the app store for early years Maths

EZ Education are SETsquared Bath members and have supported EZ Education from the initial launch to commercialisation. EZ Education are based in the business incubation centre at SETsquared Bath located in the city of Bath, where they still receive business support. Their software and educational resources work with each child’s individual level and can be accessed via various online platforms either at home or through school. Following 5 years of success with DoodleMaths, they recently launched DoodleEnglish which is proving to be equally successful and effective.

It soon became apparent that this children’s educational app developer start up was going to be successful - many awards have since followed from winner of The Best British Mobile Start Up to many Educational and Resources accolades.  

EZ Education is hugely successful with parents and children signing up and subscribing at home, however, EZ Education want to scale up the business by targeting UK schools and selling more subscriptions into schools. In order to continue with the innovation and traction, EZ Education required support on structuring the business with a larger sales team. This is how the support available through DBAH programme came about.


Talking about the DBAH programme, Nicola Chilman, COO/Co Founder at EZ Education says,

Being based at SETsquared Bath I was aware of the business business support programmes and I had previously chatted with Garry Pratt, Entrepreneur in Residence for the DBAH programme so I submitted our application to start the process.

Talking about EZ Education, Garry Pratt, Entrepreneur in Residence for the DBAH says,

EZ Education application met all the relevant criteria and were approved onto the programme. Following a meeting with Nicola to discuss the specific business need, it was clear they were keen to enter the next phase of growth by focusing on UK school subscriptions. They already have a small sales team having some success, but required help on structuring this for scale - things like job descriptions/recruitment, the need to build processes, setting targets and suitable commission models. The next stage was to match EZ Education with the best mentor who could help assist them with their ambitious growth plans - which we did!

Discussing the support EZ Eduction has received through the DBAH programme, Nicola, says,

The coaching was brilliant. We were matched with the ideal mentor and we worked through a lot - it wasn’t as specific as I had expected but what came to light very early on, was the fact that we needed to look at our values in order to improve our recruitment processes. Growing a sales team definitely comes after building confidence in knowing not just the roles we are looking for but the kind of people who will thrive in our company.

Nicola, goes onto say,

Since the programme, I have written much improved job descriptions and in turn job advertisements for upcoming recruits; we are implementing a CRM and we are using the values which lie behind our ethos to train, appraise and recruit. Emma was a pleasure to work with - highly perceptive, diplomatic and efficient. I would totally recommend her services to others and look forward to working with her again in the future.

For more information about EZ Education visit the website, here.

Visit the DBAH website here, if you are interested in finding out more detail about the Digital Innovation Business Acceleration Hub and looking for business support.