Innovation in Edtech including translation services for documents and powerpoints which retain original appearance
Location: London, Delhi
Company website: http://www.hived.co.uk/home/
Sector: Education, Technology
Established to tackle some of the most pressing challenges faced in education, Hive Education is launching a range of bleeding edge technologies, which create space on the timetable and allow students in diverse classrooms to engage with learning on a level playing field. Two launch products include:
Intelligent Uniforms: Hive is partnering with one of the world’s largest uniform suppliers to embed tracking chips in school and workplace uniforms. When connected with long-range sensors in the school or workplace, the uniforms allow you to monitor students and colleagues as they move around your buildings.
There is no longer a need to take registers in schools (saving half an academic year in a secondary education) or workplaces such as hotels, factories and office blocks. During fire or security drills and events you know where everyone is. If a child disappears from the school premises, or does not arrive, both school and parents will know in an instance.
Multilingual Translation: Hive has produced a suit of translation technologies which allow multilingual audiences to understand and speak in the language of tuition or presentation. ‘Translated’ translates Word and Powerpoint documents into over 60 languages whilst maintaining their appearance and format. ‘Multilingual’ provides live translations for the spoken voice which can be converted into one or several languages in seconds. Technologies which add significant value in multilingual classrooms, presentations, and which have significant opportunity within the travel and tourism sector.
Commonwealth First will work with this rapidly expanding enterprise to help them expand their existing presence in India and other Commonwealth markets.
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How did the idea for your company come about?
Our two founders met through LinkedIn and decided to meet over coffee during a UKTI trade meeting in 2015 to share thoughts and ideas on the educational technology market. One thing led to another and Hive Education was born!
What difficulties have you encountered setting up your business?
Operating across two continents from the beginning has created some issues with communication and managing workflows, but these have started to be resolved as we’ve begun to understand the ways in which we work.
What are the biggest trade and export challenges you face?
Appreciating the differences in markets, demand, supply, operational constraints and the impact of nuances in what can appear to be very similar markets.
What are the most crucial things you have done to grow and develop your company?
Worked with significant established stakeholders in the markets to extend our reach. This has brought market knowledge and connections to the fore in a much more timely fashion than would have occurred if we had ‘gone it alone’.
How did you hear about the CommonwealthFirst programme and what made you apply?
We were advised of the initiative by the UKTI.
What are you hoping to get out of the CWF programme?
Extended reach into markets through established connections and market knowledge.
What is a typical working day for you?
A very early rise, to be greeted by communications from international markets, and our team in India. Significant electronic communications and social media engagements throughout the day, supplemented by a number of established or potential client or supplier meetings in either Delhi or London (depending on the founder!), or further afield. Arrival back to the office or home early evening and once more connecting with work as the evening progresses and both founders have a chance to align diaries towards the end of the day.
Where would you like your business to be in 5 years time?
Three established offices in India, London, and Singapore addressing the key markets and opportunities. Our Indian office primarily focusing on development, support, technology management as well we neighboring country sales opportunities, with Singapore addressing SE Asian and Australiasian markets and London UK, Europe and North American. Our products will have matured with extended development into aligned areas, the opportunities which we have already identified.
What advice would you give to anybody looking to set up an SME?
Lay down your foundations by developing an extensive network which can support you as soon as you are ready to launch. Try not to work alone, more often than not this leads to failure. You need someone to feed ideas, to critique, to support you when you’re facing difficult days and to celebrate your successes, whilst at the same time helping you recognise what those are. It’s so easy to get stuck inside the box that you can’t see really what is going on around you. Undertake focus group work, sharing your ideas with potential clients, asking them to help you to polish your thinking and prepare your offering before launching it.
Has the uniform tracker had the impact you expected?
We’ve had some delays with one of the stakeholders and their business cycles but have managed to compensate for these bottlenecks. In a way this has helped us to refine the product and our thinking ahead of market launch, without materially impacting the opportunity. Most significantly we’ve managed to overcome some technology hurdles during this time and extend our sales pipeline with pre-sales engagements. As the key window for the product sales is February to June we have some exciting times ahead of us.
What is the multi-language translation tech industry like at the moment?
This is a rapidly evolving market. Global challenges to business means that more and more entities are looking to extend their products and services to international audiences which they may not have previously considered. At present we face little competition, although this will change over time.
Is there anything exciting you would like to share?
Not to jinx something that we’re very excited about, but we are very hopeful that we will shortly be announcing a significant partnership which will extend our reach into 15 countries.