Keeping track of all the things kids get up to outside of the classroom is one of the biggest juggles parents and educators face, but a new startup, which just raised $850,000 from startup VC firm Jelix Ventures, is well on its way to solving that problem.
Software venture Clipboard, founded in late 2017 by Sam Clarke and Ed Colyer, has developed an online attendance tracking system that streamlines timely communication for staff, students and parents as students move around for extracurricular activities.
Parents can both view the children’s schedules and receive instant notifications of any changes via Clipboard.
The venture has grown by seven times in the past 12 months in a market with $1.8 billion in potential globally. Clipboard is used by 24 of Australia’s top private schools integration partnerships with both Schoolbox and Digistorm whose school portal and mobile apps are used by over 500 Australian schools combined.
Clipboard co-founder Sam Clarke said the company is currently working with schools planning a staged reintroduction of extracurricular activities in coming months, with the platform’s ability to track attendance for students and teachers in real time, using online tools, has become even more important in the covid-19 era.
“The schools we work with are telling us very clearly that streamlined, timely and meaningful parent- student-staff communication is vital to enable them to return to normal, whenever that may be,” he said.
“A school’s top priority is to ensure they have online, real time systems to track attendance as they reinstate extracurricular activities and Clipboard enables that feature. It gives parents, teachers and students the peace of mind that they have the tools to respond to any health issues, including COVID- 19, and report faster and with greater accuracy than traditional, paper based methods of attendance, which can take days to fill out.”
Clarke sees Clipboard’s market potential extending to universities, sports clubs and other businesses and has already signed up Masters Academy, a debating provider to more than 40 NSW schools.
Jelix Ventures CEO and founder Andrea Gardiner said Clipboard has “outstanding traction in a growing global market worth almost $2 billion” globally.
“They are taking time to listen to their customers, but are also continuing to innovate and build out their innovative products accordingly – their attendance tracking feature is a brilliant example of that innovation. We are confident Clipboard will be in a strong position to slingshot out of the gates when the economic fallout of the COVID19 crisis abates,” she said.
One of the schools using Clipboard is The Scots College Sydney, Paul Lister, Director of ICT, said Scots has more than 1,800 students and 400 staff participating in extracurricular activities in a normal week.
“Clipboard saves us hours of administrative workload and gives us visibility across everything in one place. We are now offering many great activities to our students online, such as football, cross country, guitar, and chess,” he said.
“It is important that we are able to showcase these to our parents in an online format, so we are looking forward to Clipboard’s Activity Selection product. The current situation has caused rapid changes to the running of our programs and it is clear that the old manual ways of communicating with our community are no longer sufficient.
“It will also be crucial to ensure that any students presenting flu-like symptoms during an activity are recorded through the system.”
The Jelix investment has also enabled Clipboard to fast track the commercialisation of its industry first, “Activity Selection” capability to enable parents and students to register online for extracurricular activities such as sports, performing arts, and music.