Norfolk ed-tech business eyes global expansion with US launch

Sarah Mintey from Developing Experts who are based in Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

Sarah Mintey from Developing Experts who are based in Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

One of Norfolk's fastest-growing tech start-ups is readying itself to go global, as it launches its service to 30 million new US customers next month.

Developing Experts has landed a contract with app developer Sandbox, and along with five other affiliate programmes will be opening its teaching tool kit programme to American parents, teachers, and children.

The 20-strong company is also eyeing contracts in China and India.

Founder Sarah Mintey, a former Norfolk head teacher, designed the platform to support teachers who lack confidence in the topics they teach, having never specialised in them. Industry experts teach video lessons from languages to science, providing students with an interactive style of learning.

She believes the US venture could be a major breakthrough for her firm, but has conservatively forecast reaching just 0.25% of the market of 30 million potential US customers.

She said: 'Even if only a quarter of a percent take up the product, it would still be huge. However we think it has the potential to do much better than that, which would take the company to the next level.'

And that could mean the three-year-old Norwich company's turnover breaking the £5m barrier, as long as it can satisfy the US market.

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'For America at least we haven't had to change the language, and have been able to align the content with their curriculum,' Ms Mintey said.

'But the American market like to have a customer care helpline, which obviously doesn't work with the time difference to the UK. We have had to invest some time in creating videos with FAQs for that market.'

Given the former Future50 company's need to ensure quality of content, Ms Mintey has had to ensure her team, who are based at offices at Diamond House on Vulcan Road North, can cope with the increased workload.

She said: 'We knew we could pull off the America deal with the amount of staff we had, but if we land any more major contracts we will have to increase the team.

'We are in partnership with the University of East Anglia, working with their PhD students and getting them introduced to Developing Experts as a future employer.'

In 2017, Developing Experts won the Breaking Boundaries category at the EDP Business Awards.