How Skool Loop’s 52-year-old founder got 700 schools on board to digitise the archaic permission slip system

Founded in Christchurch six years ago, school app startup Skool Loop is now in more than 700 schools throughout Australia and New Zealand, but 52-year-old founder Sharlene Barnes says slow and steady wins the race.

Born out of frustration with school communication, Skool Loop digitises the contact between schools and households, with newsletters and event information being distributed via the app.

Schools can also send permission slips to be signed digitally — instead of left crumpled in the bottom of bags — and the app can send push notifications in the case of an emergency.

Having raised her own family and struggled with the dreaded surprise gold-coin day, Barnes says she came up with the idea for an app, and started looking for a developer to help her build it.

“I knew what I wanted,” she says, “most said it would never work”.

Eventually, however, Barnes found a team to help her build the product, and now it’s up and running in 700 schools throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Initially, Barnes says she didn’t spend much on marketing, mainly pushing the product through email campaigns. Read more

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien - Startup Smart - 26 Nov 2018

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