This week we are featuring Estelle Lloyd, Founder and Chief Operations Officer of the exciting learning platform, Azoomee. Founded in 2014, the business has raised $6.8m and provides a safe entertainment service for kids. Estelle is also Advisor for Skwibble!, the Baby Blogging Network, and has previously founded another start up, VB/Research, which she scaled and sold to Centaur Media in 2011.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My career and personal development has always grown by knocking on cold doors. I write cold emails to people I want to engage with irrespective of their seniority. An early mentor once said, "What's the worst thing that can happen?". The response was pretty obvious, that someone might not respond or say no.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
I once sought advice from someone in my close network about starting my own business. A successful investor, he had funded and mentored several start-ups. When I finished pitching my idea, he asked why I wanted to do this when I could get married to a rich man and have lots of children. I'm not kidding!
3. What would you tell your younger self?
I grew up in France; spent my 20s and the early part of my 30s in New York and then moved to London where I've lived for the past 10 years. When I was younger, I had low self-confidence and was always desperate to blend in. It's only later that I realised the power of being different if you learn to embrace your difference and turn it into your own brand. So, my advice to my younger self would be that very famous Oscar Wilde quote "Be yourself, everybody else is already taken"
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
I'm excited about scaling my business to positively impact things that I care about. Two-thirds of today’s kids will grow up to work in a job that hasn’t even been invented. And there’s a range of skills they won’t learn properly in school like coding, computational thinking, robotics, logic & problem solving, literacy skills or making rockets out of cardboard boxes. Azoomee is a multimedia platform that offers positive screen time and learning opportunities on 21st-century skills. All our games and videos are carefully handpicked to create authentic learning experiences that engage, entertain and educate!
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My team - for always believing in the mission and everyone involved in the tech for good movement.