Winner of British Education Technology (BETT) Award . . read more

Invented by a family on a mission

As parents, we hated to see kids getting behind in math. As a math teacher, Ged knew he could help.

When we looked at ways to learn math outside school, we knew that we could make something better, not only for our family, but for families all over the country.

This is the story of how we got started.

The Family Team

It started with our family. Dad (Ged), Mum (Jane) and our two children James and Kate. Ged's an ex-math teacher and Jane makes TV documentaries.
 Ged spent 10 years creating math and science e-learning for schools all over the world, from Idaho to London and on to Kuala Lumpur. He won lots of awards and nominations as he developed his skills.

The Challenge

As a math teacher, Ged was frustrated to see school math not working for so many children. Too often, he would see children who had lost confidence in math at an early age, and without the right help, they'd fall even further behind.

During his years as a teacher, Ged had seen time and time again that two simple factors could make a  world of difference: A little extra practice, and a little extra encouragement. He knew that if we could help parents give practice and encouragement at home, he could improve the confidence and math ability of children.

Then the iPad happened. It changed everything. With the rising popularity of tablet computers, for the first time, many homes had a device that young children could use for learning. It could even be fun.

We had focus, and we had a mission. Ged and Jane started to design a math learning app, for use at home.

We started with these principles:

Parents are central

Their encouragement and involvement makes the all difference.

It needs to be personal, and personalized

The learning needs to be tailored to the needs of each child.

It needs to take 15-20 minutes per day

Our kids spend enough time in front of screens.

It needs to be fun and rewarding

It's not a game, but kids need to enjoy using it.

It needs work with real families

Parents are incredibly important, but busy.

It needs to complement classroom maths

Home and classroom learning differ, so our approach should too.

It needs to have wide appeal

across culture, gender and age. And be enjoyable and super-easy to use.

Motivation needs to be built in

learning happens over months, not minutes, so staying motivated is key.

Momentum

We didn't really have any money for advertising, but that was OK because we knew that if Komodo was good, it would spread by word of mouth. We relied on family, friends and happy customers to spread the word, and they did!

Soon we were on our way to 5000 learners. And people weren't just trying Komodo — it was really working. Every month, we would make improvements to Komodo based on how people were using it. We even ran out of rewards. After enough learners became Black Belt Komodos, we needed to invent even more levels and rewards. Enter Bronze, Silver and Gold medals.

Then Komodo started winning awards of its own. It picked up the Samsung Digital Media Award and the DANI Award for E-learning. We celebrated by sponsoring Kenyan homeless girl's education through our amazing charity partner, Many Hopes.

The Opportunity

It's been 3 years since we started thinking about Komodo and we couldn't be happier with how it's going, but fundamentally, we want to help more kids gain confidence and ability. We won't be satisfied until every child has confidence in maths. To date, we've helped over 4000 learners and we'd like to help 4000 more by the end of this year.

The Team

Ged, co-founder & math teacher

Jane, co-founder

Dave, developer

Sara, marketing

Bobby, animation

Roger, developer