Athena Tuition have just moved into Club Workspace Chancery Lane. Named after the goddess of wisdom, this new tuition agency prides itself on treating its tutors well so they teach to the best of their abilities. Their management team are a pretty eclectic and impressive bunch; they have PhDs in football, Distinctions in Marketing and degrees in Biomedical Engineering. Education Director, Wesley Sanders, who's taught in China, worked at tech firm BookingBug and tutored in India, takes some time out to tell us about his business, how he got a Virgin Start-up loan and why he loves coworking.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Wesley Sanders and I'm co-director of Athena Tuition, a new private tuition agency focused on Greater London. We started our company in late 2013 and have since received funding from the Virgin Startup initiative.
How long have you been a Club Workspace member? Why Chancery Lane?
I’ve been a Club Workspace member for just under 1 month - as soon as I found out about Club Workspace’s deal with Virgin Start-up Loans! Chancery Lane is well located in central London; it's really convenient for me, my co-founder Nelson Lo as well as our tutors when coming for interviews.
Pitch your product in a sentence
Athena Tuition sends well qualified, DBS-checked tutors with proven tutoring ability across London directly to people’s homes to help their children with subjects they find difficult or if they want to be stretched.
Give us a potted history of your business
Both my cofounder, Nelson Lo, and I had been tutors in London with some of the traditional agencies and felt that the experience for tutors was sorely lacking. Most agencies naturally had their clients in mind, but payment delays, poor support and lack of training for the tutors seemed to have slipped their minds. We felt that we could make a difference by starting a company that provides tutors with 80% of all income, immediate payment for lessons, support and feedback from clients and late hours contact time. In turn we found that they give their all in lessons and refer clients and other tutors to us!
Can you tell us a bit about Startup Loans UK and your experience with them?
Start-up Loans UK is a great new initiative which provides business finance and mentoring to people who are either looking to start their own business or have done so recently. To get funding you have to make an application which includes business plans and cash flow forecasts. They do provide guidance with all of that. Our experience has been great. Our mentor Stefano Tresca has been really useful as a sounding board for new ideas and in strategic business planning. Having someone who has done it all before to chat to is obviously really valuable.
Who would you ask (dead or alive) to be a dream member on your board of directors?
A dream person on our board would be Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. It is a site that provides educational videos and has taken the world by storm over the last few years.
What’s the best thing about coworking?
The best thing about co-working is the fact that you meet loads of other people going through the same experience as you while starting their own business. It makes for very interesting (and insightful) coffee machine discussions!
Find out more about Athena Tuition
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