"I remember exactly the scene. My sister, Stephanie, had just returned from a one-year expatriation in China. We were both in her kitchen, drinking an aperitif, one evening in December 2014. She told me how her son, educated in an international school, became more and more comfortable with English. Myself, mother of a two-year-old girl and pregnant with my second child, regretted that language learning in France was so poor, especially in Besançon, in Franche-Comté, where we live.
Gradually, we came to imagine a new method of English for children, based on the Japanese method of mental calculation Kumon. 5 minutes a day, children would be exposed to English exercises on an application; and they would have access to a native coach 15 minutes a week via Skype. Without realizing, in a few hours, we defined the bulk of our entrepreneurial project.
"The transition was not easy"
As a mother, the issue of children's learning has fascinated me since the birth of my first daughter. Professionally, though, I come from a different world. After studying at ISC Paris, I became head of large accounts in a leather bracelets factory for luxury watchmaking.
The transition was not easy! But my sister and I get along very well, and we both wanted to explore our entrepreneurial spirit. Six months after this December night, we each decided to leave our job. Stephanie took over the financial management and me from the marketing.
Pregnant and unemployed, (I separated from my employer with a conventional break), I fully embarked on benefiting from various aids. With the meeting of a native English teacher, Sarah Buré, we worked on the "Holy Owly" method. We tested it on about fifty children from a partner school. Our own children contributed: my daughter was the most observed beta-tester!
Arrival of the second baby
When my second daughter was born, I continued working on Holy Owly. She accompanied me in my appointments, and I loved this period of excitement where maternity and entrepreneurship married so well. Entrepreneurship has allowed me to take care of my daughters thanks to the flexibility of schedules specific to the entrepreneurial profession.
Since then, Holy Owly has grown: about fifty classes use our method. Our app has been downloaded over 20,000 times, and we have 500 users daily. We recently joined EM Lyon's edtech incubator and we want to open up internationally.