School reports join digital era with Linc-Ed
A Christchurch couple is being rewarded for developing software that helps parents keep in touch with what's happening to their kids at school, and their work has been picked up by the Vodafone business acceleration programme Xone.
From humble beginnings on laptops at their kitchen bench, Paul and Amie Sibson have big dreams for the web programme they've designed.
Linc-Ed is an app developed to help schools report back to parents on their child's progress throughout the term.
"It's a platform that allows schools to share learning with their families in a really easy way, that keeps it as real time reporting as opposed to the old traditional way of reporting," Mr Sibson says.
Teachers can upload a student's classroom progress to the app and parents can then access it at home.
Forty schools are currently using the technology nationwide including West Rolleston Primary in Canterbury.
And Vodafone has just selected it to be one of 10 start-ups nationwide from 177 applicants to be a part of its Xone business accelerator programme.
To be selected the Sibsons had to pitch their idea to Vodafone executives. Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams believes Linc-Ed has a big future in schools.
"We think there's a lot more potential in it," he says.
"We want to help them with that, through helping them build the technology, and also helping build the reach of the business both in New Zealand and around the world."
Being part of Xone means the Sibsons will move out of their kitchen and into Vodafone's $50 million hub, which is still under construction in central Christchurch, and have access to business mentors and funding.
For Ms Sibson it's a dream come true.
"It's an absolutely life changing experience for us," she says.
"We are a small start-up and Vodafone getting behind us is huge."
The Sibsons plan to take Linc-Ed to the world, and give all parents a window into their children's progress in the classroom.