Tom Keighley

Behind the business with Night Zookeeper

Night Zookeeper is a children’s education and entertainment website that inspires children to create their very own magical animal, write about it, play with it and share it with their friends. Managing director, Joshua Davidson take Bdaily behind the business.

What key challenges has your company recently faced?

Night Zookeeper is both an educational and entertainment proposition. A significant challenge therefore, has
been to develop a brand that both excites children and communicates our valuable educational benefits to parents and teachers. Our Creative Director, Buzz Burman is one of the best designers working in London today and his execution has already won many fans.

Of course once we had a brand, our challenge became to spread our message and vision. With limited capital for marketing, we have made use of social media channels. We have been very successful on Twitter because more and more teachers are using it to share best practice. My co-founder Paul Hutson is a primary school teacher and he has loved chatting with teachers around the world and sharing our Night Zookeeper resources with them. The lovely thing about working in education, is that you meet some great people!

What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?

We have won two major startup competitions, were the first startup ever featured in EducationInvestor magazine and attracted a top development talent to our team. However I feel our biggest success these past 12 months has been our physical hands-on work in schools. (See how I cunningly worked in more than one achievement there!)

I have worked as a project manager on many websites, so I understand the importance of user testing. We have been lucky enough to develop the vision for our platform in partnership with the teachers and pupils in primary schools across the UK, whilst delivering highly beneficial creative days for the children.

What is your biggest focus for the coming year?

Mobile. Night Zookeeper is a true web 3.0 offering and as well as developing from prototype to launch site, we are in the process of building an amazing mobile application to enhance the experience. I can’t go into too much detail but I hope that we can change what children expect from an online entertainment product.

If you had to choose one top piece of advice for someone just starting out in business, what would it be?

Focus on building a great team that you like, respect and want to work with everyday. It won’t be ‘your baby’
anymore, but it will be something bigger and ultimately better.

Can you share with us your view of the current landscape of business, in this region or generally and where your organisation sits within it?

In times of rapid change such as these, education is necessarily in a state of flux. Governments and educators around the world are trying to prepare children for an increasingly unpredictable future. This presents an opportunity for businesses such as Night Zookeeper which instill a love of learning in children whilst enhancing their core skills.

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