Tech-savvy dental students will soon have access to a brand-new 3D visual learning tool which uses Augmented Reality and animation.
The visual learning platform, which is unique to the market and due to launch later this month, has been developed by dental nurse turned entrepreneur, Chloe Barratt, who started her business, DigiDentistry, from The Landing’s co-working space at @MediaCityUK.
Chloe, who is only 28 years old, came up with the idea three years ago and, since then, has found a developer who shares her vision, developed a prototype, completed The Landing’s incubator course and workshops, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and has carried out usability testing in The Landing’s specialist labs.
Not only that, but Chloe has managed to develop a multi-lingual platform for international students, engage academic writers from Kings College London and recruit a dentist/professional voiceover artist. She was also whisked away on a tech tour of India earlier this year with The Landing’s commercial director Paul Billington and other tenants from The Landing.
Following three challenging interviews, Chloe has been invited to Silicon Valley in the USA in July to take part in an intensive two-week accelerator programme for women launching tech start-ups.
All that remains is for Chloe to find investors to join her on her journey and help her to develop the platform further and, ultimately, to conquer markets in the UK and the USA.
Chloe’s achievement at such a young age is testament to her sheer ambition and her determination to challenge herself to do more. Before she discovered dentistry and learning, Chloe started out as a professional dressage rider competing across the UK with her horse Eva. At 16, she even was the youngest rider in the Young Horse of the Year Championships, coming 10th place. Following this success, she started coaching other riders and had a real talent for it. In 2008, when the recession hit, she had to find another source of income and found a job as a dental nurse, something she had never done before, although she carried on teaching horse riding in her spare time.
The world of dentistry was an exciting challenge but she wanted more and her hunger for learning led her to study for the highest qualifications she could in dental teaching and assessing, studying three nights a week at university on top of her day job.
When the opportunity to join a dental academy as an assessor and teacher became available, she jumped at the chance. But on discovering at the interview that the dental academy was failing and was about to shut down, she took it over, aged just 24, and started to rebuild it. Chloe set up five new bases for the Academy, established new apprenticeships and post graduate courses and saved the business from ruin.
Chloe Barratt said: “Rescuing the dental academy was a huge achievement and an incredible journey. I learnt so much from this experience as I treated it like my own company and built it up from practically nothing. Once I got the Academy up and running, I started thinking about starting my own business and I could see there was a real gap in the market for better, more visual, training resources.
“There really wasn’t anything out there that students could use to continue their learning from home after they left the classroom and I wanted to create something that would support more practical learning.”
Chloe continued: “I took my vison to a number of developers and eventually found one in Manchester who understood what I was trying to achieve and we began to develop a prototype. There was a lot of uncertainty along the way but, eventually, DigiDentistry began to take shape so I left the Academy to pursue the business full time and I’m really excited about the future.
“The Landing is an amazing platform for entrepreneurs. They understand the entire journey and the steps you need to take to succeed. The support offered has been professional and collaborative with amazing facilities, ERDF funded workshops and opportunities which I wouldn’t have got anywhere else. Launching a tech business is a tough but with The Landing’s support it has been so much easier.”
Paul Billington, commercial director at The Landing said: “Chloe is incredibly talented and determined and I have no doubt at all that DigiDentistry will go on to be a fantastic success.
“At The Landing, we are really proud to support rapid start-ups in the tech sector and to help them develop and test their products as well as introduce them to other tech businesses who can help them on their journey. But it doesn’t stop there, we help our tenants to achieve success in many different ways by removing barriers and driving their growth through access to business development opportunities as well as recruitment and investment.”
The Landing is holding a series of Scaling Technology workshops, funded by ERDF, to help SME’s manage technical teams and projects, with the next one taking place on 10th July. To find out more or to register, visit www.thelanding.org.uk/events.