Graduate startup secures £30k alongside backing from global partner

Published on: 15 June 2016

Alex Somervell has secured £30k via Kickstarter for his language learning business, One Third Stories.

Exeter graduate, Alex Somervell, who established his business, One Third Stories whilst studying for his degree in International Relations and Languages has received more than £30,000 from over 1,000 backers for his Kickstarter campaign.

One Third Stories uses a concept developed by Alex and his business partner Jonny Pryn known as The Clockwork Methodology® which creates bedtime stories in the form of a book and app that starts in English and ends in a different language by gradually introducing words in the target language.

In addition to the overwhelming financial success of his Kickstarter campaign, Alex has also established a partnership between One Third Stories and Worldwide ambassador of German language and culture, the Goethe-Institute.

Alex said: “It’s an incredible feeling and achievement to triple our initial target and surpass £30,000 from over 1,000 backers. A year ago I was finishing my studies and about to receive our first Think:Try:Do grant from the Innovation Centre to kick it all off. Reaching these milestones means being able to invest much more time and efforts into illustrations as well as some news features we’re sure kids will love. From a business perspective it gives us validation, financial stability and buying power when negotiating with our suppliers.”

Alex continued: “One of the most exciting things about our campaign is that we were able to partner with the worldwide ambassador of the German language and culture, the Goethe-Institute (British Council equivalent). What it means is having an internationally recognised partner and also the ability to help children learn German, as well as French, Spanish and Italian.”

Karl Pfeiffer, Director of Education at the Goethe-Institut London said: "The Goethe-Institut is pleased to announce its partnership with One Third Stories to further the learning and teaching of German at primary school age. Early foreign language learning is of great benefit to young children and their future prospects. Using One Third Stories’ innovative Clockwork Methodology is an easy and fun way to make a good start on this road and we’re delighted to support them.”

The future for One Third Stories looks bright judging by the level of support and collaboration that the business is currently receiving. Alex and Jonny want to pursue their goal of ensuring every child has the opportunity to be bilingual.  

Jonny said: “Alex and I bandy about the words ‘language learning revolution’ when we’re in the office together, and that’s only partly a joke. The most successful language learners find ways of constantly improving their skills in their everyday lives and we’re looking to make that a reality for everyone, especially children.”

For more information on One Third Stories visit the website.

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