Clipboard’s unique extracurricular management software helps schools safely transition into the a post COVID- 19 world; unique online attendance tracking system streamlines timely communication for staff, students and parents
Sydney, July 1, 2020 – Jelix Ventures, a leading Australian start-up investment firm, has led an early stage, $850,000 investment in Clipboard, an Australian provider of software for managing extracurricular school activities.
A pioneer of the Extracurricular Management System (EMS) category in the K-12 education market, Clipboard has grown by seven times in the past year and has an estimated addressable market of $1.8 billion globally.
Clipboard’s highly secure, licence-based platform uniquely streamlines communication between school students, staff and parents, replacing cumbersome, aging, and inefficient paper based systems. Highly scalable, Clipboard is easily accessible by staff, students and parents over a desktop or mobile application. Clipboard synchronises with student and staff calendars in near real time, allowing staff to record results, track attendance and incidents, and measure student wellness. It also eases the administration burden for schools by linking staff timesheets with payments.
Tracking attendance for students and teachers in real time, using online tools, has emerged as vitally important for the successful and safe reintroduction of extracurricular activities in the wake of COVID-19. The Clipboard real time attendance tracking feature is unique in the market and helps schools respond immediately, should they discover a case of COVID-19.
Sam Clarke, Co-Founder of Clipboard, said many private schools are already planning a staged reintroduction of extracurricular activities in coming months. Mr Clarke said Clipboard is helping their customers ensure communication around those activities is seamless, timely and accurate.
“The schools we work with are telling us very clearly that streamlined, timely and meaningful parent- student-staff communication is vital to enable them to return to normal, whenever that may be. A school’s top priority is to ensure they have online, real time systems to track attendance as they reinstate extracurricular activities and Clipboard enables that feature. It gives parents, teachers and students the peace of mind that they have the tools to respond to any health issues, including COVID- 19, and report faster and with greater accuracy than traditional, paper based methods of attendance, which can take days to fill out.”
“The Jelix investment has been key to enabling Clipboard to bring this kind of innovation to our customers faster, and with greater agility than before we started working with Jelix. Our relationship with Jelix means we can continue to innovate at scale, and focus on customers.”
Andrea Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Jelix Ventures, said; “Jelix backs daring founders to build a better future. We look for A-calibre founders whose businesses are nimble, can adapt to changing market circumstances, and which can rapidly scale into a global market at the right time. Clipboard has outstanding traction in a growing global market worth almost $2 billion around the world, and there is strong potential for entry into adjacent markets. The founders are smart and agile and are reacting quickly and thoughtfully to the COVID-19 crisis. From a business management perspective, Clipboard has wisely cut costs to extend their runway to up to 27 months and they are taking time to listen to their customers, but are also continuing to innovate and build out their innovative products accordingly - their attendance tracking feature is a brilliant example of that innovation. We are confident Clipboard will be in a strong position to slingshot out of the gates when the economic fallout of the COVID19 crisis abates.”
Cameron Anderson, Head of Sport at Barker College, said; "We have a duty of care to know where our students are at all times, but if you overlay COVID-19 on top of that, Clipboard's attendance tracking feature gives us really quick information about where a student has been, who they've been with, similar to the government's tracking app. God forbid, if a student did test positive, I would get a call from the top of the school asking what team the student is in, when do they train and who do they train with, and I'd be able to immediately get that information together through Clipboard.”
Paul Lister, Director of ICT, at The Scots College Sydney, said; “Clipboard solves major needs for Scots in the management of our expansive extracurricular program. During normal times, Scots has more than 1,800 students and 400 staff participating in extracurricular activities each week, and Clipboard saves us hours of administrative workload and gives us visibility across everything in one place. We are now offering many great activities to our students online, such as football, cross country, guitar, and chess. It is important that we are able to showcase these to our parents in an online format, so we are looking forward to Clipboard’s Activity Selection product. The current situation has caused rapid changes to the running of our programs and it is clear that the old manual ways of communicating with our community are no longer sufficient.
“The current situation has caused rapid changes to the running of our programs and it is clear that the old manual ways of communicating with our community are no longer sufficient. As we embark on the transition back to normalcy, we will be utilising Clipboard to keep our community safe by communicating changes to our programs with students, parents, and staff. It will also be crucial to ensure that any students presenting flu-like symptoms during an activity are recorded through the system.”
The Jelix funding has also enabled Clipboard to fast track the commercialisation of industry first, “Activity Selection” capability to enable parents and students to register online for extracurricular activities such as sports, performing arts, and music.
With the addition of activity selection, Clipboard will enable:
- parents and students to quickly, easily and clearly see online, which extracurricular activities are available;
- schools to monitor and report to parents on extracurricular activity, the attendance of online based extracurricular activities, which the parents pay for in their fees;
- schools to improve their monitoring of these extracurricular programs to ensure regulatory compliance, including how they comply with health and other regulations relating to social distancing; and
- improved student health and wellness reporting in relation to extracurricular programs
Founded in late 2017 by Sam Clarke and Ed Colyer, Clipboard’s comprehensive, web-application is already used extensively by 24 leading private schools across Australia, including some of the country’s most prestigious, such as The Scots College Sydney, Barker College, St Joseph's College Hunters Hill, Pymble Ladies’ College, Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak, and St Catherine’s School Toorak.
Through open and secure API’s, Clipboard also seamlessly integrates with the other two commonly used school information platforms (Student Information Systems and Learning Management Systems), improving student, staff and parental communication, and taking personalisation and customisation to a level unmatched in the industry. To allow parents to view their child’s extracurricular schedule and get instant notifications of any changes, Clipboard has announced integration partnerships with both Schoolbox and Digistorm whose school portal and mobile apps are used by over 500 Australian schools combined.
Clipboard’s market is not restricted to schools. Its extracurricular activities extend beyond schools to Extracurricular Providers - including universities, sports clubs and other businesses. Clipboard already has a non-school extracurricular provider as a paying customer (Masters Academy, a debating provider to more than 40 NSW schools). Universities, sports clubs, and non-school extracurricular providers have expressed interest in using Clipboard as they all face many of the same problems as schools.
About Jelix Ventures
Founded by Andrea Gardiner, Jelix Ventures is one of Australia’s most successful early stage investment firms. Unique in its combination of experience, industry connections and knowledge, Jelix specialises in invest promoting in Australian disruptive technology start-ups, including StorReduce, which returned a ten times ROI for Jelix and its investor syndicate when it was purchased in 2018 by US storage giant, Pure Storage.
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