The concept of Selfsuite® emerged from the wide range of experience and knowledge gained from client work produced by Glenn Greenhill through his brand and marketing consultancy Brandgarden.
In 2011 Brandgarden were engaged to create a name, brand identity, website and marketing collateral for a high-end education consultancy.
The resulting Hylle Royce brand was extremely successful and this led to the requirement for a business development strategy that would provide a way to scale-up a the education consultancy and expand it’s customer base.
The first strategy and plan for an online initiative was produce in Autumn 2013 and was named Hylle Royce Exchange.
2. A self-financing lead generation scheme
The core of the idea was to provide a platform that – like a dating agency – would match pupils to the most suitable schools. The data collected through this process would provide the means to identify and qualify the most suitable client prospects for the Hylle Royce consultancy, and to do it with a scheme that was self-financing.
This approach blended together elements of a number of different online platforms already in existence including eHarmony, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Compare the Market and eBay.
It was envisioned that Hylle Royce Exchange would assist families living overseas by providing them with official statistics and objective expert analysis, to fully-inform their decision-making about schools.
Hylle Royce Exchange would give parents easy access to all the information required to optimise the educational opportunity for their children. By providing families with a suite of solutions that would identify, shortlist, profile, match and prepare students for potential schools, the new service would exceed the capabilities of anything currently available on the market.
Integral to the efficacy of the proposed service would be the requirement to develop a system of profiling the personality of the child – and also the personality of the school – to find the optimum match.
At the same time, Hylle Royce Exchange would also provide schools with the ability to match potential students with vacancies, thus maintaining the highest possible quality of cultural experience for students whilst simultaneously optimising their educational provision and protecting their fee income.
3. Deeper needs and broader demand
Through 2014 to 2016 the Hylle Royce consultancy became more established and as their children grew older, so the requirements of Patrick’s client base of families deepened and expanded into post-school education planning.
This is especially important for university bound pupils whose future learning options would be determined by decisions that were required to be made at around age 13 during school year 9 in the UK.
After a period of business analysis and planning a new range of Hylle Royce marketing collateral was produced.
Having been immersed in the planning and research process it became apparent that to meet the needs of the marketplace the Hylle Royce Exchange platform concept was equally applicable to the post-compulsory education sector.
The idea of an equivalent platform for higher education was then developed.
4. Formulation of a high revenue business model
In this iteration of the concept the Hylle Royce Exchange platform was seen as separate from the Graduate Platform. This structure allowed for a transition period from when parents would pay for the services to when users reached 18 and could pay for the services directly themselves. In other words, the school platform was positioned to engage parents whilst the Graduate Platform would be configured to directly engage the students themselves.
Having registered for a school place, existing students could update their profiles and maintain a presence on the platform, thus preparing for university entry whilst gathering intelligence about the diversity of opportunities open to them.
New students could also be taken on to the platform in the same way, thus extending the potential market to cover all students potentially considering university study in the UK and not just those in the independent sector.
Providing a service that would cater for the needs of both international and domestic education provided a potential market of over 2.5 million young people. This combined with a broad provision of data-driven services – from profiling and matching at the entry level – through to personalised tutoring services indicated substantial revenue potential of circa £40m annually.
This model illustrated that whilst the scheme would generate £375,000 in revenues for the Hylle Royce consultancy that the greater commercial opportunity lay in meeting the education needs of the rest of the market.
The weakness of the model was its reliance on third-party contractors to provide the direct services such as tutoring.
The next stage of development would lead to the conceptualisation of an entirely digital business-to-consumer online service model.
5. Deconstruction of a process and construction of a prototype
At the next stage of development the entire education planning decision-making process – from school to employment – was deconstructed, broken into its constituent parts and then organised into a practical structure [research & planning]. A subjects aptitudes, attributes and needs were then aligned with their respective data resources, information sources and influencing factors.
To provide the optimum match and most efficient education path for any individual, taking into account their aptitudes, academic status, personality, financial circumstances, career choices and potential outcomes.
These components were then translated into the form a product simulation [platform prototype]. This first platform prototype was built using off-the-shelf web template and dynamic components.
In November 2016 these two elements – needs analysis and prototype – were presented to experienced business analysts in London.
The feedback the business concept received was overwhelmingly positive.
6. A unique name and a distinctive brand
In 2017 Glenn devised the Selfsuite® name. It is completely unique and has never been registered as a company name, product name or domain anywhere in the world.
In two syllables Selfsuite® perfectly captures the two core attributes of the the service: it is a suite of applications to be used for the explicit benefit of individual.
To supplement the name a mnemonic device was conceived to convey the dual benefit of the service which allowed an individual to look out into the world of opportunities and also inside themselves. The eye is regarded as the window into the soul and has the added benefit of an instinctive attractor for the audience. Rather than a window device, a visual pun of a doorway into the pupil can be interpreted both metaphorically and literally.
The door also provided the crucial visual link between the iconographic device of the eye and the text logo.
The font family chosen is Avenir and with the addition of simple animation the fundamental visual language and brand identity of Selfsuite® was definitively established.
The Selfsuite brand and product identity comprises four fundamental components: font family, graphic designs style, restricted colour pallet and animation.
Over the last two years these building blocks have been thoroughly tried and tested across the full spectrum of communications from software design, to video to literature and marketing with considerable success, synergy, impact and appeal.
7. Trademark Registration
The name and trademark registration process was executed by Nucleus IP in London.
The name, logo and icon have been registered in four business categories:
Class 9: Computer software; computer games
Class 35: Data processing; collection of data; market research; employment demand forecasting; unemployment forecasting; skills shortage analysis and tracking; etc.
Class 38: Provision of online forums; providing access to websites advertising part time jobs; etc.
Class 41: Educational consultancy and educational information; educational assessment services; analysis of educational data; etc.
Full details of the registration is contained in the documentation links below.
8. Start-up business proposal
In March 2017, having received and extremely positive reaction to the product concept and platform prototype, Glenn and Patrick turned their attention for the first time to describing Selfsuite® as a business and to defining it as an investment opportunity.
The document linked below captures in 14 pages the concept and the market opportunity.
Even though concerns about the value and viability of higher education around this time the quality press turned their attention to the issues in considerable detail, especially the cost of university, which had increased to an estimated average of £60,000 per graduate, the impact this had on social mobility, the erosion of graduate class employment opportunities, fears of the ever-increasing skills gap across that’s affecting European businesses, and the rising amount of outstanding student debt which was predicted to be £100-billion by 2018.
Also, for the first time, it was estimated that Selfsuite® as a technology based start-up enterprise in the UK had the potential to attain a £100m valuation after 5 years.
9. Development Stack
The chart below illustrates the structure of the development work that has been completed to date and illustrates graphically that the Prefuture Minimum Viable product [prefuture.uk] which has just gone live, is the tip of a significant development stack that represents an investment in time and money of an estimated £950,000.
The chart also shows that main system and product design landmarks, which starts with the lead generation concept and online matching utility Hylle Royce Exchange and progresses to the initial prototype, product concept and system designs, upon which all the product developments and designs are based.
11. Prefuture launch bundle wireframe
This application bundle is configured to establish full market validation in the UK and USA. It comprises 14+ modules:
To collect information:
1. Induction Sequence, 2. Identity, 3. Personality, 4. Portfolio, 5. Chat Bot;
To provide education options:
6. Apprenticeships, 7. College, 8. Armed Forces, 9. University, 10. Degree Apprenticeships, 11, Paid Courses;
To provide financial management and analysis tools:
12. Budgeting, 13. Funding, 14. Employment.
This set of applications has been chosen to appeal to the entire 13 – 24 year old market and provides the complete range of education options in a form that allows a number of alternative education pathways to be costed and compared against each other.
All the applications that comprise the MVP bundle have been designed and their functionality specified.
It is intended to produce the product for laptop, desktop and Smart TV, to maximise market reach and frequency of use.
The product also contains a number of integrated features that link the user’s mobile phone to the platform.
These include a reward & incentive scheme, chatbot, both music and video players and access to a range of games and other software tools.
12. Functions Manual
The Functions manual was drafted in March 2017. It describes the proposed functionality of each of the modules which make up the complete Selfsuite® product of 40 applications. In addition, the manual describes some of the strategic development considerations . These include data acquisition and big data capabilities, artificial intelligence and system architecture and choice of technologies.
A significant update of the document is now required to take into account all the development work that has been produced over the last 18 months.
13. Data infrastructure and A.I. systems plan
Selfsuite® could be described as a data-driven engine; this diagram provides a look under-the-bonnet and shows how all the various types of information circulate through the system and how it is to be processed by which applications.
The system diagram also illustrates how the internal economics of Selfsuite® will be constructed. Users earn credits according to their level of engagement with the platform, by providing data and information about themselves and their education activities.
The user proposition is simple:
The more the system knows about you the more it can support you.
The design of the structure incorporates gaming techniques to reward the user and then to allow them to spend the credits they have earned to access the functionality or to purchase rewards. The relationship the user has with the product forms the basis for the deployment of a number of different artificial intelligence capabilities.
The explicit intention is that over time Selfsuite® will be perceived by the user as a friend, mentor, companion, coach and career advisor.
14. Selfsuite 40 application module wireframe
At the beginning of the product design and development process a complete 40 module wireframe was constructed using a rapid prototyping software utility called Just In Mind.
The main purpose was to proved a conceptual template for each of the applications and to ensure the product included all the aspects of functionality indicated by the research, analysis and platform simulation to fulfil the product mission of empowering users to identify their
The master icon interface above shows that the product is organised into 5 tiers of functionality. The top row deals with data collection and finding out as much as possible about the individual user, the next row down is focused on academic status and education options. The third row provides the user with a range of analytical tools to motivate exploration of opportunities, inspire ideas and to help them make truly informed decisions. The fourth row deals with financial management and financial support. The bottom row provides a range rewards and user engagement incentives. Lastly, the vertical row on the far right contains the system utility modules.
Overall, the modular approach is comparable to a mobile phone operating system and app library.
This allows users the maximum flexibility to customise the Selfsuite® to their exact and changing needs. It also means that their device need not store more data than they require.
The modular approach also provides Selfsuite® with a mechanism upon which a regular and meaningful dialogue with users can be pursued to maintain a profitable relationship and maximise both data collection and sales revenues.
15. Registered designs
Fundamental to the functionality, product positioning, user experience and uniqueness of Selfsuite® is the two-wheel interface.
This primary benefit of this design innovation is that it allows the user to actually explore information that is relevant to their needs and aspirations.
Other systems are designed from the perspective the user already knows what they want and the system of presentation is oriented to helping the user access their choices.
By contrast the Selfsuite® two-wheel interface was conceived to cater for users who do not know exactly what they are looking for; they are looking for ideas, information, opportunities, inspiration that will help them plan their education path and make study decisions.
Under UK law, software is not subject to patent protection but is instead covered by copyright. It was felt by our legal advisors that this would not be sufficient to protect the interests of the company and its investors/shareholders. At their suggestion the design of the Graphic User Interface (GUI) was applicable for Registered Design protection.
A set of six key design variations were selected and submitted for registration with:
This process was administered by our specialist Intellectual Property firm:
On the 9th October 2018 it was confirmed that:
The designs have been registered with effect from 20 September 2018.
1. GRAPHIC USER INTERFACE TWIN-WHEEL TEMPLATE OUTLINE
2. GRAPHIC USER INTERFACE TWIN-WHEEL DARK GREEN AND GOLD
3. GRAPHIC USER INTERFACE TWIN-WHEEL GOLD AND LIGHT GREEN
4. GRAPHIC USER INTERFACE TWIN-WHEEL DARK GREEN AND BLACK
5. GRAPHIC USER INTERFACE TWIN-WHEEL LIGHT GREEN
The designs are renewable every five years up to a maximum of 25 years and the next renewal is due on 20 September 2023. We will update our internal records and remind you in advance of the next renewal.
Briffa further advised that to file registered designs in the EU or in other territories, it must be done within the six month period from the filing date (i.e. on or before 20 March 2018) so that Selfsuite® can claim priority from the UK registrations and preserve the novelty of the design.
It is therefore essential to file international design registration by 1st March 2019 or prior to launching the Prefuture MVP in the USA – whichever comes first – to maintain adequate protection of our intellectual-property assets.
16. Pre-revenue valuation
It is calculated that the intellectual property, commercial development and product development assets, presented on this and its accompanying pages has created value of
In consideration of the A.I. & Machine Learning business category Selfsuite® falls within, the education market sector it addresses, the potential size of the target audience, the founders are seeking a high multiple valuation, for the purpose of venture capital calculations.
17. Presentation deck and business plan
Glenn would welcome the opportunity to present Selfsuite® to your investment assessment panel.