Enterprise support

HE Software- Joshua Morris

Monday, 02 September 2019

Joshua Morris

HE Software, a company specialising in creating modern, powerful and integral applications for Higher Education providers.

Brookes Spark

LLB Law, recent graduate

Tell us about your business

HE Software is a software development company specialising in creating modern, powerful and integral applications for Higher Education (HE) providers.

In 2018, UCAS saw a record 60,100 students accepted through Clearing. HE providers are currently undergoing a significant market shift, and as a result, there has never been a greater need for new, innovative approaches to attract students.

Our flagship product, ClearCourse, is a real-time, collaborative course management and clearing admission system. Designed to integrate with existing solutions, ClearCourse improves HE providers legal compliance, efficiency, search engine rankings, and more.

With a host of specialist features for HE, ClearCourse allows providers to make strategic, data-driven decisions.

ClearCourse. The decision is Clear.

Tell us about your pitching experience

I have pitched before for a few different events. When I was in secondary school, I started a small web design studio and took part in a few different competitions that required pitching. What's more, a component of my Law degree at Oxford Brookes also involved presenting a case to a judge in a mock courtroom. Somehow, I always seem to end up in some public speaking situation. Regardless of what anyone says, public speaking can be scary and challenging. Especially when you are trying to convey your passion and belief in something, as you often are during pitching.

I still find those few seconds of anticipation just before you start pitching to be the worst. Often, as soon as I begin to speak, all the nerves begin to go away, and you can relax more.

The key to being good at pitching is to be prepared, breath and focus. Making sure that you're clear and concise.

How has taking part in the pitch improved your skill set?

The nature of my business and project is highly technical. However, my software aims to provide advanced features in a simple and intuitive way. Often, it can be difficult to explain how and what ClearCourse does to non-technical audiences. However, this is essential if my software is to be successful, as end-users are unlikely to understand technical jargon. By taking part in the pitch, I needed to be able to clearly explain what ClearCourse was, and why Higher Education providers should use my software. So, I spent many days preparing for the pitch, writing and re-writing aspects to ensure my target audience would see the benefits of ClearCourse. So by preparing for the pitch, I've improved my ability to focus on what the potential customer cares about. The pitch itself has improved my confidence in explaining ClearCourse. Further, as members of the audience can ask questions, I have been able to gain an invaluable insight into how potential end-users of my software think, and practice my ability to explain aspects clearly. Overall taking part in the pitch has improved my skills and I encourage anyone with a business idea to take part.

How will winning this money help you?

HE Software is already a registered business, and the development of ClearCourse is almost complete. So this funding will allow me to take ClearCourse from a product in development to a market-ready solution. Therefore, the funding will be used to purchase the necessary tools needed to begin distributing my software. Additionally, some of the funding will go towards supporting day-to-day business operations, allowing me to focus on sales and development.

What are your next steps?

The next steps for HE Software and ClearCourse are to begin software demonstrations for potential clients. I am also taking part in the Brookes Enterprise, FUEL awards, as the additional funding will allow HE Software to attend national Higher Education trade conferences and purchase marketing materials. While this is on-going, I plan to add other features to ClearCourse, as outlined in the software development roadmap.

What does success look like once you've spent the money?

Success is difficult to quantify. Ultimately I believe that HE Software has a range of potential software products that could allow the company to become a market leader in its specific field. However, success personally for me would be to partner with our first Higher Education provider, allowing them to begin utilising the range of ClearCourse features.