The EdTech space within Bahrain’s thriving startup ecosystem is teeming with a new wave of homegrown startups, Springring being one of them.
In case you were not familiar with the startup, Springring is a cloud-based School Communication Management platform. The startup is right on track to establish itself as a trusted platform where school administrators, teachers, parents, and students can communicate in a modern and highly engaging environment.
As the world comes together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are not attending schools due to the closure of educational institutions. As we all have to adapt to the new realities caused by the spread of the virus, Springring is offering their service for free to schools.
StartUp Bahrain recently got in touch with Springring Co-Founder and CEO Mohammed Ashoor to discuss the company’s vision, its achievements so far, growth roadmap, and other important issues relevant to the Kingdom’s business and startup ecosystem.
The minds behind Springring
Springring is the brainchild of Mohammed Ashoor himself, along with Jawad Sadiq, the other co-founder.
Mohammed has put on many hats throughout his professional career. He has previously served as an ex-banker, a computer engineer, and even co-founded his own digital agency back in 2012.
Jawad, who was the other co-founder of said digital agency, had served multiple agencies as a creative director for nearly a decade-and-a-half.
How it started
Mohammed took a quick trip down memory lane to brush upon the origin of Springring. Apparently, it all started when the co-founder duo was collaborating with various schools for developing custom products through their digital agency.
During that stint, the duo realized that one of the most common yet unsolved problems schools have to face is the lack of a reliable way to manage school-home communication.
“It really hit home when I became a parent and got the first-hand experience of the fragmented and disorderly manner in which school communication is managed,” Mohammed noted, adding that it was at this juncture that he planned on giving a shot at finding a solution.
“Since launching and signing up both my kids’ schools, both my wife and I are getting the same communication from the schools, in one app, with all sorts of media (pics, videos, files,…), and relevant information about our kids’ education in one place.”
He added that these are the main advantages that make Springring more engaging and better suited to cover all the important matters happening at school — a win-win situation for parents, school administration, teachers, and of course, the students themselves.
Achievements so far
Springring has been around for less than a year as of this writing, but that has not affected its ability to woo some of the most prominent investors in the region.
Mohammed elaborated: “Since the start of 2019, we’ve managed to raise $200k in seed fund, which gave us a big boost to aggressively pursue our goals. During that time we’ve managed to sign 5 schools, with St Christopher’s School coming on board beginning of 2020, adding more than 4000 users to our user base.”
He also highlighted that the startup is now promoting its products outside of the Kingdom. The decision to participate in BETT London, one of the world’s biggest EdTech shows, has been a major step along that direction.
A word on Bahrain’s startup ecosystem
Praising Bahrain’s growing stature as a regional hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, Mohammed said: “The Bahrain startup ecosystem has seen some good growth since the beginning of the last decade, especially with more emphasis put on startups and their importance as an engine of future market growth.”
On a personal note, he also acknowledged the immense help Springring got by joining Flat6Labs Bahrain cohort. According to him, the program made it much easier for the startup to launch in a timely manner and create brand awareness in the target market.
As for the entities that have played an instrumental role in Springring’s growth so far, Mohammed thanked Tamkeen and StartUp Bahrain for all the help extended to the platform, “Tamkeen and StartUp Bahrain have been ever-present when needed and lent a hand whenever they could in facilitating access and providing more opportunities of growth.”
Chinks in the armor
As for the challenges emerging Bahraini startups usually face even today, Mohammed pointed out that certain regulatory hurdles should be removed — especially when it comes to company registrations, fundraising, and intellectual property laws.
“We are still lagging behind the more established startup hubs when it comes to creating a more efficient process for company setup, the process of fundraising (with many of the instruments used in fundraising not formally recognized), and a big lack of intellectual property laws and protection.”
We also asked Mohammed if he had any advice to share with the next-gen founders in Bahrain. His response: “My main advice would be to find real problems to solve and once a solution is found, perseverance in the pursuit of bringing your ideas to life is the key to success.”
Lending a helping hand
For the many schools that shifted to Virtual Learning, Springring is committed to keep the communication lines as efficient and as easy as possible. With parents having to embrace the role of the teacher, communication between the home and school is essential.
“As our responsibility towards our communities, we want to lend a helping hand in offering Springring for Free,” says Mohammed. Until the pandemic is under control, Springring wants to make sure that learning doesn’t stop. And until the educational system is back to normal, Springring will remain free with no obligations or strings attached.
Knowing how powerful it is when we all come together and collaborate, Springring wants to help.