Big year for award-winning startup

Published 9:25am 21 December 2020

Big year for award-winning startup
Words by Kylie Knight

Parent TV will soon be working on a project to translate its content into five languages, opening up global markets and enhancing its offering to the Australian market – just two years on from being named the Moreton Bay Region’s best startup.

The business, which is the brainchild of Clontarf mum Samantha Jockel, won the Innovate Moreton Bay most successful startup category at the 2018 Moreton Bay Region Business and Innovation Awards.

With COVID-19 ruling out this year’s awards, we’re shining a light on superstars from previous years and asking … what are they up to now?

It’s been a big year for Parent TV, despite a global pandemic.

Parent TV is an online streaming service which provides access to expert parenting advice on a range of topics covering children of all ages.

Samantha says the COVID-19 shutdown didn’t adversely affect her business, in fact she picked up a couple of big clients such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and PWC which have used Parent TV to support their staff.

In response to demand for content, the team produced about 40 videos, answering children’s and parents’ questions about social distancing, restrictions and learning at home.

“We turned that around very quickly,” Samantha says.

And about six months ago, Parent TV signed with G8 Education, which has 475 childcare centres in Australia and 30,000 parents.

Big year for award-winning startup

Funding boost to go to next level

Earlier this month, Samantha found out she will receive $400,000 in funding from round one of the Federal Government’s Boosting Female Founders Initiative.

This funding has been matched by a current investor, giving her $800,000 to complete a project which will translate Parent TV’s top 100 videos into five languages – Mandarin, Hindi, Cantonese, Arabic and Spanish.

Samantha anticipates the project, which kick off at the start of 2021, will take 18 months to two years and her website will be one of the first in world to do it.

The idea was born out of conversations with early learning centres, with many saying parents from non-English speaking backgrounds were grappling with the same issues and would benefit from access to the material on the website. The project came about after the team translated one course into Mandarin to see how it would go.

Samantha says it’s not just a matter of adding subtitles – the content will be properly translated and culturally-appropriate.

It will cater to parents in Australia from non-English speaking backgrounds, but will also take the content to a global market.

On top of the world

Earlier this month, Parent TV won the Quality Education category at the World Summit Awards. The business was among 40 winners from 26 countries, chosen from almost 350 entries from 180+ countries.

The World Summit Awards recognises and promotes local digital innovation, which improves society. Parent TV was the only Australian business to win an award and Samantha says the win will allow her to partner with the organisation to promote the work she’s doing.

She plans to hold a parenting online summit, in five languages, when the multi-lingual project is finished.

Big year for award-winning startup

But wait, there’s more

In February, Parent TV will publish a book titled Parents, This Is The One Thing You Need To Know.

The 33 experts Samantha works with have provided a chapter each focused on one piece of information they believe all parents need to know. The book aims to solve parenthood’s most diabolical head-scratchers.

With diverse backgrounds in children’s health, education and psychology, the experts are armed with the data and insight to tackle everything from kids’ resilience to their relationship with food and the influence of music on developing brains.

It will be available from bookstores across Australia and online.

Samantha and her team are also in the process of finalising an Open Learning partnership which will allow them to provide professional development and micro-credentials for early learning educators. It is likely to launch in February/March.

The focus remains on children’s social and emotional wellbeing, giving educators validation of that in professional learning.

High demand for expert advice

Samantha says there’s plenty to be done during the COVID-recovery phase, and as people continue to struggle with the uncertainty of the pandemic and not knowing when the end point will be.

She predicts residual anxiety in parents and children, and will continue to tailor content in a bid to help.

Samantha’s advice for startups

“Settle in for the long haul. There’s no one thing that will happen when your business ‘makes it’. It’s a combination of showing up and baby steps and doing something every day,” she says.

“Enjoy the journey rather than focusing on the destination. It takes time. You can’t hack time. Understand that’s what you’re going into and be at peace with that.”

Want to know more about Parent TV? Visit the website

For more work and study stories, head here

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