Roar Podcast Editor Samuel Pennifold interviews the founders of Teachy, Alexia Radu and Alex Popescu.
Alexia and Alex make quite the remarkable team. Having met only four months ago, they took the plunge into the world of business together and founded Teachy – an online learning platform that, as Alex describes it, is an “innovative response to the difficult times we live in right now.” Currently focusing on English lessons for students in Romania, the founders plan to expand into other subjects, countries and regions as well.
When I interviewed the pair for Roar, it was clear they had become a well-organised team, with their skills working together and complementing each other well. They are both energetic and excited about their business, which are traits that make one feel easy and comfortable around them; ideal for businesswomen and men, as well as teachers.
Both hailing from Romania, they now study at a university in the UK, Alexia at King’s and Alex at Coventry University. Alex only recently sold his first business that he set up when he was 18, selling electric scooters in Romania. Now, though, they are pursuing their passion for education together, in the belief that education can change society.
Many people, when they are thinking about starting a business, may find themselves asking how to do it, trying to gather the courage to start. This is how Alexia and Alex did it: “Hard work,” a motto the pair seem to live by, and passion. Alex took this, as many people do, from an inspiring teacher. For him it was his Entrepreneurship teacher in Romania, who made him feel “capable” and “inspired” to take the plunge into the business the first time. For Alexia, she knew when they had first met – for that matter, they both did – as they believed that together they could make a real change. That has driven them both, and fuelled their passions and hard work.
The journey towards founding Teachy has been extremely hard. As students, they have faced challenges in raising capital to start their business and have poured their savings into the project. Alexia spoke of the difficulty of finding support back home in Romania, where opportunities, especially for students, are low. Though funding wasn’t the only difficulty, overcoming other people’s mindsets has been just as hard. The pair called it “eastern European scepticism” – parents who were stuck in their ways and not wanting to try something new.
To fight this, the pair decided to offer free taster sessions. They found that the kids loved it and their parents were won over, booking lessons and packages by the dozens. Sometimes taking a risk is all you need to start. Now the business is growing, with their online following expanding and more lessons being booked.
Alexia and Alex are putting no limits on themselves, and with their passion, hard work and skill, it is hard to imagine anyone putting any limits upon them.
I finished off the interview by asking what they would say to any student thinking of starting a business. Alexia said: “Work hard, and if things are going wrong, then you aren’t working hard enough.” Alex simply said to “do it.” Don’t be afraid to try, because “we are young, we can make mistakes.” They are right; they have both sacrificed their savings and time, and put in hard work, but they have been brave and their labour is now starting to bear fruit.