Back in 2019, Avril McMonagle fulfilled a lifelong ambition. She became her own boss, setting up her own business, MOSAIC Digital Solutions of Early Education, near her home in Stroove, North East Inishowen. Dedicating 25 years of her working life to her passion of early childhood care and education, and with an innovative idea on how to revolutionise the space in her back pocket, it was a no brainer to become her own boss.
Since MOSAIC’s inception in 2019, the company has grown from strength-to-strength. Nominated as a finalist in the Irish Education Awards 2020, MOSAIC employed its first full-time employee in late 2020.Now employing 3 people, MOSAIC’s digital solutions have capitalised on the increasing movement of services online, as the result of the pandemic.
Avril explains, “the pandemic really exposed outdated ways of working as less efficient and inflexible when change was required. This has escalated the need for sustainable, digital solutions for record keeping and communication in early education, and our apps have stepped in to fill that gap.”
The business launched with two key products back in 2019, MOSAIC Educator and MOSAIC Family apps. The mobile apps launch brought MOSAIC into a competitive and emerging EdTech sector, worth over $250bn globally and expected to grow to over $600bn by 2027.
Both apps are designed to complement each other. The Educator apps objective is to transform the way children’s individual ‘portfolios’ are collated. All early childhood services must compile these portfolios on a child’s learning and make them accessible to parents for legal and quality assurance reasons. A cumbersome and time-consuming task, MOSAIC developed the apps to offer a green, secure, alternative to huge paper files, that could be communicated directly to parents in real-time.
Avril says, “the MOSAIC Educator App is specifically designed to dovetail with quality standards in early education and offer a cloud based, electronic storybook of each child when they join an early childhood service. Parents have access on their children’s progression, with regular updates including photographs, videos, learning stories & reports through the MOSAIC Family app.”
“The real-time parental engagements allows parents and families to be actively involved in their child’s learning. This is something our customers value massively, after all it is easier to build strong children, than repair broken adults. This is our mission statement at MOSAIC which underpins everything we do.”
Located on the idyllic Inishowen peninsula, the company has wasted no time engaging with the thriving eco-system of support networks. A relationship has been struck up with the Inishowen Innovation Digital hub which is expected to be completed later this year. Avril has also got involved with Awaken Hub, a not for profit supporting women founders across the island of Ireland. The business was involved too in Donegal Scale-X and ACORNS, initiatives which assist in developing tech start-ups growth. Avril believes that tapping into this digital support network in Donegal has been invaluable to her business.
Avril also outlines how she enjoys a perfect work-life balance in the county, saying, “the sea, scenery and fresh breeze is all a part of my working environment. For digital technology businesses, the potential that Donegal has, to achieve the perfect work-life balance are endless. I get my energy and headspace from plugging into and recharging from this environment.”
Having established the apps across Ireland and gaining a significant market share, Avril see’s the future of the company expanding into new international markets, stating, “we feel that Ireland has been an excellent testing ground for the product. The next step is to bring MOSAIC to countries with a larger demographic and a municipal education system to accelerate and grow our sales going forward, right here from our base in Donegal. Regardless of where the future takes us, Donegal will always be our base.”
You can find out more on the range of services Avril and the MOSAIC team offers by visiting their website: https://mosaicearlyed.com/