Startup Academy 2024: Introducing Martine Ellis Education and Training

Our Startup Academy launched its 2024 cohort in April with a wide range of digital ventures having applied. Now halfway through their ten-week journey, we caught up with Martine Ellis of Martine Ellis Education and Training to see how she was getting on. 

Below, she shares how she hopes to deliver digital toolkits that solve individual productivity problems to time-poor professionals who may be experiencing burnout.

The first session of the Guernsey Startup Academy started the week of the 10th of April and runs until the end of June concluding with a business presentation evening. Further Information about the Academy can be found here.

Martine Ellis, Founder of Martine Ellis Education and Training

As we near the halfway point on the business development programme we want to know, what sparked your initial business idea?

My broader business idea grew from my experience of career change and burnout. Learning about the Big Picture Hypothesis framework during the Academy helped narrow my initial online course idea into a Blueprint.

With this, what customer problem are you aiming to solve?

Broadly speaking, I want to help busy professionals learn that it is possible to prioritise their well-being and get things done – that they can achieve success on their own terms.

One way I have been focusing on doing this, thanks to my work as part of the Startup Academy, is by rethinking the online course model. I was planning on creating some in-depth online courses on various topics, including task management. However, after learning more about my ideal customer and their problems, I realised how time-poor they might be. While they might have the means to afford lengthy online courses, they do not have the time or energy to do them.

So, I am developing a series of Blueprints – digital toolkits that solve individual productivity problems. No fluff, just a solution that can be implemented quickly: https://www.martineellis.com/blueprints

My first Blueprint will help my customer create and use a one-point-of-truth digital to-do list to clearly see and manage their workload (across all aspects of their life). 

Who is your ideal customer?

My ideal customer is like me from 5 years ago – a high-achieving, exhausted professional who struggles to 'get it all done'. 

Who are you inspired by in the tech industry?

I am inspired by author and computer science professor Cal Newport; I enjoy his contrarian views on productivity and his reflections on the impact of technology on society. 

What were you looking to gain from the Startup Academy?

I currently run my business part-time; I plan to grow it into a full-time operation over the next 18 months. As such, one of my biggest challenges is finding time to work “on” my business, as I am constantly “in” it.

Some client work keeps me busy, but I want to shift my business model to be less reliant on client work (exchanging time for money) and include an online course and digital product element.

Committing to the Startup Academy meant I was dedicating specific time to develop my idea with expert help and peer support.

What has been the most beneficial part of the programme so far?

As I hoped, carving out some business development time for myself has already paid dividends. I have enjoyed learning about various frameworks to apply to my business ideas and finally getting my head around the need to solve specific customer problems – this benefit has been significant.

The programme has given me the confidence to talk with prospective customers and really get to grips with what I can do to help them; putting theory into practice has been key. 

Has your business changed since the beginning of the programme?

Yes! I have named it, for starters, Martine Ellis Education and Training (I needed to call myself the founder of something!) I find it far easier to explain what I do now. I have honed my offer to individuals and corporate clients and have increased my network.

Want to know more? Join us at the Startup Academy Presentation Evening!

Find out more

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