Azaan Maqbool likes a challenge. A common trait among successful entrepreneurs, this desire to explore new opportunities and test their own limits is often the driving force behind successful startups.

Azaan’s always had an interest in, and aptitude for, puzzle-solving and maths, along with technical and science subjects. So, in March 2021, finding himself being home-schooled due to COVID-19, he seized the opportunity to challenge himself, and chose to complete his maths GCSE five years early.

He's very self-motivated and ambitious. He only had a few months to complete the syllabus and was determined to achieve the top grade (9). He had support from his parents, but nevertheless he needed more help if he was going to reach his goal. He needed to find a tutor.

Initially, his father found someone local to them, and booked him on a sessional basis to work with Azaan. Then they realised that as all the lessons had to be online because of lockdown, location wasn't important, and he could work with a tutor from anywhere in the world. His second tutor lives in Sri Lanka.

His Sri Lankan tutor was charging much less than his local one, meaning more lessons in the budget. Azaan realised that there was a way both students and tutors from around the world could benefit from a platform that brings them together. Many children would benefit from additional tutoring, for a variety of reasons, but parents can’t always find a suitable tutor who can offer convenient hours at a price they can afford. And there are many gifted and knowledgeable tutors who can provide a great service but need a way to reach out to their students.

Luckily Azaan’s not the only technically minded member of his family. His father had already built a global trading platform, and so he was perfectly positioned to help his son with this next challenge.

Sprout9 has grown from Azaan’s personal experience and his desire to help other children take advantage of additional educational opportunities. The name reflects his philosophy of nurturing seedlings and striving for the best result (Grade 9).

Azaan obtained an A* (Grade 9) in his Maths GCSE. Aged 10, he is one of the youngest boys in the 33+ year history of the exam to have achieved this.

Even before receiving his result, though, he had already moved on to learning to code, and setting up this business.


What other founders are saying

“I launched an education startup at 22 years old, which now (at 35) seems like a crazy young age to do so. Azaan bested me by 50%, launching http://Sprout9.net at just 11 years old. I foresee a bright future for this kid.”
Richard Ludlow • Financial Data Science Manager at Uber, formerly education tech startups and the US Treasury for President Obama. Via Twitter
“Well done Azaan, a fantastic achievement. You’ve a very bright future.”
Kevin Byrne • Founder of Checkatrade.com (Sold to HomeServe in 2017 for £91 million). Via Twitter
“That’s awesome, Azaan! I thought I did well doing my Maths GCSEs at 14 but you’re on a different level Azaan! Doing so much at just 11 - achieving an A star in GCSE Maths and now founding your first Startup. I’m sure it’ll rock!.”
Janu Shan • Founder & CEO careiq.health.