Award-winning digital technology entrepreneur, Amir Shurrab, is set to embark on a period of growth as he looks to scale his digital technology business Smartella in the UK.

Amir was recognised as a “World Leading Exceptional Talent” by the UK Home Office in partnership with UK entrepreneurship network Tech Nation, the elected assessment body for digital tech.

Success in the Award for Amir resulted in him recently achieving an unconditional stay in the UK, with just 53% of the 1250 applicants across 50 countries being recommended.

The tech entrepreneur spent nine months on the Entrepreneurs for the Future programme at Innovation Birmingham and has received critical acclaim for his work in the education technology (EdTech) sector.

Having chosen Birmingham as the home for his business, Amir is now looking to raise £750k to increase the workforce, client-base and functionality behind the software-based online platform for training providers.

Commenting on the success of the platform and his journey at Innovation Birmingham, Amir Shurrab, Founder and CEO of Smartella said:

“We spent nine months at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, benefiting from the mentoring, space and networks within the entrepreneurial community. It’s inspiring to be around likeminded entrepreneurs launching other businesses in other sectors.”

Currently used to deliver training to Apple, Microsoft, and the Government of Dubai among many Fortune 500 companies, Smartella is an all-in-one online learning platform that combines a learning management system (LMS), a virtual classroom system, and an eCommerce store into one convenient and easy to use solution.

The software enables training providers to create a new line of business for online learning while saving 60% of the technology cost and reducing working hours thanks to its automation, providing an enhanced learning experience (LX) to streamline the administration, delivery, tracking and implementation of educational courses.

Shurrab and his team managed to secure multiple contracts with training providers in the US, UK, and the UAE at the idea stage to partner with them and fund developing the platform in advance. The Saas mobile-optimised platform, which is customisable with other industry standard tools in the education sector, has been developed on the Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) platform.

E4f was delivered at Innovation Birmingham up until the end of December 2018 and received support from the European Regional Development Fund. Amir added:

“I’ve learnt a lot from the entrepreneurial community at Innovation Birmingham. This has helped to highlight how different people tackle different problems in a variety of ways. It’s also great to meet clients in a space like Innovation Birmingham. This adds to your value and gives a really professional impression. I’d like to thank John Cooke, Dr Mohammed Nazir OBE, Dr Mohammed Bahja, and Yiannis Maos for their help and support.”

Smartella was established in April 2018 and has seen steady growth since then, now employing seven people across the world and maintaining relationships with four high profile clients across the US, Dubai and the UK.

Amir was awarded Chevening Scholarship by the UK Government to pursue his master’s degree in Digital Entrepreneurship at the University of Birmingham where he graduated with distinction as the top student in the Engineering School and won the Technology Enterprise Award. He recognised an opportunity to develop a software-based business to improve the digital management of educational courses.

Amir developed an understanding of the education technology sector having worked for four years as an instructor at the University College of Applied Sciences, then furthering his experience as an e-learning consultant for three years in the UK with international institutions including the United Nations.

The Innovation Birmingham Campus is at the centre of the Midlands’ digital and technology economy. It is home to a thriving cluster of over 170 tech companies, providing opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors looking to develop or fund innovative digital start-ups with high growth potential.

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