Jack Churchill '98

Co-founder and CEO of Scanning Pens

Course studied:
Publishing and Information Systems

Jack co-founded Scanning Pens with fellow Brookes alumnus, Toby Sutton, in 2003. They realised the potential of pen scanning technology to help people with reading difficulties and, after years of struggling to make a commercial breakthrough, have gone from success to success - winning awards, spreading across the globe and employing 100 people.

You can connect with Jack via LinkedIn.

Jack Churchill

What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?

I was interested in these particular subjects.

What is your best memory of your time at Oxford Brookes?

Making some fantastic lifetime friends both from Oxford Brookes & Oxford Uni. In particular my business partner Toby Sutton whom I’ve now worked with for 17 years.

After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps for your career?

The internet was brand new & I got an internship working in the internet department of an auction house in New York City.

What was your inspiration to move into your current profession?

Seeing the impact technology can have in supporting students to study and achieve the grades they deserve.

What success stories/achievements have you had in your role?

It hasn’t all been plain sailing by any means. For 12 years our business struggled, however we kept at it and I’m proud to employ 100 people in our team. We have also won 2 of the highest Edtech awards – the BETT Awards and in 2021 are one of 205 companies to win a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

What is the best advice someone has given you?

I once heard a speech by Gen Sir Peter de la Billiere who said: “Opportunities come along on a conveyor belt, you can either take them or leave them!”

What advice would you give to others?

Success can surprisingly come when you least expect it. Talk to other businesses, even people who might normally be competitors as you probably have areas you can share ideas and knowledge on. The world is a big place, if you can export overseas go for it!

Any other comments?

My nephew William is at Oxford Brookes & niece is on her way in September, so the university must be thriving!