Interview with John Leach, Co-Founder at Quiz Tech Company: SpeedQuizzing

I founded SpeedQuizzing, alongside my brother Alan, in 2011 and, simply put, we create and sell software used by people all over the world to host interactive, fast-paced in-venue and online pub quizzes and bingo.

In addition, we also create and sell digital questions packs, with our team of expert question writers creating hundreds of new questions every week across 61 different topic areas, from sport and entertainment, through to history and science – and everything in-between!

For the first nine years, we focussed very much on software for in-venue pub quizzing, with our SpeedQuizzing Pro platform used to host well over a thousand quizzes every week in pubs and bars across the UK and further afield. Then in March 2020, in response to the first Covid19 lockdown, we launched SpeedQuizzing Live, an app and online quiz hosting platform created to support the struggling hospitality and entertainment sectors, enabling users to host and play fast-paced virtual quizzes, with up to 250 players able to join each online event.
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The idea for SpeedQuizzing was born out of frustration. As avid quizzers, Alan and I had become incredibly disenchanted in the noughties with the amount of cheating that mobile phones brought into the traditional pen and paper pub quiz. We weren’t the only ones either; quizzers everywhere we’re getting increasingly frustrated by the incredible levels of cheating taking place. It was killing the game and taking all of the fun out of it. So, Alan and I set about creating a solution to the problem – and, ultimately, SpeedQuizzing was born.

The concept was simple. Rather than fighting against the proliferation of smartphones, we would try to harness this technology that people were increasingly carrying and use it to create a better, faster-paced, more entertaining quizzing experience.

With this objective in mind, Alan and I developed an app-based platform for hosting and playing quiz games. To connect and play, users simply download the app to their phone or another smart device, and this enables them to use their device as an answer pad, eliminating the need for a pen and paper.

Through technology, we’d created a format that accentuated all the best bits of the pub quiz – the camaraderie, the fun, the entertainment – and removed all the less desirable elements such as the cheating and slow-paced nature of the games. Marking and scoring is done automatically by the software, removing one of the more faffy elements of the traditional pub quiz – along with the potential possibility of cheating.


Tell us about your new initiative to support remote learning in schools

We were surprised to hear reports that teachers across the UK had resorted to using our existing ‘SpeedQuizzing’ platform throughout 2020 to spice up teaching, both in the classroom and remotely, with many of them resorting to paying for the SpeedQuizzing license out of their own pockets.

We’d always assumed there would be a wealth of purpose-built interactive online educational tools already available, however the feedback we’ve received is that many of these products lack the fun-competitive element which SpeedQuizzing brings to the table.

To help tackle this problem, we’ve created a schools-specific version called SchoolQuizzing, which is really straightforward to use, with teachers able to quickly and easily create an account and input their own questions before running a quiz. Features such as bonus points for the fastest correct answers won’t fit in with everyone’s teaching styles or school teaching policies, but as we’ve seen from hosting fun family quizzes throughout lockdowns over Zoom, people of all ages love trying to be the fastest to answer a question.

We wanted to do what we could to support schools and teachers during this challenging time, so the biggest difference between SchoolQuizzing and our existing SpeedQuizzing Pro product is that it’s free for teachers to use throughout 2021 – hopefully making a positive difference at a time when it’s most needed.

What can we hope to see from SpeedQuizzing in the future?

Digital innovation is in our DNA and so is supporting pubs and the wider hospitality and entertainment industries. We’re committed to continuing to support both sectors through digital innovation, with our team constantly developing new gaming features to deliver the best possible experience for both hosts and players. And we’re not just about quizzing either; last year we unveiled Speed Bingo, a digital bingo hosting platform, which hosts can download for free, providing them with yet another innovative entertainment solution to help drive footfall and sales.