Charlottetown’s Ooka Island Wants To Eradicate Illiteracy

Educational software company Ooka Island aims to completely eradicate illiteracy.

Their product, The Ooka Island Adventure, helps kids ages three to seven with their reading through the use of fun online games. The great thing about the software is that it’s adaptive, ensuring your child masters a reading skill before moving on.

The company recently took their product onto CBC’s Dragons’ Den, offering 20% of the company for a $1.5 million investment. While none of the Dragons bought in, the experience had some positive side effects. According to Entrevestor, the company’s online traffic is up 900% since the interview, and sales are up 500%. In fact, the company is taking advantage of their Dragons’ Den fame, offering 50% off as an exclusive Dragons’ Den Offer.

Ooka Island is a labour of love for the MacPhee family, those responsible for the software. In the 1960s, when Lowell MacPhee was born missing the majority of his hearing, his mother Kay dedicated herself to helping him to read and develop language skills.

Her product eventually became SpellRead, which sold for an incredible $20 million in 2006. Now she’s doing it again, starting Ooka Island with co-founder Jim Barber.



Since 2010, the company have had over $2 million from investors, and are actively seeking investment partners to test their adaptive reading system. The Ooka Island Adventure has been picked up by school systems across the country, and currently boasts over 10,000 subscribers.

For a fun story about their success due to Dragons’ Den, read the story at Entrevestor. Also, go here to watch their pitch on Dragons’ Den.

Photo: Ooka Island