Introduce your startup and give a short description of what you are doing.
Eliademy.com mission is to democratize education with technology. We crowdsource the world knowledge in form of courses, we built the world largest free SaaS Learning management platform with the help of students and teachers.
Eliademy is not just a learning platform, it is a market place, it is social, and if you wish it can be totally private and closed.
Who are the founders, how did you meet, what are your different roles in the startup.
Eliademy.com was built by a former Director at Nokia and senior developers. They have been working together for the past decade, and they are more of a family than just a team of engineers and program managers.
Sotiris Makrygiannis, CEO, is a 20+ years ICT veteran who launched one of the very first e-schools back in Cyprus in 1997.
Sergey Gerasimenko is the key architect and has long-standing experience in research Smart Home environments at Nokia.
How was the idea for your startup born?
During the massive layoffs of Nokia, the ex Meego Application team met to discuss the crisis. 30% of the workforce wanted to experience entrepreneurship and discussed various ideas. We wanted to do something big and global, we rejected the idea of making yet another phone and therefore went for a market that is 3 times bigger than GSM, the educational market.
What is the main problem in education that you aim to solve.
Digitization of education means no borders, no walls. We want to use the power of the collaborative economy (crowdsourcing) and create a new model for the education of the future.
The first problem that we trying to solve is to digitise courses and enable millions of teachers to create a digital course easily. The second problem will work itself out: cost reduction per student per course.
Who are your competitors? What sets you apart from them?
Udemy is one competitor, but they are limited to one format : video and thats not a universal format yet, at least for teachers.
Coursera is yet another one, but they are more providers of university level subjects and not everyone can create a course.
What sets apart Eliademy is that we are all on one. You can configure the platform to serve your needs with a touch of a button.
You want a MOOC? Want to do corporate training? Just a simple course editor or host private videos for free? You can have them all at Eliademy.
In which markets / regions are you active. What markets / regions are next.
Most of our traffic comes from Latin America, Russia and Asia.
We want to put focus on Africa, and that’s why we recently released the capability to create OERs and reuse a course under CC licence with a touch of a button.
Who is your target audience.
Any life-long learner from the age of 14 and upwards.
How do you engage with your target audience. How do you convert them into users of your product.
100% of our traffic is organic, we never had a marketing budget, we do not buy followers or pay tens of thousands of dollars to advertise our MOOCs.
We are very proud that our company grows organically by having the end users recommending the service to their friends and spread our message via social media.
We just provide a reliable and good quality service.
What is your business model. How much does your product / service cost.
Eliademy is free for any one at need, NGOs, Publicly funded organisations, Universities can have our basic and Premium service at zero cost.
If you sell a course via our platform we keep a small commission fee.
We also sell directly to corporate customers that pay 1 euro per user, per month.
We take pride in being a social enterprise with CSR program at our core. We take from commercial operators in order to give a free service to the ones at need.
If you raised funding, how much did you raise. Who are your investors. If not, are you planning to raise funding.
We bootstrapped around €150k to start off , we got another €500k in government grants, and €220k from a VC.
Inventure, a large Nordic VC with a 150 million euros fund, is our first and only VC at this moment.
We are going to launch a crowdfunding campaign soon to raise up to €600k euros.
Are there milestones you are especially proud of and would like to share.
1) Hitting 10.000 crowdsourced courses in less than 600 days.
2) Going from zero users to 180.000 in 720 days with zero marketing.
For us, we meet a milestone when we get feedback from our users saying that they “love” the platform. We get a message per day that gives us credit.
What are the next steps in growing your startup.
We naturally want to increase sales and bring high quality courses from prestigious universities. That will be the focus for 2015.
How can people get in touch with you.
You can follow us on twitter at @eliademy or find us on Linkedin as Eliademy, we are also on Google Plus and Facebook with the same name.
If you like the service or need some support you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just say the word Eliademy in social media and we will find you!
Room for anything else you would like to add.
Thank you for including our start-up. We believe that we can change the world – not alone – but together with other industry players and above all the end users.