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  • Massive Open Online Courses are substantially disrupting higher education. In fall 2011, the Stanford online class in Artificial Intelligence had 160 thousand registered students, of which more than 23 thousand completed the class. Realizing the potential, Stanford professors teaching these online courses soon founded Udacity and Coursera, both venture backed startups launched to bring free online university courses to the masses. They’re already offering more than hundred courses on the internet. MIT and Harvard soon followed suit by forming edX. And in July 2012, Google offered its first massive online course on how to become a power searcher, with more than hundred thousand people signing up from all around the world. \n\n\n\n\n
  • The missing piece is the local, collaborative, social aspect of education, causing many to drop out of online courses before completion, or get less than they should out of the learning experience. And many people in the world are restricted from taking the online classes due to lack of access to computers, electricity and internet, a safe location and peers they can relate to... - challenges that we can overcome together.\n\n\n
  • The massive online courses provided by Coursera, Udacity and edX already have a total enrollment of more than one million people worldwide. \n\nOur interviews and surveys indicate that at least 1/3 of the participants in the courses are interested in learning collaboratively with others. Our top-down and bottom-up analysis of market size estimate a minimum of several hundred thousand potential customers. And this is a rapidly growing market that could quickly add millions of new customers.\n\nVenture capitalists, including John Doerr and others, have invested at least 29 million dollars in Udacity and Coursera so far this year, substantiating that they find it to be a promising opportunity. The total available market for global education expenditure is 4,450 billion dollars as of 2012. The target global market of Higher Education eLearning is 48 billion dollars.\n
  • This project is the culmination of almost a year of hands-on exploration in how to facilitate local learning communities for massive open online classes. In fall 2011, Our team leader organized a San Diego study group for the Stanford Artificial Intelligence online class. \n\nThis spring, the San Diego part of the team have validated the premise that there is interest in a local learning community for global online classes by organizing local study group for the various classes provided by Udacity, Coursera and others. We now have several hundred registered participants in San Diego and have hosted more than sixty events.\n\nWe have interviewed and surveyed many participants in the study groups. Participants frequently indicate that the study groups have really enriched their experiences and have made a huge difference for them in continuing with the classes rather than dropping out. \n\nThere are now hundreds of study groups around the world for the massive open online courses provided by Coursera and Udacity. This is further evidence of the growing interest in local learning communities. \n
  • We're building a web-based platform that facilitates online students to team up with other students and subject-matter experts to form learning communities. This fosters local collaborative learning for participants in global online classes.\n\nOur current minimal version of the product lets the users submit their email address, location and the courses for which they’d like to join a study group. We then connect them with others in their vicinity interested in study groups for the same classes. So far, several hundred have used our product to find local study groups.\n\nIn highly populated areas, the challenge is to find an agreeable subgroup of participants, as the number of people enrolled in the same online course can be too high for a successful study group. Outside major cities, it is hard to find sufficient local participants in the same online course to be able to form a study group. This discovery lead us towards a product that also facilitates people collectively deciding which classes they'll take, thereby allowing the formation of local study groups even in less populated areas.\n\n
  • Our product is like Meetup for massive open online courses. Meetup dot com is used with some success in major cities to organize study groups for global online classes. However, study groups on Meetup organize only a tiny fraction of the hundred of thousands that participate in global online classes.\n\nMeetup dot com is a severly lacking tool to organize learning communities for massive online courses. They charge 45 dollars just to use their website to organize a three month study group. Announcing multiple courses in the same meetup group quickly becomes a confusing mess. And they lack tools to support the collaborative needs of study groups.\n\nUnlike Meetup dot com, we can provide a specialized platform for short term study groups that integrates well with the systems of the course providers. Our platform can be adapted to the many different courses and specific needs of the online learning community. We are uniquely positioned to quickly take advantage of the massive open online courses phenomenon.\n
  • While a meetup-like tool to discover study groups for global online classes is a potential minimum viable product, our grander value proposition is to facilitate and fund learning communities worldwide. We give students the ability to pay it forward with a kickstarter-like crowdfunding service to sponsor learning communities around the world and bring massive online learning to everybody no matter their situation. We will leverage our user base to help local learning communities raise funds to pay for location, internet access, equipment rent, tutors, food & beverages, social events, perhaps even new classes. This is an exciting social entrepreneurship option, making global online courses available everywhere in the world by crowdfunding local learning spaces on top of our platform. By taking 5% fee of raised funds, the service provides a source for revenue to grow the business. \n\nWhile our crowdfunding service will provide substantial cash flow through students funding other students, we’ve also identified several additional sources of revenue.\n\nEven when studying with others, questions may come up that no one in the group can answer. One revenue source is providing instant online access to certified tutors familiar with the class. The tutor provides an immediate answer allowing the students to continue the study session. Learn More Together takes a portion of the fee charged to provide an answer. We have validated through our surveys that many participants in the massive online classes are interested in tutoring and prefer online classes with access to a tutor. \n\nWe will extend our platform to become a web based Collaborative Learning Environment. High schools and community colleges are starting to explore using massive open online courses to flip their classrooms. Instead of going to a physical place for lessons, students follow the lectures at their leisure on their computers, and rather go to school to participate in exercises and joint learning activities with other students. By creating a collaborative learning environment now, we will be in position to lease it to educational institutions and corporations as they start adapting massive online courses for their students and customers.\n
  • Coursera and Udacity have both created worldwide groups on Meetup.com. This brings together many of the students interested in learning together, \nwhile failing to provide a sufficient service. We can use these meetup groups to reach many in our target audience.\n\nAdditional students can also be reached through the forums of the course providers. But not all students use the forums. \n\nPartnership with course providers is therefore essential to reach all students taking the online classes. The course providers can make all their students aware of our service by promoting it on their websites and course material.\n\n\n
  • The companies providing massive online classes are important partners.\n\nWe have met face to face with David Evans and Peter Chapman at Udacity and emailed with Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun.\n\nWe met in person with Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. On July 29, our team met at Coursera’s office in Mountain View with Jiquan Ngiam, the Coursera Director of Engineering, and Julia Stiglitz, responsible for their Community and Business Development. We continue to stay in regular contact with Coursera.\n
  • Several team members have developer experience and are working on our web based minimal viable product. We'll use the MVP and its demonstrated user base to obtain seed funding to improve the platform.\n\nWe plan to obtain at least 120 thousand dollars in seed funding using a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter. Critical to a successful crowdfunding campaign is to have legitimacy by getting press and support from credible organizations. When meeting with Coursera at their offices in July, we approached them about corporate sponsorship for our crowdfunding campaign. We will also ask Udacity to back our crowdfunding campaign. Support from these major course providers will create instant legitimacy and lead to substantial press, making our funding goal achievable.\n\n120 thousand dollars will fund a small developer team for several months, so we can build the starting point of an open source project. It will also fund cloud servers for the initial period until we're ready to scale the operation.\n\nWe have introduced the project idea to silicon valley investor John Doerr, who funded Coursera with more than 16 million dollars. We’ll attempt to get substantial funding to rapidly grow the business and keep up with the expected growth of the online learning market.\n
  • Team lead Terje Norderhaug has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science with a minor in Philosophy. He has masters studies in both Systems Design and Media/Communications, with complementary post-graduate classes in educational technology and machine learning.\n\nOur team leader spearheaded use of the web for university courses. In the early days of the web, his team at the University of Oslo developed a course management system to teach linear algebra on the web. He presented this project at the ACM Hypertext conference in 1993.\n\nIn the following years he pioneered web based social media and built a commercial application server widely used by universities to provide virtual classrooms and collaborative learning environments on the web.\n\nHe ran a web software company for seven years during the dotcom period and has since been involved in several startups.\n
  • We have a core team in San Diego. In addition to our team leader, the core team consists of the following members:\nJuliet Oberding is an intellectual property attorney with experience in entrepreneurship.\nKimberly Spillman is a software engineer with a Masters degree in Computer Science from UCSD concentration in Artificial Intelligence. \nBogdan Zakrzewski is a web software developer with a degree in computer science from UCSD and coursework in artificial intelligence.\nAlline Watkins is an experienced programmer with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Brasília. She is an expert in Agile software development and a Certified Scrum Master.\nNirmala Bandrapalli is our Bay Area representative. She holds a Masters degree in Biochemistry from University of San Francisco, and has experience both as an entrepreneur and from corporate management of multimillion dollar projects.\n
  • We have recruited more than thirty team members from around the world. Having access to experience and validation from many cultures is crucial to create a product with global appeal. Our team members are a remarkable and highly competent group, many with substantial industry expertise. All team members have participated in massive open online courses.\n\nTogether we’ll build a learner-oriented and lerner-driven company around a platform that fosters collaborative learning for worldwide participants in massive open online classes.\n\n--------------------------\n[names below just for reference]\nRoberto Ruiz Pinto\nLiza Willmore\nJan Kabili\nEeva Kiuru\nEram Abbasi\nAhsan Saeed\n Diana Knodel\n Mitesh Meswani\n Katerina Suchova\n Brian Canin\n Alexander Jaramillo\n Jorge Diaz\n Sallie Davis\n Matthew Dina\nJohn Ichord\nAntonio Soares\nDejan Gjurcevski\nRakesh Karthik\nParul Nath\nDannon Loveland\nIrfan Mulic\nPrashant Sengar\nErnesto Garcia\nElena Zhelezina\nJorge Robles\nAnand Mariappan\nEsteban Oliveros\nGazelle Javantash\n\n\n\n\n\n\n
  • Join us in facilitating and funding learning communities everywherefor massive open online courses.\nLearn More Together.\n
  • Oep slides

    1. 1. Learn More Together Venture Lab, 2012
    2. 2. Massive Open Online Courses
    3. 3. Fundamental Problem• Online courses missing social aspects of education• Students dropping out or getting a lesser learning experience• Lack of computers, internet, location, tutor, funding, peers
    4. 4. Opportunity• Over one million enrolled in less than a year "The ability to reach millions of students with a single course is the• At least 1/3 interested in most disruptive force in education since Gutenbergs printing press" learning with others -- Steve Blank• Rapidly growing market• Considerable venture interest and investments
    5. 5. Customer Validation Welcome to the San Diego study groupUdacity “Building a Self Driven Car” study group, March 2012
    6. 6. Producthttp://LearnMoreTogether.com
    7. 7. Competition Usable but severely lacking tool to organize learning communities for massive online classes• Students unwilling to pay to organize study groups• Unfit for short term study groups• Not integrated with course management systems• Lacks specialized tools for collaborative learning• Messy UX with many classes in the same meetup
    8. 8. Business ModelKP KA VP CR CS MOOC students KR CH Local study groups Learning communities Customer web Help fundraising database mobileCS RS Brokerage fee for crowdfunding Paid tutor access Lease collaborative learning environment
    9. 9. Marketing• Worldwide Meetup groups for courses• Online forums of course providers• Promoted by the course providers
    10. 10. PartnersKim and Terje with Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng
    11. 11. Funding• Self-fund MVP• Crowdfund $120.000• Partners give legitimacy• VC funding for growth Team members Kim, Juliet, Nirmala and Terje with Silicon Valley VC John Doerr
    12. 12. Team Lead• Terje Norderhaug• B.Sc. Computer Science• Graduate studies in Systems Design and Media/Communication/EdTech• Spearheaded university courses on the web• Pioneer of web based social media• Experienced entrepreneur
    13. 13. Core Team• Terje Norderhaug• Juliet Oberding• Kimberly Spillman• Bogdan Zakrzewski• Alline Watkins• Nirmala Bandrapalli
    14. 14. Global Team
    15. 15. Join us in facilitating and fundinglearning communities everywhere for massive open online courses. Learn More Together.