Moodle Aero – The Learning Platform of Tomorrow

For my venture pitch, I am role-playing as the CEO of Moodle, an LMS platform that I have a love/hate relationship with. I am a big supporter of Moodle’s open-source nature and I love its attractive price (free!). However, the user interface and overall visual design are generally dated, bloated, and not user-friendly. My intention is to seek the funding needed to help bring Moodle up to modern standards and be able to compete with other platforms such as Canvas, Brightspace, and Blackboard. Please see below for my elevator pitch and venture pitch videos. You can also download my venture pitch deck at the bottom, which contains the sources I used.

Elevator Pitch

Venture Pitch

( Average Rating: 3.5 )

7 responses to “Moodle Aero – The Learning Platform of Tomorrow”

  1. Michael Saretzky

    Hi Yannick,
    I felt that the elevator pitch was great, it provided the information and was to the point, but done in a timely manner. I was impressed with how quickly you were able to cover it all. For your venture pitch, I like how you looked at the current issues with Moodle and suggested the appropriate solutions for it. Using the graphs was good to, as it provided a good visual. For a portion of the venture pitch I felt like it was being directed to customers, rather than investors (I know how difficult it can be at times). However, you eventually came back around and it felt like it was being directed at the investor again. I think it would have been beneficial to delve a little deeper into your experience, as it felt like a little rushed, but for an investor they would probably like to know more about your qualifications. Overall it was a good pitch.

    ( 2 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  2. sundeep lail

    Hi Yannick.
    I liked your elevator pitch, you showcased the problem and came up with a quick solution, without giving too much away. It made us want to learn more about it.
    For your Venture, you gave a great in-depth on the problem with some good numbers. However, I agree with Michael, it came across as thought you were directing to the end customers as opposed to the the investor. I also felt that the slides were a little simple. Especially the “problems” slide, that felt a little rushed. Also, your slides were held a little too long. It would have been nice to have your venture go a little deeper, especially the solution slide….if you could have expanded on the 3 areas so we could also see a visual of what you were discussing. That would have been great.
    I will say, that I use Moodle for my own workplace, and the problems you outlined are so relevant, and your solution would be invaluable in the real world. So I appreciate the real world venture you created.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  3. Rachel

    Hi Yannick,
    You sounded very confident in your elevator pitch and I didn’t feel rushed while getting all the information from the video. As for your venture pitch, I liked the idea of looking into current products and making it better instead of reinventing the wheel. The integration of SIS would be a huge point for institutions and imaging all the data would be available to provide better and timely student support!

    I think something that would be good to have, is more concrete examples on the three issues you pointed out. For instance, if one slide was given to compare what current UI looks like and what Moodle Aero is hoping to change, it would be powerful to actually know there are already ideas in place already.

    Thank you for sharing!

    ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  4. RyanSilverthorne

    Hello Yanick,

    I thought it was a very cool idea to choose Moodle because, as you point out, it has wide brand recognition, yet is heavily criticized and considered far behind the rest. The elevator pitch was very much to the point and left me interested in the venture pitch.

    While the video approach to the venture pitch isn’t a bad one, it may be a little limiting in that one can feel pressure to keep it short and succinct against the pressure of giving all the necessary information. The key to your pitch, from what I gathered, was how different your product is from traditional Moodle. As an investor, I feel like I needed more convincing of how much better your product was as well as how it would fit in the current marketplace. You correctly mentioned the attractiveness of Moodle currently is that it is free. Presumably, your product will not be so the inevitable question will be “why should I purchase this product over the free version”?

    You mentioned the three areas where it will be different, which is great, but I think this is where you would want to go into more depth. Those three missing areas are definitely a reason why people choose expensive platforms over Moodle. But, it is hard I believe, from an investor’s perspective, to get a clear picture of what the product will be without either a description of the technology that makes it possible or some visuals that show how radically different the experience of Aero Moodle is from regular Moodle.

    I ran into a similar problem with my Venture Pitch. While I don’t have the technical know how that you do I referenced actual real emerging technology that can be cross-referenced in current articles and in current start-up companies trying to achieve what my fictional company was aiming for.

    You also have an impressive background in technology and Ed Tech companies. I think it would have helped to mention this in your pitch as it would give more credibility with your investors.

    Overall I really like the idea. I think your strong background helped in that you were able to identify an LMS that needed an overhaul. I think for this venture it may have helped to add another medium, which could explain some of the details more.

    Thank you for your contribution and very interesting product!

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  5. allan carmichael

    A strong pitch, Yannick. Your elevator pitch was concise and on-target, with the problem stated, solution proposed, and yourself introduced as part of the solution. A good use of complimentary graphics to go with the voice-over. Your venture pitch information was good, especially the information on declining market share for Moodle, and the analysis of why Moodle may be losing market share, and your proposal to renovate the user interface to modernize Moodle was clearly stated. I totally agree with your commentary on Moodle as it is now: I am using a digital text this year that uses Moodle as a framework, and it is awkward for 2020. Doesn’t really look that different from using WebCT in 2001. Decidedly un-sexy, by which I mean un-engaging. Of course, as open-source, what would you expect. So that brings me to my main criticism; why should anyone pay for Moodle Aero, rather than one of the competitors? Will it be an effortless overlay onto existing Moodle courses, therefore having an installed bases of customers? Will the development cost be really low compared to competitors because of it’s open-source underlying platform? Will this low development cost and low subscription price (undercutting Canvas, D2L, etc) drive an expanded market share? Speaking of market share, I didn’t read or hear if there is a revenue model for the product. What will be the return on investment? While it may be hard to convince some long-time users to pay for a free platform, there is a long history of this in the market–for example, while Linux is open-source, there are many ways to make money with it (macOS, RedHat, etc) by providing a quality user experience. If Moodle can be more useable for a larger percentage of the market, then it may be worth the investment.

    ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  6. Erica Hargreave

    Hi Yannick,

    You did an excellent job of this venture pitch that made me wish that you were indeed the new CEO of Moodle. I have never embraced Moodle for the reasons you mentioned. Your redevelopment plan would get me to give it another look. Graphically you have laid this out beautifully, it flow consecutively, and you do a great job narrating everyone through the slides. Very professionally done.

    A few things that I’d love to learn more about as a potential investor:
    – What are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
    – How do your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses impact your vision with Moodle?
    – What is your business model (revenue streams) and marketing plan for the new Moodle?

    Well done!

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  7. Jessica Daicos

    Hi Yannick,

    Not much to add to what’s already been mentioned, so I’ll keep this brief. I particularly like how you tied in your vision with Moodle’s mission and values. The humour about the “everybody and their dog” in your elevator pitch is what hooked me. For your venture pitch, your focus on Moodle’s downfalls was a great way to build your argument. My main question as an investor was $20 million is a lot of cash, and I wonder how you intend to translate that to revenue. Particularly given Moodle’s large market share by institution count, how do you actually increase enrolment count, an issue you identify in Moodle’s market performance?

    Entertaining and well-researched. Thanks!

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )

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