By Jerry Chen on November 27, 2022
Linked here is my venture pitch.
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FEEDBACK: this MOOC platform has potential with features like AI and microlearning. I would have liked to learn about financial projections for this venture, the team behind it, the target market, but overall it is intriguing to see what change a MOOC platform like this one can bring to the educational world.
I would have also liked to see marketing strategies and competitive advantages as similar ventures already exist.
FEEDBACK: Jerry, this is a great idea for a company. One feature that really stood out was that the AI would do regular check-ins with students. My one concern with this, and this is based on my experience with AI “chatbots” is that sometimes the responses they give can be very limited. I would have liked to see some examples of questions that the AI can answer, and would have been curious to see what a typical question to an instructor in an online course looks like? I do like that they can go talk to the teacher if the AI doesn’t answer the question. I also wonder how much importance a student would place on these check-ins knowing it is just AI talking to them? Would they value the check-ins? Just some questions that popped up in my head while going through the pitch!
REVIEW: Hi Jerry, I really enjoyed learning about your venture related to the microcredential environment. How many people do I know that have started a course and have left it hanging?! As an EVA interested in learning technologies, this one caught my eye, as I believe there is going to be a growing interest in microcredentials, and their success really depends on students completing the courses and being motivated to continue with additional courses. I enjoyed your clear and concise elevator pitch and appreciated the research provided on the website. Breaking your venture pitch down a bit, you clearly identified a problem or pinch point (how people leave their microcredentials incomplete and could benefit from external motivation similar to what they experience in traditional classrooms) and provided a solution (the MOOC with an embedded AI that takes care of this). Initially, when I was watching your elevator pitch, I was imagining this as a tool that was embedded into existing MOOCs, but then realized it was a MOOC itself. I do question whether the AI support is enough incentive for investors and user to shift from some of the well-established sites, so you could consider shifting this venture to a tool that gets embedded into existing MOOCs, rather than creating an entire new MOOC platform (just food for thought). It also would be helpful to have some additional information about the microcredential market so that potential investors know what they are getting into. Overall, I would want to invest in something this, but would need some more information and potentially some tweaks. Thanks so much!
Hi again Jerry – one more comment is that I think your venture would benefit from a catchy, easy to remember name!
REVIEW: Hello Jerry, I really enjoyed reading and analyzing your venture pitch on your MOOC platform. What stood out for me in your elevator pitch was the fact that you right away mentioned what you wanted to create and the solution it would provide (micro learning platform with AI that would act as a teaching assistant and these would help keep students intrinsically motivated). What makes your product stand out more than already established MOOC platforms is that that the AI will be checking on students in the course in order to keep them motivated and on task. Your research tab clearly identifies the importance of implementing micro learning onto the MOOC. In regard to your product description, I do agree that there is profit to be made In the bite-sized learning market, and I do believe your product is on the right track, but I do have a few questions and recommendations. From my understanding, you are banking on the AI teacher assistant to help keep students focused and to increase their intrinsic motivation. My question to you is : What would be another alternative to increase student intrinsic motivation if the AI can’t help motivate the student? Would there be a way to make the AI more versatile?. I would recommend trying to find other ways the AI can help push students to be intrinsically more motivated because it’s important to differentiate in order to reach all students personal/academic needs. Overall I would be interested in investing into something like this, but I still believe there are some adjustments you can make that can further show/convince investors to why/how the AI assistant can be versatile and help all the students. Or maybe provide AI assistant and other ways/resources on the MOOC to help increase intrinsic motivation? As I previously mentioned, I believe you are on the right track, and I really enjoyed reading/analyzing your venture pitch!
REVIEW: I agree with you that bite-sized learning is a trend. MOOC is always a valuable resources for students, but what stood out from your platform that attracts investors to choose you but not the others? It is also good to note the strength and weakness of your venture. Overall, I would be interested to invest in this.
I really liked how you formatted your venture pitch and I think you did a great job with it on the whole. My only issue is that I am having trouble becoming enthusiastic about the product itself. It reminds a bit of those AI customer service chats that can be so frustrating and I am not sure that it would be all that motivating to be checked in on during these courses by a similar AI technology. I thought you elevator pitch was extremely professional and well-executed!
FEEDBACK: Hi Jerry, thanks for your sharing your venture. As others have mentioned, more details about the financials would have helped to support your pitch and allowed a potential investor feel more confident about investing in your company. I personally do not have many positive experiences with chatbots and find them to be a nuisance, but I’m sure there is a market for this in younger generations coming into the education space. I find chatbots are typically only successful when answering basic questions. When students are requiring more detailed explanations, the AI can potentially lead to user frustration, causing them to simply contact the instructor, potentially deterring students from using the AI tool and bypassing it in the future.
YES, I would invest in this venture… IF this startup already had an impressive demonstrable prototype. I think this idea is excellent and it is a need that is calling out to be fulfilled. Jerry did this in late 2022, but even now in early 2024 we are getting to a place where this seems more feasible technically. The MOOC market space I think has finally proven online learning as viable and profitable as many of the large providers that started out as free platforms have moved to pay models. Jerry nailed the biggest problem in the industry, people lose motivation to complete. An AI companion, especially for a micro credential and especially if it was optional, could be a big seller. The reason I would want to invest in this technology is to try to offer it as a plugin to existing technologies. It could even be a side purchase option by the end user. Or it could be acquired by a larger company like Coursera.
I understand that this idea could not be fully developed in terms of financial projections etc. If a VC got hold of an incredible product, they might bring in a team who could bring it to market, but I am sure they would take a much bigger slice of the company for that.
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