DL International

Currently there are over 10,000 students attending British Columbia’a Certified Offshore Schools. The offshore school market is continuously growing with new schools being accredited every year. DL International is a proposal to partner a BC Distributed Learning (DL) school with one or more of the seventeen BC offshore schools.

As the DL school will have the qualified staff and the infrastructure already in place, they could offer various services, including a variety of online courses, with minimal start-up cost. Conservative calculations of the return of investment are high.

Being the first DL school to form such partnerships ensures a piece of a growing market. The offshore schools’ benefit as these DL offerings would aid in increasing student enrollment. The DL school and School District would benefit from the increase in funding generated, ensuring the development of more online courses and the potential to hire more certified teachers.

Please email me at myles_ashley@hotmail.com for the full pitch.  Thank-you!


1 Ian Doktor { 11.30.09 at 7:00 pm }

Hi Ashley,

Interesting pitch. Having worked in International Schools in three different countries I was quite intrigued by it. I’m not completely clear why a DL school would be better than a normal offshore school though. For my money, a quality BC offshore school could follow the same business and school plan as any of the other offshore schools. I’m assuming they have all been reasonably successful in operating otherwise they wouldn’t still be there.

However, I think you’ve definitely done a good job in selling the feasibility of your idea. Excellent!

2 Ashley Jones { 11.30.09 at 7:09 pm }

Hi Ian, thanks for the comments. I don’t mean to say that a DL school would be better, but that a BC DL school could offer the students at the offshore schools some online courses that are not currently available at the offshore schools (electives etc). The partnership is mean to enhance the learning of the students at the offshore school.

3 Sharon Hann { 11.30.09 at 7:12 pm }

A DL partnership with existing seated schools overseas can expand their markets without reducing their ‘brand’. Schools would have to convinced that the DL side would not poach students, but would allow them to serve more without having to expand their facilities. I wonder if DL International could be partners with more than one of these schools or if they ‘compete’ with one another. Your pitch has intrigued me. Well done! Sharon

4 Cari Wilson { 11.30.09 at 9:19 pm }

Hi Ashley,

Interesting idea! I enjoyed your pitch and thought it was well done. I must admit that it’s an area I don’t know a huge amount about, but DL seems to be booming in many areas, so why not with offshore schools?


5 Tony D { 12.01.09 at 9:05 am }

Interesting idea Ashley,

Will the DL teacher be employed with the offshore school? Or can they be someone who is anywhere in the world like say Canada? I like the idea of the offshore schools being able to serve more students without having to expand, why couldn’t an on shore school in BC offer the courses rather than the offshore school? In see real potential for this venture!

6 jennie wong { 12.01.09 at 9:38 pm }

Ashley Jones’s Review Pitch

Sorry Ashley, I’m confused because I saw your pitch and made notes as of yesterday (December 1) and today it is no longer here.

Ashley Jones’s pitch on DL International is well researched. The pitch is extremely detailed oriented; Jones provides numbers in terms of start up costs, how and what the return on investment is. She provides the advantages for students to attend the British Columbia’s Certified OffShore Schools. The detailed financial information that is provided is excellent for viewers; it provides an explanation about how the costs are minimal. Although there is no executive summary or self evaluation, Jones does provide a look at the competition and meets most of the criteria for the critical EVA. More graphics would have been a nice enhancement in the video. Nice work.


7 Iris Chan { 12.02.09 at 4:51 am }

As a current vice principal of an offshore school, I am very interested to see what your continued proposal is. I am very interested in offering our current students a variety of electives. Some questions I would have include the process of deal with the ESL level of the students. With distanced learning, would the student have enough support to find success?

I think i am going to have to look closer at your venture. It’s a very exciting opportunity and I see the potential.

8 Eveline Yu { 12.02.09 at 5:55 am }


As a teacher teaching at a BC offshore school, I think your idea has potential. Our school currently does not offer the entire spectrum of the BC courses available in BC – and this would definitely be a great way for students to take some courses on their own and be given credit for it.

However, some problems I foresee are the authenticity of students taking the course. As offshore school students are very weak in English (ESL students), I am worried that delivery in English online would overwhelm them – unless you have BC teachers also delivering the program in the first language (and then it would not be immersion…)

I also enjoy the idea Sharon put out there about partnering with all the offshore schools – that way you can have more students.

It’s an interesting idea – I am interested in looking into your venture pitch. Great work!

9 Erik Van Dusen { 12.02.09 at 3:55 pm }

I know VERY little about Offshore BC schools, but it appears as you might be onto something. Great job with the vision and pitch!

10 Amy Frank { 12.02.09 at 8:55 pm }

Hi Ashley,

I have to admit, this is not an area I know anything about. I have really relied on the other posts to get some insight into offshore schools and DL. However, from what I understand, broadening the scope of opportunities is something that most people feel is a need of offshore schools. I saw that there was a comment regarding ESL students. If English is not a first language in offshore schools, could you adapt the programming and provide instruction in other languages? Great job!

11 Sharon Hann { 12.02.09 at 9:36 pm }

Your pace, tone and credibility are very good. You explained the market including its history, present and future. Your research and numbers were well cited and add to your credibility.

I liked your very specific financial analysis but suggest a graph may be the more expedient way to demonstrate how it can be scaled up. If the market is over 10,000 students then I would suggest that the potential is higher than one course for 10% of these students. Some will take more than one course and the single course proportion could be higher than your estimates. A graph would show this potential.

My concern is about competition. How would DL International compete with established BC DL schools that already have courses up and running? What about other start-ups? Would you expect those? You seem to propose the building of 1-2 courses and then fold the returns into building others – to jump from 1% to 10% for example. But, will this build it as you go approach mean you are behind the pack? This would concern me as an investor. I wonder if the better strategy would be to invest a larger amount and build it all, betting the students would come. Risky but maybe the best option.

Are there other provinces/states with the ability to have schools in China? Are these your competition or not really? I would want to understand that angle more clearly.

I would need these questions answered before proceeding with a large sum investment but I see DL education as a large part of our future marketplace. With a solid business plan and some key agreements with some larger schools I would proceed. Good work and good ideas! Sharon

12 Iris Chan { 12.04.09 at 2:14 am }

Overall Jones presents a valuable presentation regarding offshore schools. The presence of the need for electives and other courses are indeed in demand within an offshore school. The history and background of the Offshore system signals to your audience your knowledge of the market and your proposal. The detailed financial layout of how DL would be able to benefit from this is very persuasive and I can see why investors of DL would be excited to begin this venture. Your supporting references add the notion of credibility to your work and I am very interested to see how you are going to target our unique learners.

Before I would invest in further financial support, I would like to discuss the courses that are able to be offered through DL. It needs to be able to work with our strong ESL needs while not being too difficult to maneuver on their own. Most of our teachers use a lot of body language, visual cues, immersion and kinesthetic strategies to get them to learn because the key of a Canadian education is it’s ability to be more lively and interactive than the traditional Chinese education. How would your courses be able to accommodate that? Most of our students enroll in Winter and Summer programs in Canada to earn the electives that you mention. It gives them a chance to interact with the culture as well as having an authentic environment to gain their language skills in. How would DL compete with such an initiative? Throughout the financial layout, you mentioned the profits DL could gain from participating in this venture. What about for the offshore school itself? Offshore schools are independent schools and they do make profits. How would you catch the eye of such an investor? The funding is great for DL but what about for the school itself?

I am interested to find out more about your venture and I think it has potential. There is a need for students to gain additional courses than the ones being offered in the school. How can DL support such learners who are so unique? They have strong ESL needs and needs constant care and attention. Furthermore, how would you able to authenticate the identity of the students who are taking the courses through DL? How would DL know the real id of the end user? Many of our classes rely on in-class work for assessment because once it is out of the room, the ability of technologies to translate and generate work is amazing. How would DL support that?

I hope this helps.

13 Colin Cheng { 12.04.09 at 2:41 pm }


Thank you for taking the time to pitch me your business venture. I had no idea about offshore schools until now and that there was so much competition within that industry. From my understanding of the assignment, I am now to decide solely from your elevator pitch, whether this is a venture that I would like to delve further into. As I only have three out of ten proposals to select from, it is unfortunate that I will have to pass on this venture for the following reasons:

* despite excellent attempts to provide background knowledge as to what offshore schools are, I am still unclear after reading the pitch as to how this plays into the education market
* your writeup is very descriptive; however, I’m wondering if visuals might have benefited in piquing the interest of the potential investor

14 dockat { 12.04.09 at 6:00 pm }

Hi Ashley,
Cubed Ashley Jones DL International Offshore School
Though I found the text a bit flat compared with some of the flashy visuals elsewhere, I saw a real possible opportunity to expand the scope of the offshore school. As this is not an area of expertise for me, I was looking for a good hand-holding which you did in the full pitch. More detail would be good on some of the issues, but I think we all appreciate that an investor would delve deeper after the main pitch and dig up that info–it is not realistic to cover details in that 10-12 minutes, but a sample course might have enhanced my understanding of the type of coursework offered.
1. Market focus: Offshore is the defined market.
2. Types of offerings: Ashley describes a set of online courses that would be an extension of BC’s current offshore program. The courses appear to be secondary courses based on BC curriculum, and taught by BC certified teachers.
3. Who is the buyer: Students, especially China was mentioned. What need is it filling? Access to education for those who need to study remotely but still want North American credentials to move forward.
4. Global markets: Far East is the first priority since offshore school students often come from this region in her research
5. Development of Market: Ashley’s pitch acknowledged travel may be necessary to engage students—I think marketing costs would be substantial. The infrastructure of the DL entity would rely on teachers working part time after school? This may mean competition from the regular commitments for work could usurp their focus, and may challenge availability. Leaving remuneration on a per student basis rather than per course would tend to encourage oversized classes for efficiency on the company’s side and from the teachers perspective, for maximizing income since this is effectively an overtime job. That may not lead to optimal teacher:student ratios and that could undermine the reputation of the program.
6. Competition—works with others, substitutes for, competes with: The program is not yet clearly affiliating with current offshore schools, so it may become a substitute/competing venture from the perspective of the other current offshores unless early affiliation is successful.
I would be happy to invest if the pitch could reassure me that the program is an expansion that is affiliated with current offshore schools as the infrastructure for marketing is already in place for them and that would remove the onerous weight of a full marketing program from their start-up shoulders. Though ROI may not be really large cf many other ventures, I like the solidity and low risk if the venture teams up with an offshore.

15 Jay Dixon { 12.06.09 at 2:15 pm }

This was quite interesting pitch. I currently have started a new BC DL school and found your pitch very informative and credible. DL is still a key market area. Your justification for DL International is well supported. As an educator I am concerned about maintaining curriculum and quality standards. On the other side of things, as an investor your numbers sound great! Another concern I have is if any changes in government in the future would impact DL expansion? Well done Ashley,this was well researched and presented in an easy to follow format. I’m sold! Can my DL school partner? 😉

16 Barrie Carter { 12.06.09 at 5:19 pm }

Hello Ashley:

I am unable to access your presentation even though you sent me the link.

Certainly, including DL in offshore schools is a great idea, especially since both are BC accredited. This way students have choice.

And, I believe that DL will be eventually and inevitably become the new norm; it is just a matter of time.

I look forward to viewing your pitch if you choose to send the link to me again. After all, you are definitely on to something here.



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