Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp Page 3RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • bcourey 5:52 pm on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , online learning   

    Grockit is the brainchild of two founders, Farbood Nivi and Michael Buffington in 2007. Farbood is a former Teacher of the Year for the Princeton Review and was the academic director at Kaplan. He names his “teachers” as Peter Senge, Peter Drucker, Steve Jobs, Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Covey and Seth Godin (to name just a […]

    Continue reading Grockit Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Karen Jones 7:38 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Brenda,

      What are the tests that Grockit is targeting? Are they for higher learning: LSAT’s, MCAT’s etc. or the British system of O-levels? I also wonder what, if anything, links the venture capitalist donors (Atlas, Benchmark, Integral): is their focus on education or are they just looking for returns on their investment?

      Interesting company,

      • bcourey 3:49 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Grockit is primarily in the higher learning market…they started with the LSATs, GMATs…and then branched out to a wider audience by adding Grade 7-12 online learning experiences – full courses, but no mention of what state curriculum they use.

        • Everton Walker 9:00 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I like the idea but there are some clarifications to be made. I think it’s more of an investment that is being propelled by an educational catalyst.

    • verenanz 11:52 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Brenda!
      Thanks for the summary….www.knewton.com might be their competitor? I’m a little confused if they just offer test prep and tutoring…or new approaches to learning with the “gaming” piece? I will check the website, but is it based on “tutoring” or is there new “online course” material?

      What the founders both seem to lack, and I don;t know about all their advisors….but the founders lack teaching experience – or at least it was not mentioned…. I don’t know about you…but I learned how to teach – when I actually went into the classroom (face to face and online). There is a lot to be said for learning by doing. They are definitely learning about a business…..

      I agree with Karen, it sounds more like a business looking for returns on their investment? Before I say too much…I need to check out their website…you have intrigued me….


      • bcourey 3:47 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        actually the founder Farbood Nivi won a Teacher of the Year award, so I assume he was an educator of some expertise. I don’t see any teaching experience with his co-founder though, however, he may be the business expert of the pair?

  • Angela Novoa 12:51 pm on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    ALL In Learning is a company that intends to set up M-learning environments through the implementation of a Mobile Teaching and Assessment Platform on the iPod Touch and iPad. Through this platform teachers are able to capture formative assessment data and they get the results immediately through All In Learning’s web-based reporting system. This venture is innovative as […]

    Continue reading All Learning. Cloud-based instruction Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
  • Karen Jones 12:43 pm on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: biography, BrainPOP, entrepreneur   

    Avraham Kadar, M.D., Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of FWD Media  The Venture: BrainPOP (http://www.brainpop.com) is an online subscription site owned by FWD Media that produces short curricular-based animations (Wikipedia, 2011).  Geared toward grades K-12, these movies, hosted by characters, Tim and Moby, span seven subjects: Science, Math, English, Social Studies, Health, Arts and […]

    Continue reading Avraham Kadar: the Brains behind BrainPOP Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:13 pm on September 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Excellent post Karen!

      I agree – I find myself more or less self-disciplined ( depending on who you talk to) but seriously lack the skill in starting a new venture. I can hardly lead a team of 8 down the path of clinical informatics supported by the provincial government, never mind finding funding, running with a new concept and crossing my fingers and hoping the money comes in. I am not an ‘out on the limb’ kinda girl. I like my life predictable and know my monthly finances. I will leave the creativity and knuckle bearing rides for others!

      • Karen Jones 1:17 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Ha! I’m sure your ability to get things done is exemplary, Deb. There is a place in the world for us methodical types 🙂

    • andrea 9:22 pm on September 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen, the genesis of this venture is really interesting — the way you described it it’s easy to see how the idea came about.

      Regarding whether or not you’re suited to starting your own venture, my self-assessment results also suggested ventures aren’t a good fit for me. I think that’s why it’s interesting to try out ideas in the safety of this course. I’m unlikely to start my own venture but it’s good to push beyond my comfort zone and look at other ways of doing things.

    • kstooshnov 10:37 pm on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for the report on the excellent resource. BrainPOP features on important detail that is missing from the Khan Academy: attention to well-designed animation to appeal to most students’ taste. The Tim and Moby show is fun and challenging enough (woo hoo! I got 10/10 on the Shakespeare quiz ;-)) and as you mention, designed to inspire deeper learning. For your own inspiration as a venturer, if you have a good idea, others will find you. Like our own students, we all have excellent ideas that just need to found and nurtured by others. Like Andrea says, this course is a ideal, safe environment to get our ideas known to other.

    • mcquaid 5:08 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      First of all, let me just say that… you stole my topic idea! 😉
      Now that that’s out of the way…

      Excellent, well-researched post. I found it very interesting how Kadar initially set out to just explain things to his patients… he wasn’t out to create some site or money-making content. He was looking to enhance some aspect of his own job.

      My only unique warning flag with Kadar, really, is the fact that his family is involved. His family may be totally qualified and capable, but sometimes work and family just don’t mix.

      Like you, I’m missing some entrepreneur qualities. I took the quiz, and found myself to be below the grade in every area but ability, I think. I’d like to think we’re both just waiting for the right opportunity to make itself appear before we pounce…

      • Karen Jones 12:17 pm on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Ha Steve! I am surprised at the number of classmates who were attracted to BrainPOP as a topic, but then again, I shouldn’t be, given its universal appeal! What good ideas you have! I have exactly the same approach to entrepreneurship as you do, if the ideal situation presents itself, it will be impossible to ignore.

        Thanks for your comments,

  • Juliana 12:34 pm on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , Lambda Solutions, Mahara,   

    Founder-leader name:  Shevy Levy Venture Name:  Lambda Solutions     Description of venture:  Lambda solutions provide online course development services.  They also assist clients with developing materials for the Moodle LMS and Mahara e-portfolio platforms.  They are endorsed as an official partner for Moodle and Mahara.  Their main focus is to create effective e-Learning solutions […]

    Continue reading Shevy Levy – Founder and CEO of Lambda Solutions Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Karen Jones 12:49 pm on September 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Interesting person and company, Juliana. As you have indicated, it seems that experience garnered by working in related fields is valuable for an entrepreneur’s perspective, and probably would increase the chances of a new venture’s success. It would also multiply the number of networking contacts.

      Good job!

      • Juliana 8:16 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the comment Karen. Yes, I think experience and contacts is key. In addition, having good people working in the company is important too. I think she has also made some good partnerships with Mahara and Moodle. Being the official partner with these organizations can help to create a market niche and encourage others to be referred to your services.


    • andrea 9:13 pm on September 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You’re right that running a company requires so many different skill sets, and its important to bring together people who specialize in specific areas (marketing, HR), not just in the ‘product’ category. Thanks for this intro to Lambda – I’ve heard a lot about them in Vancouver but never looked at the makeup of leadership.

      • Juliana 8:18 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the comment Andrea. As I am based in Vancouver, I wanted to look at a local company. In addiiton, I was intrigued by their partnerships with open-source platforms Moodle and Mahara. And it is true, a good team makes a good company.


    • Angela Novoa 4:28 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Juliana. Great work! I think it is really important to have experience related to the field of the product and have experience in research. Also, having a team with many different skill sets is relevant too.

      • Juliana 4:12 pm on October 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Angela. I think that’s what made me feel better about examining these ventures. No one was an expert in everything, but they did connect with people who were an expert in their chosen fields.


    • hall 1:31 am on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think a person who is starting a business must be knowledgeable of his or her product or service. It is necessary for the person to have research and practical experience because it will probably help him or her understand all pros and cons the product or service. Great points.

      • Juliana 4:17 pm on October 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your comment Everton. I think we often overlook the importance of research when we think of business, but it is an important aspect of success. How many times have there been poorly researched initiatives implemented in our school systems only to find out that they all flat? When this happens in businesses, people loose jobs and money.


    • Doug Smith 2:50 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I like how Levy seems to have created a strategic partnership with Moodle and Mahara. This not only gives people a reason to use Lambda Solutions, but is also a great way to market her company with a type of free advertising. Good report Juliana.

      • Juliana 4:21 pm on October 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Doug. I think it was very good of her to form partnerships with those two companies. It creates a good business base since the two other companies can refer clients to her.


    • mcquaid 5:00 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      “As I am just starting out in this field it feels like I have a long way to go. I feel that I really need to have good practical experience to make it as an entrepreneur in this field.”

      I found it interesting, while reading through just my own entry possibilities, how this is sometimes true and sometimes not. I think, like you, that getting into something as technical and broad as this topic would require some background experience. I was intrigued (and relieved / inspired), though, how some leaders / CEO’s started off with some goal or product that was very far from what they ended up doing.

      • Juliana 4:23 pm on October 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your comment. I think that is part of my problems with becoming an entrepenuer. I think I need to be an expert befor I purse it as a business. Perhaps I should re-think this. May be it is just a matter of seeing an opportunity and going after it.


  • David Vogt 5:22 am on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , W4   

    Happy Monday, everyone – Your insights and interactions regarding the various pitches last week were on target.  Thanks.  I trust the exercise was useful in getting you to assume the mindset of an analyst and investor.  Being an “angel” investor myself, I can affirm that the activity becomes much more focused when it is your […]

    Continue reading Welcome to W4: a Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs Posted in: Announcements, Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
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