Online Education Builds Global Communities & Can Inspire Innovation
Online education may be the talk of the tech world, but for most of us, it sounds downright boring. We envision sitting alone in front of a computer watching videos and doing assignments. As a former CNN correspondent, and now heading up operations and production for KFA, I wanted the course videos to be a learning tool, but also tell a good story. Over the next year and a half we produced seven entrepreneurship classes, but I had yet to follow a course while it was underway online, until Startup CEO.
Network of Global Entrepreneurs Create Inspiring Group in Startup CEO
The eight-week Startup CEO class launched on NovoEd on January 27th. It features Matt Blumberg, author of Startup CEO and the very successful and down-to-earth CEO of Return Path. NovoEd, the course platform powering Startup CEO is unique because it’s the only online educational platform that promotes collaboration among students, whether it be on class projects, discussions, or via online hangouts. As I watched the students fill out their profiles, it was clear that entrepreneurs from the Netherlands to China are anxious to network and eager to learn from Matt, and one another, about how to build quality companies from the ground up. We ended up with more than 330 students hailing from every continent (except Antarctica).
While the student body is diverse they bring a portfolio of talents as well:
40% have C-suite positions
30% are working CEOs
46% are working on their own startup with 1-9 employees
66% have college degrees
45% have graduate degrees
On the discussion forums students from more than 25 countries are sharing the tools they are using to assemble their companies and encouraging other students’ startup ideas. There are some amazing and creative concepts out there that would normally never have seen the light of day.
Given KFA’s mission is to be a catalyst for innovators and promote entrepreneurship globally, this is proving to be a powerful example that is very doable. Indeed, it is possible for online education to build global communities. People are hungry for the international networking opportunities, support, and encouragement.
Next up is Venture Deals featuring VC’s Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. The class focuses on getting inside the heads of VC’s; how they put together the deals; and strategies for getting the best deal. But it’s not just about VC financing, they provide a wealth of information on financing for entrepreneurs and investors.
It will be very intriguing to see how the global communities build in this online education class and how many more entrepreneurs from far flung places get inspired to take that spark of an idea, get funded and make their dream a reality.
Along with hand-washing, disinfecting, and social distancing, Zoom has become part of life for many during the pandemic. However, the initial thrill of seeing distant colleagues on video conferences has given way to fatigue, anxiety, and distraction as we struggle to stay engaged.