Matygo emerged out of Vancouver’s GrowLab accelerator in late 2011 to take advantage of the growing popularity of the “flipped classroom” philosophy in education, which, as Knewton describes it, seeks to invert traditional methods of teaching by delivering instruction online (through videos, etc.) outside of class, while moving homework into the classroom. Khan Academy is one of many examples of how startups are applying the flipped classroom model to improve the learning process.
Initially, the startup focused on developing a cloud-based learning management system (LMS), along with providing free, online courses to let anyone learn how to code, for example, along with classroom collaboration tools. However, as it goes in the burgeoning EdTech space, the startup’s learning platform never quite hit its stride, struggling to reach scale and profitability amidst slim margins.
Instead, after pulling back and delving into months of research, the startup identified three areas in which EdTech businesses are finding success: They help get internal teams up to speed, create customer evangelists, and they improve partner channel revenue through sales and product training. In November, Matygo rebranded as Learndot, focusing instead on bringing universities to businesses and the enterprise.
In other words, Learndot is building a training and certification platform for businesses that enables anyone within an organization to build courses, certify customers, educate partners and get employees up to speed, from the cloud. Learndot launched its new platform in beta in November, and were quickly overwhelmed by the response, receiving hundreds of trial requests within the first few months.
The startup wasn’t ready for the response, Learndot founder Paul Roland Lambert tells us, and they had to turn people away, as it initially took the startup nearly a week to set up a single trial manually. Now, with customers like Get Satisfaction, Clio and Zirtual on board, Learndot is officially coming out of restricted beta and opening its platform to the public.
In its newest form, Learndot is focused on providing enterprise clients with a results-centric education platform, in an attempt to improve training outcomes and to streamline the learning process, while allowing organizations to emphasize great content rather than simply prioritizing compliance.
Traditionally, business leaders and organizations have looked at training as a checkmark they need for compliance, which has led to corporate education taking a backseat on a company’s list of priorities. Recently, however, this mindset has begun to change as organizations realize that education can be used to deliver long-term results and give them a competitive advantage.
“We believe all organizations will benefit by nurturing a culture of learning, but people-powered businesses of all sizes see the greatest impact,” Lambert told Cantech this month. “This includes most service-based businesses, retailers, sales teams, or any industry where employee retention is a key metric.”
So, in essence Learndot is combining a course-creation tool a la Udemy with a platform for delivery, quizzing and analytics. Together, it allows anyone to create learning content and makes it easy to start small, test ideas with a few people, iterate and add as they go.
The idea is to offer a product that doesn’t require you to be an expert on workplace learning or training to build an awesome course. And, by providing easy access to analytics and data on employee performance within these courses, Learndot wants to make it easy for businesses to customize learning content, resulting in courses that are both more effective and aren’t excruciatingly boring.
This week, as part of exiting private beta, Learndot is launching Web signup so that anyone can sign up to use its SaaS tools mentioned above, beginning with a 14-day free trial. In addition, Learndot is adding a “forever free” plan, which provides access for up to five learners at no charge, in an effort to allow teams that want to test and evaluate Learndot do so without worrying about an expiration date. For organizations with up to 50 employees, Learndot offers a “Team” package that starts at $250, and a business plan for up to 150 employees at $500.
Through its new pricing scheme and re-organization, Learndot hopes to significantly lower the friction around testing out its product, while allowing small teams to use the platform for free. Startups helpin’ startups.