Startup entrepreneur

The Discovery Challenge: Developing a business model and concept for an EdTech startup that offers a personalized education

The startup idea: A personalized education for young people to help them find their way

The idea for The Discovery Challenge was presented by Anthony at the Startup Weekend EDU Amsterdam 2016. He wanted to offer a personalized education to young people to motivate them, meet their learning style and help them discover their strengths and what they want to do with their life.

The idea was born from the experience that the school system offers a standardized curriculum and standardized teaching methods that the students have to adapt to. Educators lack the background and curriculum to teach basic entrepreneurial and discovery skills. As a result, young people discover too late what their strengths are and what career they want to pursue.

The teamwork: Elaborating a business model and a curriculum for a 1-year personalized education

Anthony was supported by me. Together, we elaborated a value proposition and a business model for a 1-year education program for schools with a curriculum and teaching materials as well as an accompanying website.

We tested the need by interviewing young people in and out of school. To offer teenage students the benefits of the personalized discovery challenge we would have to meet the needs of educators who facilitate that. Based on that we developed the value proposition of an education program that allows educators to facilitate an entrepreneurial and discovery journey of teenage students. The students pursue several team challenges around themes of interest, and in doing so develop basic entrepreneurial skills and discover their strengths. Then we have validated the value proposition with educators and parents who are also entrepreneurs.

Next, we created a student assessment based on motivational psychology and learning pedagogy. A mock-up of the website shows how the assessment of student personality and interests might be used for a personalized and motivating learning experience. To make the concept of personalized education feasible and viable, we embedded personalized and themed elements into a standardized education curriculum.

Based on this, we developed a multi-sided business model that demonstrates the value proposition for students, educators, and schools.

Anthony is soliciting early customer feedback on the startup idea.

In this team of two with backgrounds in business consulting and professional education, I collaborated on all aspects of the overall concept, the value proposition and business model, contributing my experience in conceptualizing and realizing an education program and platform.

I believe, in the future, we will see more personalized education. The question is how to combine standardized and individual training modules in different formats to make sure certain learning objectives are achieved and to allow for an individual learner’s journey. And, of course, how to organize and calculate this in a feasible and viable way.

The result: A verified business model and a concept for a personalized education program

Now, Anthony has a pedagogical and a business concept for his education startup. Based on this, Anthony can start building the personalized education program to ultimately help young people find their way.