Startup Stories: Everyone has something to learn

Viviana and Michal - the founders of Knowinger

Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
Knowinger is a community marketplace for face-to-face courses. Our goal is to broaden access to quality education and help create unique and transformative learning experiences by allowing students and teachers to continuously interact and share their knowledge and thus collectively create an enriching learning environment.

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
It all started about 18 months ago, when I decided to buy my partner Michal a piano for his birthday. And I also wanted to get him some private lessons, so he could get back to playing soon.

And that’s how the idea of an education marketplace started! As I was Googling around I found various options for him. The difficult part was to choose the right one. I knew I wanted something in the Inner West of Sydney, so he didn’t have to travel far. With the rest, I had no idea. I was flicking through tutor directories and private school pages and was getting a bit lost. I called a few teachers and asked them about their courses and methods but honestly, I didn’t have a clue how to distinguish a good teacher from a not-so-good one.

Although I successfully managed to get him a great teacher after about a week of research, it left me with a thought of a gap on the Australian market. “If I had to go through this lengthy selection process myself, there must be a lot of other people that face the same problem”, I thought.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
There is an enormous amount of courses with different timetables and options offered by individual tutors or institutions. It is truly complicated for the students to compare their local courses and select the right one. That is why the providers rely on the word of mouth as their primary acquisition tool.

Once students enroll in a course, the main form of communication outside of the classroom is usually group emails. Materials are shared either as a hard-copy or via the aforementioned emails. There are no secure forums where the class can interact and share their insights and opinions.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me has been trying to ship new features in a timely and quality manner with limited resources. It’s all about prioritizing and juggling tasks and I just wish we had more hands to execute our plans.

We use a great issue and project tracking software called JIRA where we manage all our tasks and monitor their progress to deal with the overwhelming amount of work that is ahead of us.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
I’ve learnt many useful tips and tricks from Project Eve and always come back for new inspiration.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
Everyone is good at something and has a skill to share. Teaching might not be as hard as you thought.

Company: Knowinger


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