Startup Weekend Education in Bergen

This weekend a was asked to be one of the judges under Startup Weekend Education in BergenThis is based on a global concept which targets startups working with products within EdTech. It was great fun working with teams of smart people.

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My colleague Paul was mentor for various startups.

In 54 hours, participants share ideas, form teams, build products and launch education startups. Startup Weekend Education begins with open-mic 60-second pitches friday night that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable concepts. Teams spend saturday and sunday focusing on customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced mentors. On sunday, teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges.

The criteria which the various projects were assessed against are:

Validation:

  • Did the team get out and talk to customers?
  • Are they actually solving a problem?
  • What’s their clear value proposition to that customer?
  • Have they identified a specific target market?

Execution and Design:

  • Did they work well as a team?
  • Did they have an MVP or prototype (paper is ok) to present?
  • How functional was the demo?
  • Was the usability of the product easy and friendly? Design Matters!

Business Model:

  • Does their solution solve a core need/problem?
  • Did they present a value proposition
  • Is it unique?
  • How will they differentiate themselves from their competition (did they identify competition)?
  • What is the go-to-market/launch strategy?
  • How will they make money?
  • What is the user acquisition model?

Education Impact:

  • Solving a problem in education?
  • Well suited for the education market?
  • High impact for education stakeholders?

When working with the teams this weekend it struck me that all edTech startups should look to these criterias ones every now and then to get at reality-check on there project.

So…I thoght…why not share them on my blogg.

My first test of Smarterer

In my search for inspiration from projects and startups that do some sort of edTech related apps and webservice I stumbled upon Smarterer. Smarterer scores and validates digital, social, and technical skills, using crowd-sourced test design and an adaptive scoring algorithm similar to the one used to rank chess masters. You can contribute by creating tests of your own.

BildeSmarterer

 

The picture above shows how a test provides feedback with points for how many correct answers you have.

Some of the things I like:

  • Easy to use
  • Nice look and feel
  • Good embed features
  • Offers API

Pluralsight Acquired Smarterer for $75M in november 2014 so one would have to rate this as a promising Tech-startup.

PS! You have to logg on to Smarterer if you want to take my test. You can sign up for free at www.smarterer.com.

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