Entrepreneurship

LearnerNation chosen as Endeavor company

 
 
Michael McCord (left) and Michael Laas are cofounders of LearnerNation and were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs this week.
Michael McCord (left) and Michael Laas are cofounders of LearnerNation and were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs this week.
Natalie Fertig / Miami Herald

ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

LearnerNation developed an adaptive learning platform for the corporate training market. The two-year-old Miami company has attracted nearly 150,000 users from 2,300 companies and organizations in 60 countries.

This week, the company can add one more big gold star to its accomplishments. Endeavor, the global nonprofit organization that selects, mentors and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs as a means to significant job creation, has selected LearnerNation‘s cofounders Michael McCord and Michael Laas as Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

“We are very excited because the two Michaels are already young leaders in the Miami tech scene,” said Laura Maydón, managing director of Endeavor Miami. “We believe they have the values and qualities to be high impact entrepreneurs and will continue to be role models.”

Endeavor is a global nonprofit that selects, mentors and accelerates high-growth entrepreneurs as a means to significant job creation. Endeavor Entrepreneurs generated nearly 400,000 jobs and more than $6.5 billion in revenue in 2013. Endeavor now supports 948 entrepreneurs from 606 companies across 20 countries, and they typically go on to become mentors and investors in their communities.

During Endeavor Global’s 54th International Selection Panel this week in New York City, Endeavor’s judging panels interviewed and ultimately selected entrepreneurs from 21 companies in 15 countries. Becoming part of the Endeavor network means LearnerNation will get lifetime access to global mentorship, local advisors, professional services and funding networks to help it scale quickly.

“It was three pretty intense days, but incredibly worth it. We made some really good connections -- it’s incredible to be in the same room with GE, Bain,” said McCord, LearnerNation’s CEO, describing the judging panels. “I know Endeavor can really help with the connections and thinking globally. We’ll keep focusing on the revenue and building a great team.”

LearnerNation is the fourth Miami company to join Endeavor; KidoZen and My Ceviche were selected in December and Leapfactor joined in April. Miami’s Endeavor office, funded by the John S. and James L Knight Foundation and Endeavor Miami’s board, is the first U.S. affiliate selected to join Endeavor’s network. Endeavor Miami is continuously screening candidates; people can nominate entrepreneurs at www.endeavormiami.org. “Each of the four Miami companies that have joined Endeavor’s network in the past year have the potential to be major players in their fields of expertise,” said Matt Haggman, Knight’s Miami program director.

LearnerNation’s story began in New York City when McCord was preparing for his post-graduate law certification exam. He knew there had to be an online solution to rapidly accelerate learning. McCord recruited computer science friends to code and design it.

McCord was soon quitting his day job as a lawyer and went all-in with LearnerNation. Together with Laas, his COO, they moved the company to Miami. The company, now headquartered in Wynwood, began landing big customers and producing revenues; MasterCard, LG, Celebrity Cruise and Riot Games are a few of its clients. LearnerNation has grown to nine employees and also has offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Recently joining the team: a former vice president for channel sales for Oracle, McCord said.

LearnerNation’s platform features patent-pending technology that encourages instructors to break down what would otherwise be lengthy contiguous training courses into bite-size “concepts.” LearnerNation also empowers instructors to utilize multiple learning styles such as text, audio, video, flash cards, multiple choice, video, short answer and essay, and instructors are able to gain valuable insights into which methods are most successful.

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg.

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