Startup Spotlight: LearnerNation
06/22/2014 7:00 PM
06/23/2014 11:25 AM
Concept: LearnerNation is a cutting-edge B2B SaaS cloud-based adaptive learning system focused on the corporate training market. It 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, essay, etc.; employs multiple learning styles for students so that instructors gain valuable insights into which methods are most successful; and introduces the concept of instructors not having to rely on a passing score based off a percentage.
Story: It all began in 2011 in New York City where Michael McCord was preparing for his post-graduate law certification exam. McCord had to switch from giant book to giant book to bulky study guide and that didn't sit well with McCord. He knew there had to be a way to rapidly accelerate learning and that an online solution would fix things. McCord told a few of his computer science friends who wanted to help code it. They recruited more friends to design it, and even persuaded one of them to designate his small kitchen as their office on nights and weekends.
McCord decided to focus on the corporate training market and the first few customers loved it. So in 2012, he quit his job, became LearnerNation’s CEO (and first full-time employee). He found the Miami market as an attractive location for LearnerNation because of its burgeoning tech industry and its access to global markets. That move (2012) has clearly paid off and today LearnerNation has grown to almost 150,000 professional users across 58 countries, including Canada, Spain, Israel, Brazil.
Management team: Michael McCord (CEO), Bill McCord (CTO), Michael Laas (COO)
No. of employees: 10
Financing: Raised $140,000 from friends and family. Is in the midst of a seed round from local, well-known venture capital investors, which will take investment raised to more than $1 million.
Recent milestones reached: Adding expert team members, including Leticia Hartmann to oversee business development and Sabrina Scandar as chief engagement officer. Growing its users to almost 150,000 professionals. Signing MasterCard, LG, Celebrity Cruise and Riot Games as clients.
Biggest startup challenge: Moving from a small core team to putting important sales and service processes in place to accommodate rapid growth.
Next steps: Continue to sign corporate clients, add platform features and improve ease-of-use to make the LearnerNation solution the best and only choice for clents.
“Once we close our financing round, we can kick our growth strategy into high gear,” said McCord.
Read past Startup Spotlights on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business; click on the Startup Spotlights category.
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