Wize is an online community where you can learn or teach anything in real-time (via live audio, video, or VR) right from your phone. Wize combines the convenience of online training with the effectiveness of real-time interaction, and it's being built by a team from Stanford, Columbia, Box, Yammer, and Oracle.

STORY

A few years ago, I took a guitar course on Coursera. Unfortunately, after the fourth week, I gave up. As the lessons got tougher, it got frustrating to learn on my own--I needed someone to tell me what I was doing wrong. And I was not alone. More than 90% of the people we surveyed said that they desired real-time interaction at some stage of the learning process. However, though real-interaction can be more effective, it is often not as convenient or affordable as online learning. So I wanted to create something that gives people the best of both worlds.

PROBLEM

  • Online training is convenient but does not offer the real-time interaction that students often desire.
  • Real-time lessons are effective, but are not as convenient and affordable as online training.
  • Current online + real-time solutions are mostly isolated systems (like webinar software), so they lack the community aspects.
  • Further, current online + real-time solutions are mostly web-based, and don't offer a premium mobile experience.
  • Teachers spend significant overhead time in administrative tasks (registration, scheduling, payments, etc). Based on our research, teachers spend up to 20-30 mins for each 1 hour session of teaching.

SOLUTION

  • A mobile app that combines online training + real-time interaction + community + affordability.
  • How it works: Whether it's guitar, cooking, or photography that you want to learn, you can browse through bite-sized lessons offered by subject matter experts, and sign up for any lesson that sparks your interest with a tap of a button. You, and anyone else who signed up, will get notified to connect with the teacher via live audio or video when it's time for class. We're exploring live VR sessions as well.
  • Fixed pricing and affordable lessons ($10 - $20 per session), but still worthwhile for teachers because these are group sessions. Students get $1 off for each friend they bring to class.
  • Community and social sharing is at the heart of the platform.

REVENUE MODEL

  • We take a 10% commission on all transactions.
  • Charge a premium subscription fee for teachers who want advanced presentation features (such as the ability to incorporate ppt slides, or use studio camera or mics)
  • Classes with thought leaders, influencers, and celebrities will cost more. These classes will happen if there are enough people who are interested and the target count has been reached.

COMPETITION

  • Online training services (MOOCs) like Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, SkillShare, YouTube. All of these lack real-time interaction with the teacher.
  • Local teachers listed on Craigslist, Yelp, TakeLessons. BeSomebody. Takes too much time, effort, commitment, and money finding the right teacher and figuring out logistics.
  • Virtual real-time services like Tandem, Clarity, Codementor, and Hackhands. These are mostly all web-based, or specific to a particular field (language learning, or coding).
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