Alison

Alison

Alison

SOLUTION

Alison currently offers over 1000+ online courses across certificate and diploma level.

 

BUSINESS MODEL

Alison is a MOOC (Massive open online courses). It  invites publishers to share courses on the platform. It makes money through advertising (on their website), merchandise (T-shirt) and the sale of Certificates and Diplomas, should a graduate choose to buy one. Cost is highly reduced compared to usual schools (cost of building, staff…). Through the online pay per click advertising revenue model, Alison has founded a business model whereby ‘learners in the developed countries are essentially paying for those in developing countries’ while providing the learning materials for free.

IMPACT

Place: global

Scale11 million learners, 1.5 million graduates (2017)

Depth

  • Gained skills 

ORIGINS

Alison (Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online) was founded in Galway in 2007. Mike Feerick is a serial social entrepreneur, Ashoka Fellow, and Harvard MBA who has previously created successful internet-based companies in telecoms and finance as well as online education, has had the challenges of accessing education imprinted on him from an early age. Mike’s insights with ALISON, a free online certification program, draws from his extensive experience working in e-learning, primarily through a company he founded called Advance Learning, which offered per diem online curriculum. On a gamble, he took the US$1M worth of Advance Learning content and made it free online.

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Work for them

Alison.com have all sort of expertise needs. Wherever you are from, if you have top level skills in your field, they would love to hear from you.

Maya Apa

Maya Apa

Maya Apa

SOLUTION

Maya Apa is a virtual platform that anyone anonymously can access any time, providing counselling and answers to queries on daily life issues including health, psychosocial and legal matters.
Once a question is asked, it is redirected to the profile of relevant experts and the answer appears within a maximum of three hours.

BUSINESS MODEL

A premium service titled ‘Maya Apa Plus’ has been launched under partnership with mobile operator Robi. Users will have their queries answered in ten minutes through this service.  Users can subscribe for BEST 60 (60 eurocents) a month for unlimited questions. For SMS-based questions, they only charge BDT 10  once a user gets a resolution to their initial query, which is still cheaper than a consultation.

Maya Apa gathers  heaps of anonymous data and can tell what kind of problems are prevalent in which area, what age group is more prone to mental problems and all these issues. Which means looking at Maya data, you can understand health and legal status of many localities. This data has the potential to be monetized in the future.

Experts are paid based on answers. Through technologies like natural language processing, Maya Apa can route questions to the right expert. They have a training module and a separate website for the experts. Before onboarding any expert, they take them through test and training. Once they pass the test and finish their training and get vetted, they then approve them and they get access to the dashboard.

IMPACT

Place: Bangladesh 

Scale:  150,000 queries were submitted and answered. Over 10,000 users access it daily (2017).

Depth

  • 75% of  queries are health related, 20% are psychosocial and rest 5% are legal questions. In Bangladesh, doctor to patient ratio is 4000:1 and psychiatrist to patient ratio is 1: 1 million, there is a huge need for both of these services.

ORIGINS

Maya Apa was founded in 2011 by Ivy Russell. “When I started Maya, I had little idea of what we wanted to do. I was juggling a full-time job and writing articles and publishing them to my site, maya.com.bd, which was more like a blog at the time. It was very difficult to navigate through the whole thing.

The question I originally asked when I started Maya was: where do women go when they need to ask questions about the intimate parts of their body? Although that was a basic question and the starting point for us but I really started diving deep when I left my job in 2014. That’s when I started reading about and understanding major trends and ideas and changes in the tech landscape across the world. And we decided to move from a mere website and pivoted to mobile and messaging from a web based content site. And we also turned Maya into a predominantly Bangla platform. It was at this point we were fortunate to receive a grant from BRAC to support our transformation from content portal to a mobile-first, Bangla-first wellbeing service”.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • During the early days of Maya, I was the only person doing everything with the help of a couple of doctors who helped out voluntarily and I am super grateful to them. It took us almost 48 hours to answer any question in an appropriate manner. Then it became 24 hours and then 12 hours and for the last couple of years it came down to 3 hours and now premium users are getting it in 10 minutes. We just launched our premium service, Maya Apa Plus, in partnership with Robi, the selling point is ‘get your answer in 10 minutes’.
  • Over the past couple of years, we have tried many different things. We failed in some and some of those things have stuck with us and are helping us to grow.
  • In February 2017, BRAC has decided to increase its investment to scale the service.  In addition, Brac’s urban development programme will implement a pilot project where the Maya Apa app will be used to give services to 50,000 women working in garments factories.
  • We have kicked off our monetization side with doing the deal with Robi .After our collaboration with Robi, 600 more questions got added per day. On a good day, we receive around 1000 messages and on a bad day, we receive around 500 messages. That’s just the beginning. We plan to get into more partnerships in the coming days. We are in an exclusive partnership with Robi for one year. We plan to package differently for other partners.”
  • We also plan to move on to other markets. We have done research in India, perhaps we will start with Calcutta and the Middle East is also our target but nothing is finalized yet. Since we have BRAC as a partner, we may launch in countries where BRAC has operations and where there is a need for our service“.
  • We are also in talk with a couple of private companies who want to avail our service for their employees. Our B2B service is about to start.The company launched LenddoScore, a proprietary credit rating system without any traditional banking inputs in October 2013.”

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Work for them

Maya Apa is located in Bengladesh. They are looking for medical and psychology specialists, as well as other profiles to grow the enterprise.

Jana

Jana

Jana

SOLUTION

Free internet in emerging markets.

BUSINESS MODEL

Users in emerging countries can download the mCent app from their phone and start to earn data by trying out sponsored apps. For every megabyte spent within the sponsored Amazon app, for example, Jana will credit the user with an additional megabyte that they can use for anything. It’s an ad-sponsored internetmCent is integrated into 311 mobile carriers. 

IMPACT

Place: 93 developing countries. Around half of its users worldwide are from India.

Scale:  over 40 million users in emerging markets.  

Depth

  • Access to knowledge and online services empowers people 

ORIGINS

I took a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Nairobi, and built an SMS system that let rural Kenyan nursers text in blood type information to the centralized blood banks,” explains Nathan Eagle, CEO to Fortune.com. “It went well the first week, but about half the nurses dropped out the second week and, by the end of the month, no nurses were using it. What I hadn’t realized was that the price of data represented a decent percentage of a rural nurse’s wage in Kenya. Basically, they couldn’t afford to send the text messages.”

After Eagle did some research on internal pricing for Kenyan mobile operations (thanks to some back-end access via MIT), he wrote around 20 lines of Python code that essentially repaid the nurses for their texts. Suddenly, the nurses reengaged. Moreover, the mobile operators realized that they could generate more revenue per user by charging the local health ministries rather than by charging the nurses.  That’s how  Nathan got the idea of Jana and founded the company in 2009.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Jana raised over 93 million USD since it launched. It’s goal is to bring 1 billion people online. 

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Work for them

Jana offices are located in Boston. Help them bring internet to the next 1 billion.

Google

Google

Google

SERVICE

Free access to information, traning, tools and events, for everyone

“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. 

BUSINESS MODEL

The vast majority of Google’s revenue (over 90%) comes from advertising via its search engine and its ads program.  The rest comes from some innovative products and services (Chromecast, Google Home, Pixel 2, Google for business…). 

Google.org represents the philanthropic arm of Google and, unlike most philanthropic companies, it is a for-profit to free itself from various constraints placed on nonprofit groups. Google.org’s strategy involves not only funding the use of technology, data, and user-centered design, but also giving the best of Google – including their people time and their products – to address local challenges. They mainly work in three fields: closing the education gap, economic opportunities and inclusion. 

 In October 2017, Google has committed to award $1 billion in grants over the next 5 years and enable 1 million employee to volunteer hours, while continuing to develop products and programs that create opportunity for everyone. Over the next two years, Google is giving $50 million in grants to nonprofits focused on improving education in developing countries using tech-based learning tools (2016).

IMPACT

Place: Global

Scale:  around 2 billion people use Google online servicesGoogle’s education products (Classroom, Chromebooks…) benefit more than 70 million people in 180 countries. Over 10 million women across India have improved their livelihood through the Saathi program, a digital literacy program. Khan Academy, which offers free education and was initially funded by Google, now has 59 million users

Depth

  • Help people grow their skills, career and business
  • Reduce the educational gap and inequalities in economic opportunities (women, migrants, people who can’t afford an internet connection). 

ORIGINS

Google began in January 1996 as a research project led by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two PhD students at Standford University in California. The company was incorporated in 1998. At that time, it was based in the garage of a friend of them. Google’s IPO took place in 2004. The co-founders told potential investors they planned to set aside 1% of the company’s stock (at the time of the IPO), and an equal percentage of profits, to fund Google.org, a philanthropy arm they have launched in 2005. “We hope someday this institution may eclipse Google itself in terms of overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems,” Google cofounder Larry Page wrote of Dot-org in a 2004 letter to investors. Although Google intended to reinvent philanthropy and by doing so, address major problems like climate change,  global poverty and the spread of pandemic diseases, Google.org had a difficult start. “They were looking for something like a new algorithm — but there isn’t any algorithm that’s going to eradicate diseases” said one employee of Google.org in 2008. Adding to that major management issues, Google.org ground to a halt, and then pivoted its strategy. Google.org now keeps a focus on what they are doing best : organize information and make it universally accessible. t

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • In 2010, Google donated $2 million to Khan Academy. At the time, it was a single person with a big idea: provide a free, world class education to anyone, anywhere. With the help of Google, Khan Academy now has over 59 million registered users.
  • In 2014, the corporation stated on its website that it donates $100 million in grants, 200,000 hours in volunteering, and $1 billion in products each year.
  • In 2015, Google partnered with Tata Trusts to launch “Internet Saathi“, a digital literacy program for women. In rural India, only 1 ou to f 10 internet users is a woman.  By learning how to access and use the internet, they in turn impart training to their community and neighbouring villages.  

  • Google.org is supporting many nonprofit organizations closing the educational gap. One of them is Learning Equality, a nonprofit organization building educational software for communities with low internet connectivity.
  • Google recently launched Google for Jobs, designed to help better connect people to jobs, and Google Grow, free material to build digital skills and careers.

GET INVOLVED !

Work for Google

Google.org is probably one of the most sought-after after teams to join at Google. But if you have skills that they are looking for, you might be lucky !

Duolinguo

Duolinguo

Duolingo

SOLUTION

A platform (web and app) offering free language courses for all. 

The app uses game concepts like unlockable levels (lessons) and points and high scores to motivate you to learn a language. 

BUSINESS MODEL

There are two parts to Duolingo’s brilliant revenue model.

First, they make money by selling translations to companies like CNN and Buzzfeed. So, for example, they write their news in English, and send it to Duoligo. Duolingo then give it to their students, who in order to practice their English skills, help translate this news to their native language. 

The second and most important part is their new app, the Duolingo Test Center. Duolingo is giving everyone the chance to prove that they have language skills without having to pay the $250 normally charged by the existing proficiency tests such as the TOEFL or the IELTS.  Duolingo’s tests will cost $20 and will help their educational app stay afloat.

To get them started and scale, Duolingo has received many investments including a $20 million Series C round of investment led by Kleiner Caufield & Byers and a $45 million Series D round of investment led by Google Capital. 

IMPACT

Place: worldwide

Scale:  200 million people are using Duolingo around the world

Depth

  • Knowing English in non-English speaking countries increases job prospects. They can make 25 to 100% higher salary. 

ORIGINS

It  all started in 2000 when Luis von Ahn, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, invented the CAPTCHAs, those verification codes you have to enter on websites to prove that you are human. Around 2005/ 2006,  200 million CAPTCHAs had been used. “At first I was pretty excited, because look at the impact my work has had. But then I realised that this is not a good thing – because CAPTCHA is important, but it does waste 10 seconds of your time, and when you think of the millions of times it gets used, that adds up.

So that was when I created a new company and we invented reCAPTCHA that puts that time to good use, and helps to digitise books. I sold that to Google in 2009, but I wanted to do something else that would be meaningful.”

That’s when he teamed up with one of his PhD students (Severin Hacker) and in 2009, the two started Duolingo.

“I come from Guatemala and over there, you will see a lot of inequality,” he says, “because the people who are educated in English have more opportunities and can improve the quality of their lives and they rise, but the people who don’t have that advantage get fewer and fewer opportunities.” (Interview from Gadgets 360)

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Duolingo started its private beta on November 2011. 
  • In June 2012, it launched for the general public. . 
  • In November2012, Duolingo released its iOS app, and in May 2013 its Android app, which quickly became the #1 education app in the Google Play store. 
  • As of November 2017, Duolingo offered 77  different language courses, with 19 additional courses in development.
  • In 2017, it added Korean, Japanese, Korean, Czech and Swahili, the first African language on Duolingo.

GET INVOLVED !

Work for them

As a growing company, Duolingo  is constantly looking for new talents.  Help them build revolutionary new technology that empowers people. They have positions worldwide.