E-Learning Online Platform for Health Students and Teachers

Opportunity Snapshot

  • Country: France France
  • Industry: Internet, eBusiness
  • Stage: Start-up
  • Investment size: $500,000 / min. $120,000
  • Type of investment: Debt, Equity

Investment Opportunity

This project is about web platform bringing together medical, pharmaceutical, dental college students and their teachers.

The platform will be also providing all educational resources to favour the transmission of knowledge. Starting from France, we have the ambition to expand to all scientific fields taught at University, and bring this future company at the global level.

In several European countries, students in 1st year preparing the entrance examinations for the medical and pharmaceutical college (health studies Numerus clausus), have the peculiarity to buy expensive courses and lessons to private remedial schools and freelance teachers, outside of their University, with the hope to be more competitive.

Currently, these remedial courses take place only in face-to-face classrooms. And Health students are particularly unsatisfied with these private schools. Nevertheless, they join massively to these schools because currently, there is no alternative offer on the market.

At each starting University year in France, around 75 000 students register at the 1st year of Health studies. 90% of them buy lessons and courses outside of their University, with an average of 1000 Euros per student.

Total market size of French students, at 1st year of health studies, buying lessons and courses outside of their University is around 60M Euros/year.

The project is to conceive and develop a social network internet-based platform (web site) for Health students and freelance teachers. The students using our platform will have the following services:
- Continuous Evaluation and Ranking (classification) during the academic year. The knowledge of students will be continuously evaluated by examinations every week, month and at each semester.
- Personalized educational advices and psychological coaching to adjust their work efforts.
- Downloadable or « live » interactive courses/lessons and exercises by on-line videoconferencing (1 teacher / 1student, 1 teacher / n students).

Strategy and Business Model
At specific moments of the University year, we will distribute advertising leaflets to college students at the 1st year of health studies, but also to students at higher degrees (our future teachers). During all the year, we will also deliver online marketing campaign through facebook and other e-tactics.

We will impose to teachers using our platform our prices. The prices for each lessons sold in our platform will be lower to private schools. Our Business model is based on the CtoC model (Customer-to-Customer).
We will not hire any full-time teachers. We will only provide a platform who will give online facilities to the teachers/students interactions and communications (CtoC marketplace).

We will charge fees on money transactions, when a student buy a lesson to a teacher through our platform, we charge a fee. Students should have to create an account on our web site, and preload a minimum amount of money. This model will insure a long lasting working capital. We can also test “subscription model”.

Starting from France, we have the ambition to bring this future company at the global level.

Management Team
Mr. Razvan Furca, IT-Engineer and CEO of Smart Tech 2000 (an IT Consulting company based Romania) has joined me as CTO to laungh our web startup. I am very lucky to have as Partner such experimented professional.

Project-holder (future CEO):
I am a former academic biomedical scientist (2002-2008) and entrepreneur, and since 2007 I am consultant for innovative startups and SMEs, interested by R&D, innovation, marketing, and business development.

During my own college studies, I founded and managed a private school dedicated to support the Students at the 1st year of Health college (Nice, France). After 6 years of this business (2000-2006), we get 10% of the total sales of this market (of my city) with only a team composed of five teachers. Our school had nearly 200 students per year, and we obtained the higher rate of students who succeed and were accepted to continue into the 2nd year of medical studies compared to our competitors. Most of our students are now physician, surgeon or dentist, and we are still in relation and friends.

I have a strong knowledge of the health students behaviors and psychology, and the “know-how" to access” the market.

What problem does your product/startup solve?
Health students work hard, but they do not know if they efforts are valuable.

Our web-platform will provide to the students at any time of the year, their position in the general ranking.

They can also follow their progresses realized in the various disciplines.
Other advantages for students: time-saving, personalized services, physical comfort (well-being and conveniences of home) and psychological comfort (reserved and shy students can speak and interact freely with teachers)

Due to a limited number of available classrooms and the high prices to rent these classrooms, a significant number of freelance teachers cannot teach.

Advantages for teachers are:
Economy of scale, cancellation of fixed costs, an easy access to the market of private education to a greater number of qualified individuals who wish to teach (cancellation of the barrier to entry due to the costs and availability of classrooms, and no prospective marketing and adverstising needed to find customer-students, we do it, it’s our job!).

Our platform will provide them all the facilities to teach (virtual interactive whiteboard, videoconferencing, science knowledge database ...)

Who will be the users of the platform?
The first segment that we will target is the college students at the 1st year of health studies in France (a very precise niche). But also the instructors/teachers working in remedial schools, or working freelance, and coaching these 1st year health students.

Then, we would like to expand to higher degree college students, and in other academic fields than medicine.

By targeting the health students, we will definitively change the way of teaching and learning. Then, these students and their teachers will propagate their new behavior of using e-learning/videoconferencing to higher degrees and in fields other than medicine.

Does this product fit into the current ways of doing things?
Our product will offer ahead market trends. Indeed, Face-to-face teaching/studying in classroom will become a major problem in the future due to the continuous growth of world population. Teaching/studying by the internet and computers (e-learning) will be the unique solution!

The European Union policy is to support e-learning companies in the educational system, and the EU provides important subsidies and grants to companies developing e-learning for students. Another point, the French government has launched a gov. VC fund dedicated to support web start-ups, and specially those developing e-learning solutions and offers for education.

Distribution model
Our services will be delivered only through our web site, but also by mobile device (Smartphone and Pads).

Executive summary is available for this investment project. Investors can contact us on Merar for further details.

Competitive Advantage

Our project has more than 30 direct competitors providing remedial courses to medical and pharma students in face-to-face classrooms in private schools. We have also more than 20 indirect competitors providing E-Learning and/or Videoconferencing web site dedicated to Education. None of these indirect competitors target our market segment niche.

Our long term competitive advantage
First, we have imagined and designed a very innovative buisness model that could be protected.

Second, we will build exit barriers to avoid our customers to leave us through strategic partnerships:
- With companies developing technologies such as graphics tablets, or tools converting handwritten or spoken notes into digital text (very useful for college students and teachers)
- With companies producing Animated 3D Films for Science&Technology-based companies
- With academic researchers experts in neurosciences in the field of “the Learning, the Memory”, computer science in the field of human-computer interaction ergonomics.

These partnerships will provide us continuous innovative and proprietary media and tools to facilitate the knowledge transmission.

We can also have an entry barrier based on the copyright of our proprietary media (courses and lessons). Indeed, we will be the proprietary of all documents uploaded in our platform.

Rationale for the deal

We would like to invite investors to join us as partner in our equtiy (Angel investors or Venture Capital firm).

Use of financing

The investment needed will be used for :

- To finance our maketing plan (business communication and promotion, and hire sales force)
- To reinforce our engineering staff and to develop our web platform

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