As many of you will know, I have extensively written, interviewed and presented on innovation in Higher Education in general and MOOCs in particular.
Over the past months what I’ve become particularly interested in are the initiatives and startups in this space that do not come from the U.S., and Veduca is certainly one of the most interesting startups in the entire space right now.
Being in the midst of securing a second round of funding for the company, I had the chance to interview Carlos Souza, co-founder and CEO of Veduca on what has happened in the past two years since launch, and what sets them apart from other competitors in this increasingly crowded vertical of online education.
Carlos shares some pretty interesting numbers on the Brazilian market with only 2% of the population that speak English well enough to follow sophisticated lectures and to watch videos in English which makes us understand the need of translating courses into Brazilian Portuguese better.
Many of Veduca’s courses are currently centered around business topics and what we can call vocational training, again something that is particularly targeted at Brazil as an important emerging market, and also shows what Brazilian people need to learn right now.
At different points during our talk Souza defines Veduca as a technology centric startup that works together with the best professors in their respective vertical. To my knowledge (please correct my in the comments if I’m wrong), Veduca is currently the only startup in the MOOC space that owns patented technologies.
Veduca sees the student at the centre of everything they build, so these technologies have been designed to particularly and constantly improve the experience from the student’s perspective using the Veduca platform. To address the rising critique of missing pedagogy and creativity in MOOCs Souza admits that there is a learning curve they, like every other MOOC startup, are going through but is confident that both their innovative technology and the rigorous selection of their partner institutions actually makes the learning experience on the platform pretty creative.
Having raised around $1.2 million in investment so far and currently raising more money, we also talk about Veduca as a business, how they’re making money right now and are going to do so in the future.
Another interesting number Carlos shares is that already 400 students out of 5000 total decided to take Veduca’s MBA program and pay for the certification. The MBA program was launched on Oct 1 and the cost of the diploma is $3.000.
So if you’re interested in the MOOC space in general, the Higher Education landscape and market in Brazil, I highly recommend this interview as it is full of interesting facts and figures, and I thank Carlos for being so open and sharing these insights with the EDUKWEST audience.