review:ed #26 Interview Coursera

review:ed #26 Interview with Daphne Koller & Andrew Ng of Coursera

review:ed #26 Interview Coursera

On Friday, Christopher Dawson and myself had the pleasure for a short talk with the two co-founders of Coursera, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng.

As the startup is backed with $16 million dollars in venture funding and thus also got some coverage outside of the education vertical, we were of course very interested in hearing a bit more online education centered and beyond the usual articles on some of the big tech-blogs.

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imagine K12 This Interview is sponsored by imagine K12
imagine K12, the silicon valley incubator for ed tech companies, will start its summer 2012 program in July. The online application is currently open and is due on May 4.
Visit for more information.

The interview starts with the founders’ motivation to launch their startup right now, I was particularly interested in hearing whether this was financially motivated as it seems to be a great moment for Silicon Valley based education startups or rather based on the technology.

Coursera is currently already working together with three universities, Princeton, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania besides Stanford, their alma mater. As a side-note, unlike other initiatives in Higher Education that are led by professors, for instance Sebastian Thun’s Udacity, Koller and Ng are staying at Stanford and will continue teaching there.

All courses available on the platform are offered completely for free and the Coursera team are building relationships with other top institutions to offer a wider variety of courses in the near future.

With such a big vision of changing Higher Education they must, of course, have an idea on the potential impact Coursera might have on the landscape.

We wrap up the talk by discussing the (currently non-existing) business-model of Coursera. Following right in the tradition of recent movements in Silicon Valley, there will certainly be a business at some point in the future, but Coursera currently focuses on building the platform, adding more courses and getting more students.

Additional Links:

Coursera on Twitter: @coursera
Coursera on Facebook:
Daphne on LinkedIn: Daphne Koller

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at and the future of learning at Disrupt Education. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Google+