Startup Profile: StudyPact

Motivation is a crucial ingredient when it comes to successful learning. Therefore, we are going to take a closer look at motivational factors in language learning at our upcoming event “Multilingualism in Europe” and discuss how citizens of the EU can be motivated to learn at least two foreign languages.

In this Startup Profile we learn about StudyPact, an edtech startup that adds a crowdfunded motivational layer on top of learning apps and products. The concept is easy: as a learner you get paid when you reach your study goals. If you miss your goal, you have to pay a fine which is then used to reward other successful learners.

Introduce your startup and give a short description of what you are doing.

StudyPact is study motivation platform. We let you take stake in your study goals to make sure that your motivation to get started converts into a long term study success.

More specifically we pay you for studying, but charge you if you don’t follow up on your goals.

Who are the founders, how did you meet, what are your different roles in the startup.

StudyPact Team

We are three co-founders: Toby is our CEO. His background is Big Data and deep passion for behavioral design. Paul is our design genius and holds a half finished PhD in UX design. Evan is our master of mobile. If it fits in your pocket, he can make an app for it.

The three of us met at a startup weekend contest 2 years ago, which we ended up winning. We have been working together ever since.

What is the main problem in education that you aim to solve.

Games vs Education is a battle that is increasingly being lost by education.

Engagement and addictivity to make you start another game has been massively improved since I quit gaming 8 years ago. Today anybody can fall for games and get lost in them.

Education on the other hand, with its (video) lectures and written study material is essentially still the same.

If we as a society want to succeed, then we need to get education on the same level. People have to be able to freely choose between entertainment and learning. The amazing thing is that it is the first time in history that we are able to create products that can captivate & engage for years and at the same time reach billions of people. All we need to do is apply those same principles in education!

In which markets / regions are you active. What markets / regions are next.

Our current focus is the English speaking world.

Who is your target audience.

Our target audience has long term study goals. Language learning which takes many years is the prime example.

How do you engage with your target audience. How do you convert them into users of your product.

We are currently growing organically through our strong community of motivated users who love our product.

What is your business model. How much does your product / service cost.

Our service is free and even pays you for studying, if you finish your study goals each week. It will only cost you, if you fail on your own study goals.

If you raised funding, how much did you raise. Who are your investors. If not, are you planning to raise funding.

We joined the Open Network Lab accelerator early this year and are currently raising a seed round of $500k.

Are there milestones you are especially proud of and would like to share.

We are currently available on Android and have integrated with over 150 study apps and learn platforms.

What are the next steps in growing your startup.

We are currently in the first stage of three to become a global education platform:

1) Consumer (now):
Our revenue comes from consumers and is based on commissions through the current pact model.

2) Partnerships (6 month+):
We are currently in talks with several big study platforms to help them retain their users longer. Revenue will then come from our partners. This will free us up to add motivational services that do not rely on money to keep you motivated.

3) Recruiting (2 years+):
There are 1 billion people coming online for the first time in the next 5 years – mostly from 3rd world countries who don’t have access to formal education. Combine that with free online education, globalization and a college debt bubble and you begin to ask: “How do you hire them?” With increasing number of partnerships and users, we will know exactly how and what you study and will be in the perfect spot to become the LinkedIn for Online Education

At the same time, we will always remain true to our vision: “For a smarter world”

Links | Twitter

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at