Review:ed 2010 – January to March

As 2010 was such a fast paced year, I thought it would be nice to go back in the archives and take a look back at the most interesting events.

So, let’s start our little trip down memory lane with the months of January, February and March 2010.


The “year of the real time web” as Robert Scoble called it began with the announcement of busuu that their chosen publishing partner would be the German publisher PONS, famous for its grammar book series and dictionaries in various languages. This partnership helped busuu to catch up with Livemocha and Babbel which had signed their partnership deals in 2009 already.

The second noticeable event was the launch of a new online language teaching platform called Learn2Lingo. This new service started fresh with two main features that differentiated it from the other players on the market. One was a fixed pricing structure but the second one was even more interesting. The service aims on an audience that is interested in lessons on demand. Teachers log in to the service at the moment they are available. Students who are then looking to take a lesson at that time can directly book a short conversational language lesson with those teachers available.

Related Links:

  1. busuu and PONS announce partnership
  2. There is a new Cat in Town – launched
  3. EDUKWEST #17 with Shira Rubin of Learn2Lingo [Video interview]


February was marked by the launch of a couple of interesting startups in online education. The first one I came across was Sparkeo, a video platform for educators which aims to help them monetize on their created video content.

The second startup that caught my eye was VocabSushi and I have to say this is still one of my favorite educational products on the market today. Jeff Novich, Founder and CEO did an awesome job building this product and I highly recommend to check it out, if you have not already done. Especially, if you are working in SAT / GRE preparation I am sure you are going to love it.

Only one month after the announcement of the partnership deal with PONS, busuu received a six figure investment by an Austrian business angel. This gave the up to this point entirely boot strapped language learning community a nice breath of fresh air to go into the battle with Livemocha and Babbel.

And last but not least we saw the launch of Udemy. Udemy is a platform for educators to create online courses based on videos, texts, exercises and live lessons. The founder team worked (and still work) at an amazing pace throughout the year and Gagan Biyani, Co-Founder and face of the startup quickly became one of the best known edupreneurs in 2010.

Related Links:

  1. Sparkeo helps Educators to Monetize on their Videos
  2. EDUKWEST #21 with Frederic Aknin of Sparkeo [Video interview]
  3. VocabSushi – Bitesize Learning
  4. EDUKWEST #18 with Jeff Novich of VocabSushi [Video interview]
  5. busuu receives six-figure funding from Austrian Business Angel
  6. udemy – Academy of You – new Platform launches with interesting Features
  7. EDUKWEST #25 with Gagan Biyani of Udemy [Video interview]


In March I thought that I had finally seen the light. Stefan Booy, back then Head of Education at Myngle announced that the platform will introduce a minimum pricing to stop the downward spiral of price dumping. I thought, and still do, it was a step in the right direction.

And then another startup came to life: YongoPal. I have been a fan since the early days and similar to Udemy, the founding team is doing an amazing job building this company. YongoPal wants to connect South Korean students with US peers to practice conversational English.

Related Links:

  1. Myngle breaks the Trend and forces Teachers to take higher Prices
  2. First Look at – YongoPal
  3. EDUKWEST #29 with Darien Brown and Jon Hickey of YongoPal [Video interview]
  • Rickinalbi

    I'm someone who teaches and learns online, thinks a lot (maybe too much) about online education, and is thinking about how best to jump in and form my own business. This summary is an excellent of the industry's developments in 2010. — thanks so very much. Rick

    • KirstenWinkler

      And that's only the first quarter of 2010 ;). More to come.

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