Supercool School will launch at DEMO – wants to become the Ning of Education

Today Supercool School will officially launch at the DEMO Spring 2010 event in Palm Springs. DEMO is one of the most renown event in the tech sector and Supercool School is one of only 65 companies that will pitch during the event.

Many companies that are cornerstones of the tech industry today launched at DEMO such as Palm, Adobe Acrobat, WebEx, TiVo, LindenLab to mention a few.

In a short presentation on Venture Beat the founder of Supercool School shares some facts and figures how he sees the future of the platform.

According to the post on Venture Beat Supercool School is planning to become the Ning for education. If you don’t know Ning yet: Ning enables basically everyone to start an own social network like Facebook and chances are very high that you are member of such a Ning powered site. To give you a couple of examples in online education right now:

1. Classroom 2.0 – probably one of the biggest communites of teachers interested in technology right now.
2. Lancelotters – the platform of Lancelot School and its allumnis. The Virtual Round Table Conference website is also a Ning network.
3. Mynglers – the recently launched network for teachers of the Myngle platform.

Of course this list goes on. All Ning networks can be accessed by a single Ning ID you set up when joining a Ning powered site the first time. The same already works on Supercool School for the different schools hosted on the platform.

Hence Supercool School’s premise is to enable everyone to build their own educational site or a bit more precise

We provide a white label platform that allows everyone to create and customize an online school. […] The platform allows for social learning and real-time virtual classrooms and can be turned into a business by monetizing content and courses online.

In a short article about the launch of Supercool School at DEMO on USA Today Steli Efti adds

We want to do for education what blogging did for publishing.

From the publisher point of view it is more “what blogging did to publishing”, of course.

Right now the pricing in the beta phase is $15 USD per month. In return you get the possibility to host unlimited classes with an unlimited number of students. The free version that is also available allows the school owner to host up to 15 classes per month.

Since the beta phase started in January 2010 already more than 100 schools were launched on the platform. It is not mentioned if all of them are premium subscribers though.

Steli Efti estimates the potential market on $450 million USD in the US alone with over two million potential clients. Those clients will then pay a 20% commission on the course sales plus fees on subscriptions for premium features. The revenue per school is estimated on $400 USD per month. Those are of course numbers for potential investors, at the moment the platform has an angel funding of around $100.000 USD according to the Venture Beat post.

The more interesting number is those 100+ schools that opened an account in roughly three months, so basically more than one new school a day. According to the post Steli Efti is planning other ways for educators to generate revenue on the platform by monetizing content and courses. So in this case Supercool School is going into the direction of WiZiQ, Sclipo and Udemy.

20% commission are 5% more than eduFire which uses the same virtual classroom, Adobe Live Connect Pro. The big difference is of course that Supercool School is offering white label schools for everyone whereas on platforms like eduFire or Myngle you are “just” a teacher amongst many on the platform. So definitely a plus for more entrepreneurial teachers who want to drive traffic to their own website rather than driving it to just a profile on a platform. On the other hand those teachers are on their own when it comes to getting students. The other platforms offer ways to find potential customers directly on the site, as a Supercool School owner I need to “hunt” them on my own. The Supercool School concept is of course very interesting for schools that want to open a new revenue stream online.

If you would like to hear more about the concept behind Supercool School I suggest you to watch my EDUKWEST interview with Steli Efti and Bjoern Lasse Herrmann who also gave a short KWestions interview about his StartUp School on lately.

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  • chinamike

    I tried leaving comments for these guys on their site. But you can't just leave comments, you have to vote for some nonsense (feedback forum) before you can leave comments.

    Anyway, I can't seem to sign-up with them. Standard China problem. We can't access Facebook without a costly proxy. Speaking for the other 399,999,999 users in China, its not that we don't like you guys, but please don't complain when you get copied in China for 1/2 the price.

  • technologiez

    nice post and thanks for sharing

  • Grathem

    In my view, Venture Beat Supercool School becoming Ning for education is a good thing but at the same time the quality of education should be there with the experts.

  • Jennifer

    Good post. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks!!!