Education inside the Age of Student Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship has become “cool” over the past two decades because the Internet came into being. Youth entrepreneurship, especially students trying their hands at digital start-ups, is now quite a phenomenon.

Today, we’re going to watch a team of student entrepreneurs who’ve launched a product and got it to a revenue generating stage while still in school.

Meet Yatit, Drew and Jak

Yatit Thakker, the CEO of Omninox , had always loved science. As an engineering student on the University of Florida, he was however, disappointed with the boring textbooks and tools used to educate science.

Though there have been several online education schemes, Yatit felt they weren’t utilizing the technology to its full potential. Regardless of powerful platforms like iBooks, the net education schemes being created were mere digital reproductions of the textbooks, without much interactivity.

The iBooks platform, though, was able to way more.

So, in the summertime of 2012, Yatit with Drew Vincent and Jak Yap, his fellow environmental engineering students on the University of Florida, took it upon themselves to make science challenging and fun to profit.

The Founding of Omninox

The three founded Omninox and created interactive, mobile study guides called Omniguides for top school students using the iBooks platform. They funded the corporate from their savings accounts, with part-time jobs, and a few pre-seed investments from their families.

Omninox aims to consolidate the fabric that scholars learn for Advanced Placement (AP) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) classes by offering built-in software tools resembling a calculator, quizzes and sketchpad with social sharing.

Their first interactive guide for Calculus 1 was one of the vital top listed Calculus 1 guides at the iBookstore. Over a higher year, the market became more competitive. Companies like OpenStax , SchoolYourself and Houghton Mifflin had also started using the iBooks platform to create more interactive products.

However, Omninox had a primary mover advantage and it upped its game besides. It became portion of the iBookstore’s textbook section. This was an enormous challenge for Omninox but had its rewards. a personal school in California made the Calculus Omniguide a demand for all its students.

Each AP Omniguide is sold as an integrated software package for $15. In 2013, Omninox released its first commercial product and this is already inside the revenue stage. It has had greater than 200 paid downloads internationally, with 120 of those during the past six months.

Close to 600,000 students are projected to take physics, calculus or statistics within the 2014 AP course. Assuming one-third of this target audience has access to an iPad, it translates to a possible market of $3 million per year.

The Way forward for Omninox

Yatit says they plan to expand Omniguides to an internet-based platform after they have a better base of content and customers. The platform will include more general preparatory courses for a subscription fee of $10 a month. This could help provide not just better content but in addition provide a more continuous revenue stream. They may also consider providing online tutoring for AP STEM courses.

One of the challenges that the net education sector faces is that many professors and academicians aren’t as savvy with Web technologies as their students. They’ve typically collaborated with eLearning companies and feature released products and courses that experience stuck to the sage-on-the-stage model. Online education’s true potential lies in exploring the guide-on-the-side model.

Is it then time to collaborate with student-led ventures like Omninox to bring out the actual potential of digital technology in education?

More broadly, today’s generation of scholars are digital natives. They’ve been exposed to the web, smartphones, tablets, social media and plenty of other technologies from an extraordinarily young age. It isn’t surprising that we’re seeing a massive surge of entrepreneurship among students at the moment.

Image: Omninox Publishing Team, Omninox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *