15:49 | 14.06.11 | Interviews | exclusive 4728

X-TEACH team to present a unique educational platform in New York

This year, X-TEACH team with its “TEACH ME NOW” project won the Armenian finale of Imagine Cup contest of innovation projects, organized each year by Microsoft Company.

The team, consisting of students from Yerevan State University and State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) will represent Armenia at the world finale of “Imagine Cup”, which will take place in New York in July, 2011.

Arman Atoyan, Head of the Team, Founder and Director of X-TECH Company, which deals with website design and security provision, spoke of the project, offered by X-TEACH, in an interview to Mediamax and Itel.am.  

- Please, accept our congratulations on winning the national stage of “Imagine Cup”. What project did the team you head present at the contest and how do you plan to perform at the world finale of the contest?

- The system we have designed represents an educational platform with unique approaches. Any person, who has the corresponding experience and knowledge and wants to teach anything and earn a particular sum for it, can enter the system, register their own page or insert it from Linkedin.com website, mentioning the spheres, in which they can render educational, consultation or any training-related services.

On the other hand, there are people, who want to learn something. The majority of them, most probably, will be students, who have graduated from the university, however still experience the need of more specialized knowledge in order to be hired for a job.

The student enters the system and indicates the type of classes he wants to take up and the type of experience he is interested in. The system informs the individual, rendering training services, on people, wanting to attend the individual’s lecture online or offline and offers to organize an “event” (by the analogy of the similar service in Facebook), and the invitation will be sent to everyone, who takes interest in the lecture.

The invitees are informed via e-mail, enter the system and familiarize with the details of the lecture, the price, the information on the lecturer and the number of participants. By the way, the first lecture of each lecturer has to be free, and this will provide the chance to know the lecturer. After each course, the participants vote for the lecture or against it and if 80% of the participants believe that the lecturer is not competent, the sums are returned and the lecturer is erased from the system. If the majority of the participants are pleased with the lecture, the lecturer receives his sum, and the system receives its commission fee, which depends on the cost of the lecture.  

The online courses will be held in the format of an online conference, and what concerns the offline option of the lectures, here the system can offer rent of space in business centers and other premises.

TEACH ME NOW has a clear-cut business model and does not require a big sum to be launched. The system can get additional incomes due to thematic advertisement.

The fact of such a system being promising is conditioned by one example: imagine that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg offers a lecture on internet business making and the lecture costs USD 1. I believe that millions of young people will want to attend this lecture, and this means that Mark Zuckerberg will earn a significant sum in a few hours with the use of TEACH ME NOW.  

- How do you plan to perform in New York?

- We have already shot a video telling about the system in order to present it at the finale of Imagine Cup. It is available here: http://www.YouTube.com/TeachMeNowProject.

The demo version of the system has also been elaborated in order to well perform in New York.

If we win the finale, our prize will make USD 25 000, which is enough to implement the technical component of the project. If we succeed, I believe, we will also find means for promotion in the market.

- What is the volume of investments the project requires and, irrespective of New York finale results, do you consider other options to attract funds to realize the idea?  

- We will try to realize the idea irrespective of the results of the contest and we are open for proposals from the part of potential investors. The realization of the project, as a software solution, is not that expensive. Here a bigger issue is the market promotion of the system. The project is very promising and its profitability will increase in direct proportion to the increase of the number of users.