What if you could build a marketplace that connects people who are passionate about teaching a particular subject with those who want to learn it? What if anyone, with a love for what they do, could list their course on such a site? Two entrepreneurs, Kristian Hansen and Rickard Jardemar, did just that. Find out how in my latest interview.
Sylvia: Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m very excited to learn more about Froggler as I too am passionate about education. First off, tell me about your beginnings. Where did this idea come from? Either one of you can jump in at any point.
Kristian: The way it started was through my sister who teaches the art of photography. She was working at some art schools and wasn’t making a lot money with her courses. They were also really expensive for the participants, so I said to her at some point, why don’t you set up your own courses instead of going through those big course houses? She thought it was very difficult to do, thinking, how do I market it and how do I do all the bookings and how do I get all the contacts with all the participants and handle payments. That’s when I had the idea that we should create a marketplace, a platform where you could do this easily.
Sylvia: I’m glad you brought up your sister and her discouragement with traditional teaching institutions. The boom of the sharing economy is encouraging many to work for themselves and bypass more traditional forms of employment. Do you see people in the education sector, or just with a passion to teach profiting from this trend?
Kristian: What we thought would be very difficult at the beginning, to attract teachers to join the platform, to put up their courses and put up their knowledge base and share it, has actually been going well. All people whom we’ve talked to have embraced it, saying that it was actually the thing that they needed. A place to put up their courses so they wouldn't need to go to the big firms to put up their courses to share their knowledge.
Sylvia: Not just teachers but anyone can create a course?
Kristian: The main thing is, you don’t actually have to be a teacher. The whole idea is for passionate people, who know something, to be able to share that knowledge with others. So it’s not particularly aimed at teachers. I could be a person doing home cooking and I want to share how I do it because I’m good at it -- you don’t need to be a professional teacher.
Sylvia: You have people who are passionate about something and they want to teach. What’s been your response so far from people launching their classes on your platform?
Kristian: It’s been very good, very good! They like it a lot and I think it’s been very easy for them to put up courses. So far we’ve only launched it in England and it’s been working very well. The teachers really like it, it’s a good place for them to put up their courses. It’s also a good place for them to find participants for their different courses.
Sylvia: Why use your platform instead of listing an ad on Craigslist and doing it on your own. What do people gain from joining your community?
Kristian: The main objective is to create a place where it’s easier to find your participants. Rather than putting it up on your own Facebook or Twitter account or create a group by yourself where you‘ll need to do all the marketing yourself. What people want is to teach, they don’t want to handle the marketing or the pricing. So it’s been a good, an easier way for them to put up their courses and make sure they’re marketing to the right audience. And it’s been easier for them to get a broader group of people to join their courses as well.
Sylvia: I noticed on your website that you offer marketing tools and a teacher’s manual to help people get their class started. What would you say to someone who’s always wanted to teach but never got the chance. Where should they begin?
Kristian: First they need to figure out an agenda for the course so they know how to put it up and we help them write a description about the course, all the good things about the course and about the person as well. We do support for people who have never done it before. And we also have a course where we do actually teach them how to build a course as well.
Sylvia: It’s always inspiring to meet people who are passionate about education. Now you’re connecting people with students through your marketplace. Have any of your teachers inspired you? What is is about this teacher that did?
I would say that’s probably a questions for Rickard because he has met most of the teachers since I’m based in Stockholm.
Sylvia: Rickard have you met a teacher that you feel is very passionate and is having an impact through their classes? What have they said or done that makes you believe that they are a good example for what Froggler represents?
Rickard: One of our teachers is actually holding a class for other teachers on how to set up a course. She’s really inspiring. I can’t really say a particular thing that she said but it’s more how she is -- very inspiring and full of energy and really wants to get more people out there.
Sylvia: That’s wonderful. That’s someone you want, someone who is passionate and driven and wants to inspire students to learn.
Rickard: Yes, Exactly.
Sylvia: Thank you so much. This has been very helpful for me and I’m sure it will be very helpful for our audience to find out more about Froggler and how they can participate if they’re passionate about teaching something or taking a course. I’d like to thank you both for joining me. Enjoy your evening.
Kristian and Rickard: Thank you. Enjoy your day.