Going Direct To Learners With Software
I was talking to a group of education entrepreneurs (on Zoom naturally) last week and was advocating for the “direct to learner” approach that defines our eduction investing strategy at USV. For the most part, we do not like to back companies that sell learning tools to educational institutions. We like to back companies that use software to go directly to learners, wherever they may be.
As an example of a powerful model that I like very much, I talked about Scratch, the visual programming environment built at MIT over the last twenty years. Anyone can use Scratch, from anywhere, as long as they have a computing device.
And between that talk and today, Scratch published their 2019 Annual Report. Scratch is a non-profit that the Gotham Gal and I have supported over the years. So I read that annual report with interest.
Here are some charts from that annual report:
Scratch is heavily used in schools all around the world. But it is not sold to schools. It is simply used by schools. It is also used by kids, parents, tutors, and anyone else who wants to help a child learn to instruct a machine to do something fun and rewarding.
That’s the power of using software to go direct to learners. You can reach so many learners and teach them so much.