Smart Course creates digital products and services for kids with special needs and their caregivers.
Caregivers like parents, educators, and medical professionals spend too many years and too much money trying to treat kids with special needs. Our courses teach them how to do it in weeks, for a fraction of the cost.
Specifically, we research the biggest problems and find the solutions that have been, statistically, the most effective. Then we gather the world’s leading special needs experts to teach caregivers the most effective parenting, education, and treatment strategies for their kids. This way, kids and their families can reach their behavioral, social, and academic goals.
Technical Co-Founder, CTO, CPO & Product Designer East Bay, CA, United States, Los Angeles, CA, United States, New York, NY, United States, San Francisco, CA, United States, Seattle, WA, United States, Silicon Valley, CA, United States, or Remote
Why join us?
Over 8 months, using a business model that allows us to grow without spending any money on marketing, we have partnered with over 50 of the world-leading experts and organizations on special needs, launched 3 profitable products, acquired over 80 thousand users, over 2700 subscribers, over 300 customers, and over $50k in revenue. 20k of which was earned within the last month and almost every one of our customers is a repeat buyer.
Smart Course was founded by a successful serial entrepreneur, Adrien Harrison (https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrien-harrison-292b2b56/) and has been through many renowned incubators, pre-accelerators, and accelerators without giving up any owner equity.
When participating in incubators/accelerators, our main goal was to optimize the core competencies of the business without diluting the owner’s equity stake. We have accomplished that goal.
First, we went through Teachable’s EdTech Incubator (June-October 2019) which taught us what we needed to know about how to validate, build, launch, and grow a successful online course business. We applied what we learned by validating our idea, picking a market, and launching, but we wanted to grow faster.
We then we went through Startup Boost’s Pre-Accelerator (June-July 2019), which taught us what we needed to know about refining our business model canvas, the accelerator ecosystem, sales, marketing, growth hacking, testing for product-market fit, VC and investor relations, pitching, legal fundamentals, and fundraising. We applied what we learned by segmenting our target market, connecting with mentors, advisors, and investors who have been instrumental in our growth, hypothesizing B2B business models, landing bigger sponsors, headlining with our pitch at demo day, and securing our first investment. But, we wanted to grow faster.
Then we went through Hubspot’s Growth Accelerator “ELEVATE” (July-August 2019), which taught us about how to achieve rapid growth through inbound marketing, sales, and service. We applied what we learned by refining our content marketing strategy, CRM, and customer support practices. This was critical for us to reach our thousands of subscribers and handle all of their support tickets with our small team. But, we wanted to grow faster and knew we needed to secure the healthcare side of our business.
Most recently, we went through HealthVenture’s Digital Healthcare Accelerator “Y-Start Bootcamp” (July-September 2019), which taught us what we needed to know about the healthcare innovation space, digital marketing and branding, grant funding, legal structuring, due diligence, recruiting A-players, designing a scalable product strategy, IP, managing cap tables, and healthcare sales. We are applying what we’ve learned by connecting with healthcare VCs and founders, shifting our branding to be more healthcare-specific, applying for grants, protecting ourselves legally, rehauling our recruitment process, conducting experiments with our market, and planning our B2G, B2B, and B2B2C sales strategies. But, we want to grow faster, recruit the best possible team, and revolutionize education globally.
Adrien was also recruited to join StartEd as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and was able to partake in their HyperGrowth Accelerator to learn everything we needed to know about the EdTech space and where we would fit into it.
Lastly, we just submitted our YC application and have received an offer from Antler.co, a global early-stage VC, which we can accept whenever we'd like, if necessary.
You'll be changing the world with us.
I was a difficult kid and did not fit into the education system’s mold. This led me to feel unnecessarily stupid or as if I didn’t belong. Yet, I loved to learn, so why did I feel that way? Because the education system is fundamentally broken, especially for kids with special needs.
Learning and attention issues are far more common than most people think—1 in 5 children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues such as dyslexia and ADHD. Every year, over 14 million kids with special needs suffer helplessly through their education, and that's just in the United States.
This continues to be the case because parenting and teaching are some of the most demanding jobs out there.
- 66% of parents of children with special needs struggle to help their child.
- And a study from the National Center for Learning Disabilities concluded that general education teachers are not taught how to help kids with “different needs”, so teachers are not only hesitant to implement individualized instruction, but they don’t even know how.
- All 300+ of our customers have paid for our products because they need help and 125 of them are repeat buyers who also bought our product’s first version.
These caregivers want to help their kids succeed; most of them just don’t have the right tools to do so.
The average parent of a child with special needs just wants their child to get through life okay.
Due to the lack of knowledge of effective and accessible resources, 16.8 million parents lose time, money, and sleep worrying about their children every year.
For now, we’ve decided to be hyperfocused on the 8 million kids with ADHD in the US who belong to a fast-growing (6.4% CAGR during the forecast period) $24.9 billion market by 2025. There has been a steady rise in ADHD patients during the last 20 years. According to a study conducted by the National Health Interview Survey, the prevalence of ADHD among children and adolescents in the U.S. rose from 6.1% in 1997-1998 to 10.2% in 2015-2016.
However, a significantly greater portion of the world’s youth, which could be composed of the most creative, intelligent, and driven kids our planet has to offer, are not reaching their potential or even getting their fair shot at life because of their education and upbringing.
All of these children eventually suffer as adults because they weren't understood and taught effectively in their early years. This disproportionately impacts their career, social mobility, and parenting, which each have enormous second-order effects on the global economy and future generations.
Not only that but, if they’re lucky enough to get through high school, a disgustingly large percentage of them are forced into potentially insurmountable student loan debt for the rest of their lives.
About 43 million adult Americans—roughly one-sixth of the U.S. population older than age 18—currently carry a federal student loan and owe $1.5 trillion in federal student loan debt, plus an estimated $119 billion in student loans from private sources that are not backed by the government.
No 18-year-old should have to choose between a halfway decent college “education” and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt or being labeled an inferior college dropout for their entire professional career.
I care about solving this problem and I’m the right person to do it because I was one of those kids. I’ve been building businesses to solve problems since high school, and I’m an expert on ADHD, online courses, digital marketing, business development, product management, and CRO. I am not alone and I will not stand by as millions of others like me are forced through the same degrading and ineffective system.
Care to join me?
Engineering at SmartCourse.io
All of our teams, including Product, work using agile methodology. Basically, weekly sprints in which weekly goals are set at the beginning of the week (on Mondays) by each team and their scrum master. Teams and their scrum master meet for daily standup to support each other / get updates. Finally at the end of the week (on Fridays) we go over results together and optimize/iterate as needed.
We're trying to build an LMS and digital healthcare platform in one. Later, we want that platform to use AI/ML to adapt, in realtime, based on how the user is comprehending the content, to ensure the user is always getting the best possible content for them.
You would get to work on combining the features of Teachable, Facebook Groups / Reddit Forums, and Wix into a single platform that any learner would be able to use to learn what they'd like and get support in the most effective way possible.
You would be adding AI/ML to the platform, so that it can change content, UI/UX, and/or anything else that would facilitate the way people with special needs interact with the platform and learn from it.
You could scale it up to be responsive with other platforms and/or so that it could work with anyone in the world who's looking to educate themselves and build the life they want to live.
Working at SmartCourse.io
Work from Home
You can work remotely from wherever you want :)
Most of our team works from 10AM - 6PM ET, but, outside of meetings, we don't care when you work as long as it's productive :)
We have an awesome network of mentors and advisors who run workshops with our team, and we strongly encourage you to attend conferences to continue upskilling!
We have happy hours, lunch & learns, and the best damn team-building times you'll ever get :)
Equity available (depending on value add) 👍
By working for Smart Course, you'll be changing the way people get educated at scale and that has tons of second-order benefits across generations.
Work from anywhere!
Interested in this company?
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