The post-secondary education platform Coursekit, which got its start at the University of Pennsylvania, raised $1 million in a round of seed funding this June and moved to New York City, has launched publicly.
The online software, which is elegantly simple, aims to replace well-known education platforms like Blackboard, which controls 57 percent of the market. The company already has marketing presence at 50 colleges across the country, the company tells us. See some of its user testimonials, which also launched this morning, here.
At first glance, the essential elements are there: calendar, gradebook and assignment submission, as well as resources, are available.
What differentiates the product, and what the team is banking on, is the social nature and improved user experience versus competitors like BlackBoard. Teachers and classmates can post to an ongoing stream of conversation and browse the site using social network functionality with Facebook integration. The product has class.
What the startup will need now is as robust a marketing, sales and support staff as its competitors. It will also need to continue to develop natural and expected integration of features like external calendar syncing, and a vision that extends beyond the repurposing of existing education platform experience: there’s not a lot of innovation in the product.
The startup was founded in January by three Penn students — Joseph Cohen, Dan Getelman and Jim Grandpre — who saw an opportunity to create a more streamlined platform than Blackboard. The company presented at Technically Philly’s Switch Philly demo event in April during Philly Tech Week, and we covered its move to New York here.
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